Sydney Affolter had her recruiting plan all laid out.
As Division-I offers rolled in, the Marist junior star forward figured she would take her official visits this spring, play with her club team this summer and then make her ultimate decision in the fall of her senior season.
Well, that was the plan.
Then, on a visit to the University of Iowa on Jan. 26, everything fell into place. Affolter decided that was the spot for her, and she verbally committed to continue her academic/athletic career at Iowa.
She will sign her National Letter of Intent with the Hawkeyes this fall.
“I totally wasn’t expecting to commit on that day,” Affolter said. “I visited Iowa in September, and I knew since the day they offered me that I really liked it there. The game made me fall in love with the place.”
Affolter, a Mt. Greenwood native and St. Christina Elementary School graduate, and her family attended the Jan. 26 game in Iowa City as the Hawkeyes defeated Michigan State in front of a crowd of over 13,000 fans.
The exciting atmosphere of the game proved to be too much for Affolter to resist.
“My dad [Ed] had asked if I’d commit [early] if I really liked a school. I said I didn’t think so,” Affolter said. “After talking to the coaches, I told my mom [Shellie] that I really, really liked it here. I could see myself playing there and in that style of play.”
Affolter received 26 official offers and was also being recruited by other schools that hadn’t made an official offer.
She had identified Arizona State, Michigan State, Minnesota and Missouri as other front-runners during the recruiting process.
Now, Affolter can turn her attention back to the RedHawks and their quest for a strong finish to the season.
“It definitely does feel better having committed,” Affolter said. “It was a pressure to commit, but it was really exciting. It got to be a lot with school and training and talking to coaches. It was overwhelming, but I still really enjoyed the recruiting process.”
In its home stretch of the regular season, Marist took an impressive 22-3 record into a Feb. 3 game at Bolingbrook, after press time. Marist took a 10-game winning streak into that matchup. The RedHawks have not lost in 2020.
Helping lead the way, Affolter is averaging 15 points, 8 rebounds and 3.8 assists.
“I thought we’d be better this year because of our team chemistry,” said Affolter, a three-year varsity starter for the RedHawks. “At the beginning of the season, people may have underestimated us a little, which made us the underdogs. That definitely motivated us.”