BETHEL – Though she’s traveled the United States as a member of the AAU Cincinnati Angels, soon-to-be Bethel-Tate senior Julia Jenike will lace up her college sneakers more than 1,100 miles away.
The Southern Buckeye Conference-National Division first-team pick has decided to play at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, Fla. The Division I Owls were 13-17 last season and play in Conference USA. Their closest league opponent is Western Kentucky in Bowling Green.
“Just by being seen by my AAU team, I get a lot of letters and requests to fill out questionnaires,” Jenike said. “They (FAU) were sending me stuff and they stayed interested in me.”
Even though she had a bout with mononucleosis last summer and missed a couple of big tournaments, Florida Atlantic maintained their interest when other schools dropped off of the radar. Though she had a few other offers, a visit to the south Florida school sealed the deal.
“It’s just so amazing and so pretty,” Jenike said. “I love the coaches and the players. I got to spend a day down there. I called them the next day to verbal.”
Assuming everything remains the same, Jenike will sign with the Owls during the November signing period. Eventually, older sister Brooke Jenike will join her in the Sunshine State. Brooke will be at Cincinnati State this season and has plans to transfer to Florida Southern when Julia makes her move south. Florida Southern is in Lakeland, roughly two hours away from Florida Atlantic.
Sixth in the Greater Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky area in scoring last year with 380 points for a 17.3 average, Jenike will no longer be the tallest girl on her team. Around 5-foot-10, she’ll be surrounded by several players 6-foot-2 and above.
“The coach said my style of play would really go well with theirs,” Jenike said. “She said she doesn’t recruit players to come sit on the bench. I’ll probably play like a two or three guard. Maybe the one if I have to.”
Jenike shot over 49 percent from the floor for Dave Fallis at Bethel-Tate, including more than 38 percent from the three-point line. She also hit more than 84 percent of her free throws and reached the 1,000 career point mark as junior.
Currently, she’s hitting the floor with her Angels team who have played in tournaments in Chicago, Lexington, Washington, D.C., Nashville and New York. July is busy month on the circuit.
Soon, she’ll be back in the Bethel-Tate bouncing on varsity for the first time without her sister, Brooke.
“It’s going to be really weird not playing with her ever again,” Jenike said. “I don’t think it’s really hit me yet.”
On the other hand, the pony-tailed power guard is excited over the team’s performance at a June camp in Cedarville and is looking forward to her final prep campaign.
“I’m expecting a lot,” she said. “I really want to beat Georgetown this year because we lost to them in the tournament. I definitely want to get back at Felicity, too. I’m tired of playing tag – winning one game and losing the other. I just want to win them.”
Bethel-Tate was 16-5 last season and finished just behind Georgetown and Felicity-Franklin in the SBAAC-National.