Two years ago it was hard for Cary-Grove senior Katie Barker to envision playing for a Division I basketball program.
Surgery to repair the torn meniscus in her right knee slowed the versatile guard-forward. But Barker came back stronger than ever this past season, leading all area players at 18.7 points a game with a school record 77 3-pointers.
The hard work paid off. On Monday night, Barker committed to play basketball at Division I Ohio University. Barker, who also considered Central Michigan, North Dakota State and Bucknell, will receive a full-ride scholarship.
"I've gone through so many injuries and gone through so much, and after my knee injuries and everything with it, I never thought this was going to possible," Barker said. "I never thought it was possible. It's crazy to think about."
Barker said Ohio offered the best balance between basketball and education. Because she isn't sure what she wants to study in college, Ohio's wide range of programs appealed to Barker.
"They have a great basketball program that's on the rise, and I think I can fit in it well," Barker said. "Educationally they have what I want as well as a great college campus. It's a good overall fit for me."
Barker, a Northwest Herald All-Area first-teamer this year, wanted to make her decision before July, and although the process has been fun, it also has been stressful trying to choose her future school. Barker visited Ohio during spring break, one of six schools she visited. Barker, who plays AAU basketball for Midwest Elite, also said the proximity to home as well as being near an aunt who lives in Ohio factored into her decision.
"It's a great accomplishment for myself," Barker said. "I've worked so hard and had so many people support me, for everyone who's been there the whole time. This past year I've grown so much as a person and a player, and that's what gotten me my scholarship."