When Alex Dumoulin told the Northern Illinois women's basketball coaching staff that she wasn't interested in continuing her playing career with the Huskies, she expected that to be the end of it.
The former Hampshire standout was prepared to leave the game after spending the past two seasons piling up points at Elgin Community College, where she became only the second player in program history to score more than 1,000 career points.
But when NIU persisted, traveling in March to see Dumoulin play in the National Junior College Athletic Association national championships, everything suddenly changed. The Huskies persistence and interest in the 5-foot-10 forward was enough to cause Dumoulin to reconsider her competitive future.
Dumoulin, a former Northwest Herald All-Area honorable mention selection, signed with NIU on Thursday, giving the Huskies a bona fide scoring threat after averaging 18.9 points and 11.4 rebounds a game for ECC last season. Her 642 points ranked second among NJCAA Division II players. She finished her 66-game career with 1,148 points.
"For the most part, all of the pieces of the puzzle just fell into place with Northern," Dumoulin said Thursday night.
Dumoulin's decision comes six months after she turned down an offer to play at NIU because the school doesn't offer a civil engineering program. But when NIU coach Kathi Bennett made another run at Dumoulin two months later, the NJCAA first-team All-American who led ECC to its first national tournament appearance, couldn't resist.
In a statement issued by NIU, Bennett said she expects Dumoulin to make a "powerful impact" on the Huskies' program.
“She fills a need for us inside with her ability to run the floor and her relentless work ethic and energy," Bennett said.
The change of mind made Dumoulin's recruiting progress "definitely different", she said. But she is looking forward to finishing her competitive career in DeKalb.
Dumoulin is coming off a season when she was named the Illinois Skyway Collegiate Conference's Player of the Year. Dumoulin, a co-captain, helped lead the Spartans to a 26-8 record and 13-1 league mark.
"I didn't think (NIU) was going to come back to me because I told them 'No' right off the bat," Dumoulin said. "But I think God had a plan and He worked through them and it just worked out the way it did. I'm really happy with the decision."