‘IDEAL FIT’

Debie Gedeon wants to be an engineer, so when Rose-Hulman showed interest in her as a basketball player, her interest was piqued.

Gedeon, who helped Columbus North to the Class 4A state title this season, recently committed to Rose-Hulman, which by not so much of a coincidence, is nicknamed the Engineers.

“That’s a great engineering school, so it’s a great opportunity,” Gedeon said. “I really like the campus and the basketball program that they have there. They seem like they’re pretty motivated, and they want to achieve great things, and I want to do that, as well, so it seemed like a good match.”

Although she averaged only 4.7 points and 4.3 rebounds a game as a senior for the 28-1 Bull Dogs, Gedeon’s biggest contributions came on the defensive end. The 5-foot-9 guard-forward typically guarded the opponent’s top offensive threat.

“We don’t win state this year without her, especially on the defensive end,” North coach Pat McKee said. “In the final three games, she guarded (Bedford North Lawrence’s) Dominique McBryde, (Lawrence North’s) Jordan Hankins and (Homestead’s) Karissa McLaughlin. Those are big-time players. She made it really hard for them, and they had to earn what they got. We were thrilled that she’s on our side.”

Apparently, so is Rose-Hulman.

“I’ve spoken with their coaches, and they’re thrilled to get Debie,” McKee said. “They think athletically, she’s going to be one of the best kids they have walking in the door. We think with continued work and effort on her part, she’s going to be an excellent defender who can play for them right away. If she can continue to develop the offensive skills, she could potentially be a star there.”

“I think Rose-Hulman is an ideal fit for Debie, not only basketball-wise, but academically,” he said. “She’s very interested in engineering and computer science. In engineering, they’re one of the top five schools in the country in the category that doesn’t offer a doctorate degree.”

Gedeon is also a standout in track. After not running as a freshman, she finished 13th at state in the 100-meter hurdles as a sophomore and 17th last season. Earlier this year, she broke the school record in that event.

Friday, Gedeon, who also runs the 4×100 relay and sometimes the 100, 200 and 300 hurdles, will help lead Columbus North into Friday’s Conference Indiana meet at Bloomington North. The Bull Dogs are the defending champions.

“I want to break the school record (in the 100 hurdles) again and get on the podium at state,” Gedeon said. “I want to break the record in the 100, too.”

Gedeon said she heard from track coach Lou Sipe that Louisville is interested in her as a track athlete. She said some Division II and III schools also have showed interest for track, but she is set on going to Rose-Hulman as a basketball player.

While she likely won’t run track initially in college, Gedeon left the option open.

“It’s a new plane of challenges, and that’s definitely exciting,” Gedeon said. “I remember coming to Columbus North and wondering how things would be and where we’d end up.”

She’s thrilled with what has taken place so far.

“I think it’s one in a million, the career I’ve had and the teammates I’ve had,” Gedeon said. “It is a big transition going from being a basketball player at Columbus North to ‘I’ll never put the jersey on again.’ It changed my life.”

If you go

What: Conference Indiana boys and girls track and field meet

When: 5 p.m. Friday

Where: Bloomington North High School

Teams: Columbus North, Bloomington North, Bloomington South, Franklin Central, Perry Meridian, Southport, Terre Haute North, Terre Haute South.

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Ted Schultz is sports editor for The Republic. He can be reached at tschultz@therepublic.com or 812-379-5628.