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Sports

Girls Basketball: Benet junior Kendall Holmes commits to DePaul

All-Area guard led Redwings to fourth place in Class 4A

March 1, 2019 - Normal, IL - Benet Academy's Kendall Holmes goes up for a shot on Mother McAuley's Hannah Swiatek during their state semifinal basketball game at the IHSA Girls Basketball State Finals. The Redwings advance to the Class 4A third-place game after falling 48-38 to the Mighty Macs. (Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks)
March 1, 2019 - Normal, IL - Benet Academy's Kendall Holmes goes up for a shot on Mother McAuley's Hannah Swiatek during their state semifinal basketball game at the IHSA Girls Basketball State Finals. The Redwings advance to the Class 4A third-place game after falling 48-38 to the Mighty Macs. (Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks)

Kendall Holmes, like so many girls around the Chicago area, attended Doug Bruno's basketball camp growing up.

But play for him?

She never imagined it.

It is reality now, though. Holmes on Friday committed to DePaul and veteran coach Bruno, joining a program coming off its 17th straight NCAA Tournament appearance.

"I kind of had all my options open, but I never thought I would be at DePaul," Holmes said. "I went to the Doug Bruno camp in like the fourth or fifth grade. To be there now, to know that I'll be playing for him, it's kind of unreal."

Holmes, a 5-foot-11 junior guard, was a Suburban Life All-Area selection, and second team All-State pick by the Associated Press the and Illinois Basketball Coaches Association in helping lead Benet to fourth place in Class 4A this season.

She led Benet in scoring at 11 points per game, and in made 3-pointers (50), shooting 40 percent from beyond the arc.

Holmes also had offers from UAB and SIU-Edwardsville. DePaul entered the picture in February. Bruno attended one of Benet's shootout games, reached out to Holmes and invited her to a DePaul game.

Holmes and her dad, Darius, went to a game in late February, where Bruno made a scholarship offer. DePaul comes off a 26-8 season capped off by a Big East Tournament title and NCAA Tournament appearance.

"They have a really good program, coach Bruno has been there for about 33 years. The opportunity to play there is amazing," Holmes said. "They've made the NCAAs a bunch of times in a row. It's close to home, we discussed it and thought it would be a good fit."

Holmes, who plans to pursue a degree in the medical field or business, got a sneak preview of the excitement of postseason basketball at DePaul in March. She attended an NCAA Tournament Selection Show party open to the public.

Holmes, of course, knows plenty about winning basketball.

On a Benet team full of Division I-calibre talent, Holmes was as consistent as any player. She was All-Tournament at Benet/Naperville North and Montini, and hit what proved to be the game-winning shot in a regional final.

"I think my overall toughness and competitiveness is something [DePaul] was looking for. I don't like to lose," Holmes said. "My overall work ethic and competitiveness and the way they play, up and down the floor, I think it was a good fit. To think I'm going to have a chance to play at the next level, and to have a chance to play at an elite level at DePaul, it's amazing."

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