By Steve WILAJ
Excuse Jillian Halfhill if she doesn’t quite know what to do these days.
With her basketball career at Bowling Green State University just ending earlier in the week, the 2010 Canfield High School graduate suddenly has plenty of free time she’s not used to having.
“I’ve been playing basketball since I was like three or four, so it’s a weird feeling,” Halfhill said. “Plus I’ve been non-stop for four years with basketball here. So me and my mom decided that I’m going to take a couple of months and enjoy not doing something all the time.”
It’ll be a big change, especially after such an eventful senior season at BGSU.
The Falcons’ campaign ended on Monday with a 55-50 loss to Rutgers in the Elite Eight of the WNIT, but not before Halfhill and BGSU racked up a 30-5 record. That mark is the second-most wins in school and Mid-American Conference history.
“It was a heck of a season,” she said. “It was a special way for the seniors to go out. We won the MAC, then made a good run in the WNIT and unfortunately fell short. But it’s been incredible.”
Even more, Halfhill received first-team All-MAC honors this past season. She averaged 13.2 points per game and shot 42 percent from 3-point range. She started all 35 games.
Oh yeah, and she earned the No. 3 play of ESPN’s SportsCenter Top 10 plays on Monday for a hook-shot 3-pointer as the shot clock expired against Rutgers.
“That was pretty cool to see,” Halfhill said. “But I worked really hard, so to get recognized for first-team is an amazing feeling,”
She also credited her success to experiences from her first three seasons as a Falcon in which BGSU won the MAC twice, competed in the WNIT twice and made the NCAA Tournament her freshman year.
Halfhill came off the bench as a freshman and sophomore before starting all 35 games as a junior while averaging 8.9 points.
“My freshman year I was behind a point guard that shot the 3 really well,” she said. “Then my sophomore year I was behind a point guard that drove really well and was really strong at taking it to the hoop.
“So I learned so much from them two and I just tried to be like both of them — be able to shoot the 3 and take it to the hoop. I was able to implement that this year and it got me first-team.”
Halfhill — who will graduate with an accounting degree in the spring — is equally thankful for her off-court experiences.
“I learned so much being away from home. I’ve grown up and matured on and off the court,” she said. “People here are awesome and some of the best people you can encounter. So it’s been unreal.”
As for the future, Halfhill admitted the thought of playing basketball overseas has crossed her mind. Still, she isn’t sure exactly what it holds.
First things first, Halfhill is going to enjoy her free time.
“I’m going to step back and take a little breather,” she said. “Then I’ll start looking for a job and figuring out what I want to do.”