On Thursday, Feb. 6, Washington High School senior Shawna Conger announced her decision to attend Roosevelt University in Chicago. There she will continue her education and her basketball career as a member of the Lakers women’s basketball team.
Conger signed a letter of intent during a ceremony held in the lobby of the high school gymnasium.
The college is located in downtown Chicago and was founded in 1945. It is named in honor of America’s 32nd President, Franklin Delano Roosevelt and First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt.
“They e-mailed coach (Samantha) Leach about me and we took a trip up there,” Conger said. “Just the atmosphere of it, I loved it as soon as I stepped on campus. I was choosing between (Roosevelt) and Lawrence Tech in Michigan. I just figured Chicago had a lot more opportunities than Michigan does.
“I think I’m going to major in early (childhood) education,” Conger said.
“It’s been awesome (attending Washington High School),” Conger said. “I’ve had a really great four years. I couldn’t ask for better coaches — Coach Leach, Coach (Mychal) Turner and Coach (Corey) Dye. They’ve all really helped me out. I can’t even explain enough how they’ve helped me. We’ve put so many hours in that nobody knows about. They’ve seriously been the biggest help to me and I couldn’t do any of this without them. I really appreciate them.
“I really want to thank my parents,” Conger said. “Over the summer, they drive non-stop to tournaments. They never complain about that. They could be doing way better things than sitting in a gym all summer. They’ve done a lot for me, so, I’m really appreciative of them.”
Conger spoke about the challenges that lie ahead.
“I’m really ready,” Conger said. “My work ethic is going to continue over, because, I mean, it doesn’t stop here. I just can’t stop working and I’m going to get better every day.”
“Roosevelt is an NAIA school (National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics),” Washington head coach Samantha Leach said. “NAIA schools, unlike Division III, can offer athletic scholarships, as well as academic. Shawna is receiving athletic and academic scholarships to Roosevelt.
“They have about 4,000 students that attend the university and they are actually combining with Robert Morris University of Illinois within the next year. So, there are going to be a lot of changes and a lot of growth. Even their sports teams are combining. It’s really an exciting time for the school. They just had a new coach take over: (Emily Ragsdale). She was at Drury (University, in Springfield, Missouri) which is one of the top Division II programs in the nation.
“I’m really excited for Shawna to have the opportunity to play for her and learn from her,” Leach said.
“Shawna is a great program kid,” Leach said. “She’s been a staple, especially this season. She’s grown so much over the last four years. She’s a great role model for our future Lady Lions. We’re excited for this next stage of her life.”
The favorite moment or event in Conger’s high school career came last season.
“Definitely winning a District championship,” Conger said. “We faced so much adversity in that game, losing Rayana (Burns, with an injury). I’ve never been a part of a team that’s been any closer than that. We all really came together and we ended up getting the win.”
Washington defeated Vinton County, 47-45 to secure the program’s second-ever District title.
“That was easily one of the best memories I’ve ever had,” Conger said.
In a few short months, Conger will be off to the Windy City to make even more memories.
Chicago is the third-largest city in America, following New York City and Los Angeles.