CLIFTON PARK – It’s a Division I sweep for the Huerter children.
Jillian Huerter, a 2022 Shenendehowa graduate and post-graduate student at Kent School, committed to attend Rutgers University on Monday night. She is on her way to joining her older siblings Thomas Jr., Kevin and Meghan as a Division I basketball player.
“I definitely am excited and relieved that I found a great school, and that I can just focus on this year’s academics and basketball season,” Huerter said by phone.
Huerter missed the entire live recruiting period (three weeks in July) before her senior year at Shenendehowa because she suffered a torn meniscus, which changed her college recruitment in some ways. She decided to take a prep year at Kent and was able to play in this summer’s live period.
Huerter, a 6-foot point guard, averaged 16 points and 7.2 rebounds per game with Shenendehowa during 2021-22. She was named a first-team All-Suburban Council all-star and a seventh-team Class AA All-State selection.
Huerter, who visited Rutgers last weekend, also was considering DePaul, Fairfield and Boston College. She hadn’t taken her official visits to Fairfield or Boston College, but had visited Fairfield unofficially.
“I think the coaches were a huge part of my decision; not only their playing careers, but their coaching careers,” Huerter said. “I feel I can fit in on the team. It’s a good conference, the Big Ten. Then after I visited with [the coaches], I got to go to a football game and experience the campus atmosphere.
“I definitely knew I liked it a lot, just walking around before I even talked to the coaches, but I was just, ‘I can’t get ahead of myself.’ But after talking with them and going to the football game, that was nice.”
Rutgers has a new head coach in Coquese Washington, who took over for the legendary C. Vivian Stringer. Washington formerly was the head coach at Penn State for 12 seasons, and spent the past two seasons as the associate head coach at Notre Dame.
Huerter said the coaches talked with her about being a combo guard; mostly a shooting guard, but able to take over the point if necessary.
Jillian’s father, Tom, played at Siena College. Thomas Jr. played for three seasons at Siena before finishing his college career with Catholic University. Kevin played two seasons at University of Maryland before signing with the Atlanta Hawks of the NBA. He was traded this past offseason to the Sacramento Kings. Meghan is currently a sophomore at Providence College. All the children graduated from Shenendehowa.
Jillian said becoming the second Big Ten member crossed her mind, but only a little.
“The conference didn’t matter as much as the school, and making sure it was the right fit,” said Jillian, who mentioned that her family helped her throughout the recruitment process.
“They’ve given me a lot of advice and support, as always,” Jillian said. “They’ve been important resources. My whole family has been great.”