BOLINGBROOK – Aysia Bugg was courted by several Division I basketball programs, but it took just one trip to western Pennsylvania for her to make her choice.
The Bolingbrook High School senior committed to the University of Pittsburgh on June 21, soon after visiting the campus and falling in love with her surroundings.
“I just loved Pitt,” Bugg said. “The city is beautiful, the area is beautiful and the university itself is a very high-ranking school. I just loved it.”
It wasn’t just that Pittsburgh and the coaching staff headed by Suzie McConnell-Serio were the perfect fit. The highly-recruited Bugg said she had offers from Bradley, Ball State, IUPUI, Liberty and the University of Missouri-Kansas City and was getting looked at by Purdue, Kansas and Vanderbilt. But she wanted to close her recruiting sooner rather than later for her benefit and that of the other coaches.
“We were getting toward July and it was going to get a lot more hectic with AAU ball and with the amount of interest and schools wanting me to visit, but I was already sold with Pitt after my visit,” Bugg said. “My parents were like, ‘Why wait?’ A lot of coaches were asking us what my schedule was like and I didn’t want to lead them on and still end up picking Pitt, so I just got it over with.
“It’s a big weight lifted off my shoulders.”
In Bugg, the Panthers get a quick player who can handle the ball and score from almost anywhere on the floor, and a whole lot more.
“Definitely a hard worker, a scorer,” Bugg said when assessing her own skills. “I like to contribute, and if it’s not scoring then rebounding and assisting. I like to be a factor on the court.”
With her college recruiting process out of the way, Bugg can concentrate on getting ready for her senior season with the Raiders and new head coach Chris Smith. Bugg was a key contributor for Bolingbrook last season, but falling in the supersectional game to Young left a bitter taste in her mouth. She’s already thinking of what she can do to get the Raiders back downstate.
“I really want to help lead the team. Leadership skills are something I plan to work on, getting stronger and helping the team do good,” she said. “We lost a lot of good players, but I think we’ve got a lot of good players and we can do some good things this year.
“I want us to go far. We might not win every game, but I want us to compete, be good in our conference and make it as far as we can [in the postseason].”