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OHS' Samantha Lambrigtsen to play at Loyola

Published: Friday, May 2, 2014 3:55 p.m. CDT
Caption
Oregon's Samantha Lambrigtsen blocks a shot during a game against Sterling Newman earlier this year. The senior will sign a letter of intent on Thursday to play basketball at Loyola of Chicago. File photo

The last 5 days have been a bit of a whirlwind for Oregon High School senior Sam Lambrigtsen, but hopefully now she's set for at least the next 4 years.

Lambrigtsen, Sauk Valley Media's girls basketball player of the year the past 2 years, gave a verbal commitment on Wednesday to attend Loyola of Chicago. She will receive a full-ride scholarship to play basketball for the Ramblers.

Everything transpired in less than a week.

"All of this happening just before school got out, it's just been amazing," Lambrigtsen said. "It all happened for a reason, and I couldn't be happier about it."

The sequence of events started last Friday, when Lambrigtsen was among about 100 players to participate in the Blue Star Showcase in Waukegan. She played in three games, and caught the eye of Loyola coach Sheryl Swoopes.

NCAA regulations forbid Swoopes from having contact with players at the showcase, so Swoopes contacted Lambrigtsen's AAU coach, John Penney, who in turn contacted Lambrigtsen's father, Boyd.

Sam then contacted Swoopes, and an official visit was set up for Tuesday.

While in Chicago, the Lambrigtsens toured the campus, met with academic advisors, trainers and team members, and ate lunch and dinner. The visit lasted about 10 hours. Lambrigtsen was taken with the campus, which is on the banks of Lake Michigan.

"They offered me a scholarship right before dinner," Lambrigtsen said, "and it didn't take me long to accept. I had already made up my mind that if they were going to offer, I was going to take it."

A national letter of intent from Loyola will be mailed to Lambrigtsen in the next few days. When she gets it, she'll sign it and fax it back. She'll also have a ceremony at Oregon High School.

Loyola is a private Jesuit university of slightly more than 15,000 students in Chicago. The Ramblers play in the Missouri Valley Conference, and the women's basketball team posted an 11-21 mark in 2013-14, including 6-11 in league play.

One of the major selling points for Lambrigtsen was the chance to play for Swoopes, a six-time WNBA all-star and three-time Olympic gold medalist. She also led Texas Tech to a national championship in 1993.

"My parents are WNBA fans, so they knew all about coach Swoopes," Lambrigtsen said. "I Googled her name to find out more about her, and oh my God, she was a great player. To be coached by her is just going to be incredible."

Lambrigtsen averaged 22.5 points, 5.1 rebounds, 3.6 steals and 2.2 assists this past season to lead Oregon to a 19-12 record and a regional championship. She scored 2,044 points in her high school career.

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