FAIRFIELD — When deciding where to play college basketball, Aleseana Whitney’s list wasn’t a long one.
That’s what happens when you eliminate everything that isn’t close to home.
The senior post player narrowed her choices to between Cal State Stanislaus and Chico State, deciding to go with the former.
“I like the coach a lot,” Whitney said. “I like how the academic part is very structured. I need structure. I’m used to structure.”
And it had what she wanted most, a campus just a few hours away.
“That was at the top of my list,” Whitney said. “I wanted to stay close to my family, especially my little brother,” 9-year-old Daniel.
“She turned down Division I offers from out of state to play close to home,” Vanden coach Allison Johnson said. “That was a requirement of Lese’s, to stay close to home, which I totally support. Great decision.”
It also doesn’t hurt that Whitney already knows several of the Warriors players from AAU basketball.
Whitney hopes to one day become a teacher for special needs children, the result of having done an internship among such students in the first through third-grades at Foxboro Elementary.
“That inspired me, that influenced my decision,” Whitney said.
She’s also glad to have the decision process behind her. She officially signed her letter of intent at a signing party attended by 60 or so family members, teammates and friends in Vanden’s Jim Boyd Gym, Saturday night.
For Johnson, who’s sent numerous players on to four-year schools it was a “happy, emotional” experience.
The coach is also happy with whom Whitney will be playing. “Her style of play fits in perfect with them – aggressive, disciplined, which is what she’s used to,” Johnson said.
Whitney, a three-year varsity player with the Vikings, averaged 7.2 points and 6.6 rebounds per game last season with the Vikings, helping them reach the Sac-Joaquin Section Division III title game and make a third straight appearance in the NorCal quarterfinals. She also averaged 10 rebounds a game in the Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs last season.
Vanden, which is officially 1-0 after an overtime victory over Nevada Union after a tough loss to national power St. Mary’s in a Sac-Joaquin Section Foundation Game, hosts College Park of Pleasant Hill, Thursday.
Reach Paul Farmer at 425-4646, ext. 264, or email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/pfarmerdr.