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Girls Basketball: Bradley a shoo-in as college choice for Benet’s Emily Eshoo

Family and basketball go together like peas in a pod for Benet’s Emily Eshoo.

The 5-9 senior shooting guard had offers from 15 Division I schools, but Bradley was the place that fit for Eshoo, who recently committed to the Peoria university.

“I think Bradley did a really good job recruiting her,” Benet coach Joe Kilbride said. “She felt at home.

“She missed one of the days of our team camp to visit there and came back and said, ‘I love it there.’ As a coach that’s all you want to hear.”

A hard-nosed, all-around player who earned all-East Suburban Catholic Conference and Naperville Sun second team All-Area honors last winter by averaging 15 points for the Redwings, Eshoo is the eighth member of her extended family to commit to play college basketball and the second Division I player in her immediate household. Her brother Eddie, a 2013 Benet graduate, walked on at Dayton last year.

“It’s pretty neat to be part of a family of basketball players,” Eshoo said. “I’m glad I can make them proud because they’ve been really supportive of me.”

Eshoo’s strong junior season and recent outstanding play for her club team, the Illinois Rockets, led to offers from Cornell, Drake, Western Michigan, Bowling Green, Fairfield, Southeast Missouri State and Nebraska-Omaha.

The list of suitors was surpassed only by the reasons Eshoo chose Bradley, which reminds her a lot of Benet.

“There’s so many things about Bradley that make it a great college,” Eshoo said. “It’s three hours away, so that means my family can come see me play, and that’s important to us.

“Academics are really important to me. Basketball means a lot but academics are going to be able to help me through my life, and Bradley is a strong academy school.

“Like Benet, it’s a private school. It’s not too big and not too small. I won’t be overwhelmed with too many people but there are enough that I can meet new people.”

But what ultimately swayed Eshoo was the family atmosphere at Bradley.

“I think what sets Bradley apart is the coaching staff and the comfort level I felt with them on all my visits,” Eshoo said. “I believe I can get the most out of my abilities because of these coaches’ passion.

“You can really feel the family environment and I felt I could trust them. They’ll be my second family just because of how accepting they and all the girls were to me.”

Eshoo is known foremost for her outside shooting ability, but she has developed a solid mid-range jumper and evolved into a player who is not afraid to do the dirty work of defending and rebounding.

Those skills and the fact that Bradley likes to push the ball make Eshoo a good pickup.

“There is no set point guard so whoever gets the rebound can just go,” Eshoo said. “I like that because I know when I play fast-paced that helps my game get going. I can push the ball up the floor and get easy layups.”

Eshoo said she’s gotten a well-rounded education at Benet and is confident Bradley will provide the same.

“I left there so excited about the whole college experience,” she said. “I think that’s good when you’re choosing a college.”

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