GJ’s Derrieux, Harrison and Ledebur make college choices
The national letter of intent Jamie Derrieux signed Wednesday was not her first. She’s had one pasted in her baby book her entire life.
The daughter of two college basketball players, Derrieux grew up in gyms.
“It’s just something we do. When we have family over, we go outside and play basketball after dinner,” Derrieux said after signing to play next year at the University of Northern Colorado.
“It was never forced but it was never something I didn’t want to do. I remember I was 3 years old walking around watching my aunt (Jamie Teeters) play at Mesa. Those things definitely influenced me into what I wanted to do.”
Derrieux was one of three Tigers to sign college scholarships Wednesday morning in front of family and dozens of friends and teammates.
Garrett Harrison will play golf at Santa Barbara City College and Luke Ledebur will play men’s tennis at Colorado Mesa.
Harrison looked at several schools before deciding to go to a junior college, play a lot of golf and then transfer to a four-year school.
“It was a long thought process,” he said. “We started last July and decided two weeks ago. It was kind of stressful; I built some good relationships with coaches and it was kind of hard to tell them I found a school I’m going to like.”
The weather in Santa Barbara was something he just couldn’t turn down, knowing he can play golf every day.
“You can’t beat it. I tested out of a lot of classes there and will probably take classes three days a week,” he said. “They don’t play a fall season but they play 22 tournaments in the spring, almost two every week, on Mondays and Fridays.
“It’s going to be tough in the spring but in the fall I’ll go to school and get all that stuff done.”
Ledebur won’t have to adjust to another town, but does have some big changes ahead — playing singles and doubles in the same dual match.
“My first two years on the high school team I played doubles and I didn’t like it as much as singles,” he said. “My junior and senior years I played singles. I’m not as good a doubles player and that’s something I need to work on. I’m going to have to get good at both.”
He’s known CMU tennis coach Dan MacDonald for several years, which Ledebur said helped him make his decision. He’s planning to play several tournaments, maybe even skipping his final year of playing in the 18-under age group and enter open divisions, and work on that doubles game.
“More than just a couple,” he said, grinning at the thought of entering doubles tournaments. As his game progressed in high school, Ledebur started thinking college tennis was possible.
“When I first started, I didn’t think I could from where I was,” said Ledebur, who was sporting a Colorado Mesa polo shirt at the signing ceremony. “I’ll look at everything and see what I need to do to improve on my game.”
Derrieux will start the next phase of her career in June, when she moves to Greeley and starts taking classes and getting to know her new teammates.
She played with two of her future teammates in The Show all-star game last week, giving her a glimpse of playing against Division I talent with the 20 top players in the state.
Signing a college scholarship was enough to make Wednesday a good day, but Derrieux’s day got even better when she learned she made the Denver Post’s Class 5A All-State first team.
The baby book letter of intent was given to Derrieux’s parents, Dennis and Jill (Teeters), by their former coaches at Mesa before Jamie was even born. She considered their alma mater, but after she visited the Greeley campus, she knew she would be heading to UNC to play Division I basketball.
“I never thought it would be like that,” she said of that moment she knew she’d found her school. “I was making pros and cons lists about every place. Honestly, the only con I had was some days it smells bad. Honestly, that’s nothing.
“It’s exactly what I was looking for.”