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Julia Wacker is a freshman center on the Hillsdale College women’s bas­ketball team from Palatine, Illinois. (Photo: Charger Ath­letics / Courtesy)

How long have you been playing bas­ketball?

I have played orga­nized bas­ketball since second grade. Of course, growing up with two older brothers, I had been exposed to it beforehand.

What drew you to the sport?

I was always that kid who was a part of every park dis­trict league available. There was really no par­ticular reason I started playing bas­ketball,  but I con­tinued to play the sport for a couple reasons. First, the reason anyone con­tinues to play a sport, I play  for the love of the game.  Second, support from my older brother influ­enced me to stick with it. 

What was your high school bas­ketball career like?

I was blessed to be a part of an excep­tionally tal­ented high school team, who brought me lots of oppor­tu­nities in the world of bas­ketball. Because of their talent, I was able to grow into the player I am today. I look forward to con­tinue that growth both on the court and off as a Charger with a new team of excep­tional ath­letes and people.  

How does playing at the college level differ from high school?

It is a much faster paced game in general, and it is a much larger time com­mitment, of course. The players are stronger, faster, and more tal­ented. The team is also a much tighter unit as a result of the afore­men­tioned dif­fer­ences. 

Do you like the change?

Yes. I am the type to always look for a new chal­lenge and college ath­letics is obvi­ously a chal­lenge. 

Why did you decide to play for Hillsdale College?

My initial interest in the school was probably the same reason anyone is inter­ested in Hillsdale — the values it holds and the quality of edu­cation I would receive here. As a recruit, I imme­di­ately felt like a part of the family, which is why I ulti­mately decided to commit.

You’ve had a suc­cessful start so far. What are your goals moving forward this season?

I obvi­ously want to become a better player in all aspects of the game, so I can be a bigger asset to the team. More specif­i­cally, espe­cially since this is my freshman year, I want to learn as much as pos­sible from the older players in order to grow. They have a lot to teach me,  and I have a lot to learn.