At the last minute
Despite already signing her letter of intent to play college basketball at Xavier University for the next four years, Michigan City star hooper Hannah Noveroske was faced with a tough decision to make after Musketeers head coach Brian Neal recently stepped down from his role after six seasons.
With new coach Melanie Moore and her staff having no real knowledge of Noveroske, the 6-foot-5 center had a choice: stay on and try to work things out with the new staff during a workout right before she needed to make a final decision, or reopen her recruiting process to find a new place to play.
Noveroske made her decision public on Friday afternoon at Michigan City High School, as the Indiana All-Star decommitted from Xavier and signed on to play at Indiana University in Bloomington.
“With the coaching change (at Xavier), her and I talked about how she felt about me and she would use me on the floor,” Noveroske said, not really sure if Xavier was the right fit for her.
After deciding that reopening her commitment process was the best option, Noveroske looked to her two coaches — AAU Gym Rats director/coach James Banks and current Wolves coach Mike Megyese — along with her parents, Joan and Doug, to help her figure out a solution on where she would play next season and beyond.
“They helped me figure out which colleges wanted me and helped me talk to them, and they spoke with the coaches themselves, too,” Noveroske said.
Noveroske thought keeping matters under wraps for a while was the best decision for her and her family. The issue was the approaching deadline in May. That day is the absolute final day a student-athlete can officially sign and submit their letter of intent to play a Division-I sport, so the process moved rather rapidly for Noveroske, who made the decision to attend Indiana earlier this week. Western Michigan, Toledo and Miami (Ohio) were also in the picture.
“It was kinda down to Indiana and Western,” she said. “Miami of Ohio came in kinda late. Their coach (Megan Duffy) texted me a couple days ago and asked if she could speak with me, and I was like, ‘Oh, shoot. I had already made my decision.’ Western Michigan really wanted me. They were recruiting me even before I signed with Xavier. I really liked the coaches, but I felt that Indiana was the best decision for me personally.”
Noveroske visited Bloomington on April 30 and instantly fell in love with the campus. She got to speak with the coaching staff and while she didn’t get a chance to spend a ton of time with her future teammates due finals week, she already knew three Hoosiers commits next season through the Gym Rats program and Indiana All-Stars -- Miss Basketball finalist Jorie Allen (Bedford North Lawrence), Miss Basketball finalist Shaila Beeler (Warren Central), and Grace Waggoner from two-time Class A state finalist Vincennes Rivet.
“They have certain rules during that time period from the NCAA on practices and stuff, but I got to meet some of them and they seem like a wonderful group of girls to be around,” Noveroske said. “The campus was absolutely beautiful. The coaching staff was very energetic. They’re trying to find the building blocks to go further in the NCAA Tournament and that really excited me. They’re in the Big Ten (conference), but that wasn’t what made me go to Indiana. The academics are also very amazing at Indiana and they have a great medical school.”
Despite a lightning-fast process she went through a second time around, Noveroske’s not only glad it’s over again, but she’s happy she had a chance to go through it.
“Things happen for a reason,” she said. “That’s what my parents kept telling me. They knew it was going to be a really stressful situation for me, but you just go through it and things will work out in the end, and they did. I’m very happy with how things are at the end.”