High school girls basketball: McHenry's Ava Interrante commits to Valparaiso

McHenry’s Ava Interrante was in no rush but quickly knew Valparaiso was the right fit for her.

The 5-foot-10 junior guard first visited the campus in early December and received an offer on the spot by women’s basketball coach Mary Evans.

She went back for a second visit not long after and had a really good feeling. On Tuesday, Interrante announced her commitment on Twitter to play basketball for the NCAA Division I Crusaders.

“It means everything,” Interrante said Wednesday. “It’s always been a dream of mine to play Division I basketball. Now that it’s real, I’m super excited. I had a lot of people believe in me when I first started playing competitively in AAU basketball. They always told me I can do it.”

Interrante, who also had strong interest from Illinois State and St. Louis University, wanted to go to a school close to her home in McHenry. The Valparaiso campus is about 2½ hours away by car. 

She also appreciated how close everyone in the program was.

“Their program is very close and family oriented, and I love that,” Interrante said. “I went to their camp, and I really liked their coaches. I watched a couple of games, and the coaches have good relationships with all of the players.”

Last year, Interrante was a part of the most successful McHenry girls basketball team in school history. The Warriors finished 28-3 and won the Fox Valley Conference for the first time.

McHenry is 15-8 this year and trails Hampshire and Dundee-Crown by two games in the FVC. Interrante missed 11 games with an injury to her nonshooting hand but has since returned. 

Ava Interrante’s’ older sister, Aannah, went through a similar process two years ago before she committed to Bradley. In two years, the sisters could wind up seeing each other in the Missouri Valley Conference.

“That would definitely be a lot of fun, getting to see her and play against her,” Ava Interrante said. “I think it will be a lot of fun for both of us. She helped me a lot. She told me to keep trusting the process and that I’d know when the right school comes.”

Valparaiso currently is 4-11 and 0-3 in the MVC. The team’s last winning season came in 2008-09.

Interrante is hoping to help turn things around.

“The coaches liked how I can play the 1 and 2 guard, my versatility,” Ava Interrante said. “I think I can help them make some plays and help start things up. I’m very grateful for everyone that’s helped me along.”

Loading more

Digital Access

Digital Access
Access and all Shaw Media Illinois content from all your digital devices and receive breaking news and updates from around the area.

Home Delivery

Home Delivery
Local news, prep sports, Chicago sports, local and regional entertainment, business, home and lifestyle, food, classified and more! News you use every day! Daily, weekend and Sunday packages.

Text Alerts

Text Alerts
Stay connected to us wherever you are! Get breaking news updates along with other area information sent to you as a text message to your wireless device.

Email Newsletters

Email Newsletters
We'll deliver news & updates to your inbox. Plan your weekend and catch up on the news with our newsletters.