It has always been Alexa Coulombe’s dream to play basketball at Boston College.
Now, the Catherine McAuley junior will be following in the footsteps of another former Lions’ star, Sarah Marshall, who had a stellar career at the institution.
Coulombe has made a verbal commitment to play basketball for the Eagles starting in 2012-13, McAuley head coach Amy Vachon announced in a press release on Wednesday.
“I’ve always wanted to go to BC ever since I was young, ever since I started thinking about going to college,” said Coulombe, of Yarmouth. “I walked around [BC] and I felt like I fit in. I liked the people and I liked the coach [Sylvia Crawley].
“I have two brothers that live down in the Boston area. I’ve been on the campus and I went to games.”
The 6-foot-2 Coulombe averaged 10 points, 13 rebounds and six blocked shots for McAuley last winter, and she has also competed this summer for coach Kara Leary’s New England Crusaders AAU squad.
Coulombe also considered Georgetown and Princeton, and said Boston College had the right mix of academics and athletics that she wants.
“Of all those schools, the basketball would still be competitive [but] I’m not going to play basketball forever,” Coulombe said, “so [the educational experience] needs to be all worth it.”
Coulombe is the second McAuley player to have chosen a Division I school, as Becca Knight will play at the University of Maine starting in 2011.
Coulombe attended a camp at UMaine after her freshman year at McAuley, and just didn’t think it was the place for her.
“Becca’s going there next year and I couldn’t be happier for her [but] it just didn’t feel like the right fit for me,” said Coulombe.
Coulombe is considered to be one of the top juniors in the country, as an ESPN.com poll recently had her ranked 19th among 25 schoolgirl junior basketball players nationwide.
Even though Coulombe will likely be a post player for Vachon’s Lions, she’s adding a lot more versatility to her game.
“She definitely has potential to be a three in college,” said Vachon, a former Cony of Augusta and UMaine star. “She can shoot the 3, she can bring the ball up if we need her to.”
Even though Coulombe is tall and slender, she is extremely tough to block out in the paint.
“She’s been working really hard on her strength,” Vachon said. “She’s a strong girl, doesn’t get bounced around.”
Vachon added Coulombe is relieved to have made a decision.
“She’s very excited, she doesn’t have to worry about that piece anymore,” Vachon said. “Our goal as a program is to win a state title, she can focus on that now.”
It also helped that Boston College made an offer early.
“I took time to make sure that I felt good about what I was going to do,” Coulombe said.
Coulombe is certainly revved up to play for Vachon, one of the most decorated ballplayers in this state’s history.
“She’s so nice but she definitely holds you up to expectations,” Coulombe said. “It’s going to be a different style. She likes to push the ball and she wants to get it into the shooter’s hands.”
BDN sports reporter Pete Warner contributed to this report.