Hampshire, ECC product Dumoulin to play at NIU

Alex Dumoulin is breaking from the family tradition.

Dumoulin, a Hampshire graduate who led the Elgin Community College women’s basketball team to the NJCAA Division II National Tournament for the first time in program history, told the Daily Herald Saturday she has decided to accept a scholarship offer to attend Northern Illinois University and play for the Huskies.

“I’ve been blessed with the opportunity to be successful and I had a lot of support from my family and friends,” Dumoulin said. “Being close to home I was able to confide in them and make my decision.”

Dumoulin graduated ECC as the most celebrated women’s player in Spartans’ history. She was the Illinois Skyway Collegiate Conference player of the year, leading ECC to a 13-1 record and the conference title, she was all-Region IV first team and an NJCAA Division II first team All-America. In leading the Spartans to a 26-8 season, the 5-foot-10 Dumoulin scored the second most points in the country (642), was 16th in scoring average (18.9) and 17th in rebounding (11.4).

But the aspiring mechanical engineer wasn’t really intent on continuing her basketball career. The Dumoulin family has long attended the University of Illinois, including Alex’s sister Cassie, who played for the Illini this past season.

“I had offers from some out-of-state schools but I was content to end it at ECC and join the family at the U of I,” she said. “But God had a different plan. (NIU) came to see me in a game in January and they came to nationals. I visited a couple times and their engineering program is one of the best anywhere. The opportunity is something not a lot of kids get, especially out of junior college. I feel very blessed to have this opportunity and I just want to thank all of my coaches and everyone who has helped me and allowed me to use my talents.

“It will be a challenge and I hope I can meet their expectations.”

The Huskies were 7-23 this past season and 2-14 in the MAC. At NIU, Dumoulin will join former Hampshire and NIU great Stephanie Smith, a former Daily Herald all-area captain, who is a member of Huskie coach Kathi Bennett’s staff.

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