Montini Catholic is congratulating senior, Ilysse Pitts for her commitment to Valparaiso University's Basketball Program. Pitts celebrated National Sports Signing Day in November with her commitment to become a Crusader in the fall of 2018.
Montini's 5'6" point guard has been playing basketball since she was in kindergarten. "Growing up I remember watching basketball with my Papa and that's what inspired me to play" she said. "I've been playing travel basketball since fifth grade." Getting an early start on her basketball career has earned Pitts a successful career as a Bronco. She averaged 7 points a game for Montini last year and played a vital role in the Broncos' third place (Class 4A) finish last season. (Last year's stats include 38 three-point shots, 87 rebounds and 81 assists!)
Ilysse is as successful in the classroom as she is on the court. She has earned Academic All Conference status during her sophomore and junior years and is also a High Honor Roll member.
With plans to major in Nursing and/or Psychology, Ilysse also considered offers from the University of Cincinnati, the University of Missouri (Kansas City), Denver University as well as West Point Academy. "The size of the campus, coaching staff, and academics are a few reasons why I picked Valparaiso," she said. "Not to mention it was close to home where my family can come and support me!"
"Both my parents (Ivan and Denise Pitts) are very thrilled about my decision. Valpo is only an hour and a half away from home, so I can still come home to visit my family, and friends when I need to." She credits Montini for helping prepare her for the next chapter in her life. "During my attendance here at Montini, I have been grateful to be able to study at a higher academic level while also broadening my understanding of my spiritual beliefs."
She added, "I'm incredibly grateful for all the opportunities I have been given and I am excited to see what the future holds as I move on to competing at a higher level. I would like to thank the teaching staff, and counselors at Montini who have allowed me to be creative, and have greatly helped me to maintain high honors. I would also like to thank my coaches past and present for pushing me to be the player I am today. Finally, I want to thank my teammates, parents, and close friends for their love and support and believing in my during this wonderful four year journey."
"We wish Illyse the best at Valparaiso," said Athletic Director, Tom Lentine. "We have no doubt she will carry her accomplishments here at Montini into a successful new adventure as a Crusader!"
Illyse is from Aurora and graduated from Gregory Fischer Middle School. She and her family are members of Second Baptist Church of Maywood.