The Michigan Daily has called her the “The unsung hero of Michigan women’s basketball.” That would be pressure for most women’s basketball players but that title seems to fuel this incredible athlete. It’s hard to keep up with this young lady’s statistics but just to name a few:
LRT Sports Kathyrn House had the opportunity to speak with Jillian about the recruiting process, how many official visits she would recommend, what it takes to make an NCAA Tournament and more.
LRT Sports Kathyrn: What is one piece of advice you would give a high schooler going through the college basketball recruiting process?
Jillian: I would say don’t get caught up in the recruiting process. Don’t stress yourself out trying to get an offer from your “dream school”. Just play your game and the offers will come to you. Go where you are WANTED!
LRT Sports Kathyrn: How many official visits would you recommend to take? How many did you take? And why did you choose Michigan’s program?
Jillian: Depending on how late it is in the recruiting process, (maybe no later than junior year) I recommended using all of your allotted official visits, which is five, I think. Doing this will help you see the school in a different perspective and it will allow you to compare schools in more detail. Unofficial visits are very brief but official visits will help you get a good feel of the school. I only took one because at the time we were allowed to take officials, I had already committed to Michigan.
I had gone on plenty of visits and I made a list of everything I wanted in a school. And Michigan had every single thing I wanted so I knew it was the perfect fit. The coaches wanted me as much as I wanted to attend Michigan so I was very confident with my decision.
LRT Sports Kathyrn: Do you have a pregame rituals and if so what are they?
Jillian: I listen to music, meditate then I pray, and I make sure that I put my socks and shoes on the left foot first.
LRT Sports Kathyrn: What does it take in a team to make an NCAA tournament appearance in your opinion? And what’s your favorite memory of this years (2018) appearance?
Jillian: Everybody has to care and want to win. Bad apples can spoil a season, so as long as everyone is bought in and on board to accomplish the same goals, then the whole team will be driven to make the NCAA tournament.
My favorite memory from this year was just being there. We worked so hard for four years to get there so I was taking it all in.
LRT Sports Kathyrn: I know college sports and academics can put a stain on athletes, what’s a piece of advice you can give to athletes when they may feel overwhelmed with this circumstance?
Jillian: I would suggest to do your work early and space it out, so it doesn’t all catch to you at once. Sometimes assignments can catch you off guard, which is already on top of practice every day, and traveling for games. So just space out your assignments, start them early: for example maybe you want to start an outline 2 weeks before an essay is due. And I would say ask for help when you need it!
LRT Sports Kathyrn: What is your favorite basketball drill/exercise and why would you recommend a player to incorporate it into their practice?
Jillian: Not that I have a favorite drill but always do everything game speed, so that you’ll always be game ready. A drill I love is (3 on 2- to- 2 on 1). It’s a fast pace drill and allows you to condition while working on both offense and defense.
LRT Sports Kathyrn: What is the funniest thing that has happened to you in a game/ locker room or to your team in a game/ locker room?
Jillian: My freshman year after every game won in the WNIT we would prank the coaches by scaring them, hiding, locking them out of the locker room, or throwing water on them!
As you can tell from Jillian’s successful career at The University of Michigan some big keys are to give it all you have in every moment in the classroom or on the court, but in addition, have fun with it! Jillian is an amazing example of a hard worker and strong athlete. Jullian is admired by the Michigan Athletic staff, community, fans, alum, and other student athletes. Jillian wouldn’t trade her Michigan or college basketball experience for anything. So if you are reading this and going through the recruiting process, just know it will all workout how it should and hopefully be some of the best years of your life.
When doing research in the recruiting process for my daughter I came across the LRT Sports website. I was immediately intrigued as this was another dimension of the recruiting process that many people don't even consider. My daughter and I could "short list" schools based on the education she was looking for, as well as the opportunity to play her sport. LRT Sports not only gave us pertinent information into the recruiting process with different interviews of coaches and players, it also gave us insight into current and/or former players' opinions on the coach of that school in her sport. We could use this information to re-prioritize my daughters list of schools based on this feedback. I have many friends that are, or will be, going through this process shortly and I highly recommend using LRT Sports as part of anyone's recruiting process.
The college process presents a myriad of challenges. Factor in athletics and it becomes even more daunting. Now, add the fact that you have zero experience with sports. What is a the mother of a college bound student-athlete to do? LRT Sports has truly lived up to its promise. It has kept "the college recruiting process honest and easy by providing first hand information about coaches, schools and the recruiting process." Their interviews with current students, coaches, and professional athletes have provided realistic guidance. I am much more informed because of LRT Sports! The coach ratings are the most helpful. LRT Sports interviews allow us to hear from students as to how the adults are impacting not only their athletic experience but also how they are helping to shape their adult self.
The C.A.L.C. was thrilled to have Keirsten Sires come and speak to us on multiple topics relevant to high school athletics today, including recruiting. Keirsten reached all of our students and left them with great strategies that will not only help on the fields, courts, and mats, but also in the game of recruiting. She was a true professional and delivered a wonderful message.
Now that the recruiting process and the related stress is over, I wanted to thank you for your guidance. You did so much more than we had expected. Once you started the process by matching the best academic schools first, not the best sport programs, I knew you were the one. The way you laid out a timeline of contacting coaches, visits, and camps completely took any guesswork out of the plan for us. All of the student athletes that you put us in touch with gave us a look from the inside, and made us more comfortable knowing what was coming. Finally, using your website as a resource for knowing what to expect from different coaches based on former recruit reviews gave my son confidence before our meetings. There is no way we could have figured this out on our own, you really put us in a great position when decision time came.
I think hearing from other athletes is very beneficial. To be able to learn from people’s mistakes, and to be able to have access to those voices is really helpful; especially voices that have been there and done that. It’s very important for people to have access to information that could benefit them, and in this case there are many voices that can help the next wave of athletes.
If you have something that’s going to spell [the recruiting process] out for you… it’s so valuable. I think what everyone at LRT Sports is doing to spread the word and help advocate and educate athletes on the recruitment process is incredible.
Without question would have used LRT Sports. It would have probably been one of the most valuable tools that I could have had. If you want to know what these coaches are really like then I think this is the best tool out there. I’m really glad you are allowing recruits to have a resource like this moving forward.