Ashland Paul Blazer's Julia Heaberlin is surrounded by family, friends and coaches as she signs with Rio Grande
Wed, May. 9, 2012 - [Women's Basketball]
Rio Grande Sports Information
ASHLAND, Ky. - University of Rio Grande women's basketball head coach David Smalley has announced the signing of Ashland Paul Blazer High standout Julia Heaberlin for the 2012-13 season.
Heaberlin, a 5-foot-11 forward, averaged 10 points and nine rebounds per game for head coach Bill Bradley's Tomkittens, who finished 29-7 following a 63-59 loss to Magoffin County in the first round of the Kentucky High School Sweet Sixteen. "I love the fact that I get to keep playing," Heaberlin said. "Basketball has been in my life for a while, so I'm glad I get to keep playing. And I love the thought that I'll be playing not far from home. I just feel like I fit in there."
Heaberlin, who did not miss a day of school - aside from those involving a school function - during her 13 years in the Ashland school system, was a starter for the Tomkittens as both a junior and a senior. The program posted a 56-12 record during that period, including a 16th Region championship last season.
Heaberlin was named to the 64th District All-Tournament team each of the past two seasons and was named to both the 16th Region All-Tournament Team and the Ashland Daily Independent's All-Area Team during her junior campaign. She also earned All-Tournament honors at the Huntington (W.Va.) St. Joseph's Invitational Tournament as a junior.
"Playing at the collegiate level has been not only a goal, but a dream of mine as well," Heaberlin said. "I love basketball and didn't want it to end with high school."
Smalley said he's excited to add Heaberlin to his program.
"First, she's a great kid and comes from a tremendous background. As a player, she has a good skill set inside which I think will help us," he said. "She did a great job in the scrimmage during the Athletic Recruiting Day we hosted recently. Some of our players were saying, ‘We have to get her.'".
Heaberlin chose Rio Grande after also receiving interest from the RedStorm's arch-rival Shawnee State, as well as Union (Ky.) and Salem (W.Va.) International.
Heaberlin has yet to decide on a field of study, although she hinted at an interest in the Fine Woodworking program offered at Rio.
"I feel like I might be able to bring a little bit of muscle to the team, but I think I strongly need to work on my ball-handling skills," she said. "I just want to play all four years, work hard and win."
She is the daughter of Randy and Michelle Heaberlin of Ashland.