On a visit to UW-Green Bay earlier this year, Julia Hartwig had a discussion with one of the Phoenix women’s basketball assistant coaches.
The coach told the Janesville Parker junior that on any of her college visits, she’d likely have a gut feeling about whether she was in the right or wrong place.
Hartwig knew exactly what she was talking about, because during that visit everything about UW-Green Bay felt perfect.
And on Monday, the 6-foot-2 forward decided she didn’t need to wait any longer. Hartwig announced her verbal commitment to play for the Phoenix via her Twitter account.
“It’s pretty exciting right now,” Hartwig said in a phone interview following her announcement. “When I went up there, I just liked everything about it. There wasn’t a thing I didn’t like.
“They have their own facility that the girls practice in, so the girls practice whenever they want. And (head coach Kevin) Borseth is just a really nice guy—he’s funny, and you can just tell he cares so much in everything he does.”
Hartwig is averaging 16.5 points through the first four games this season.
She averaged 19.0 points and 13.8 rebounds in being named first-team all-Big Eight Conference as a sophomore.
Borseth was in Janesville on Friday night when Parker played Madison East. Hartwig, who was also in contact with Division I programs Fresno State, Wisconsin, Southern Illinois and IUPUI, among others, knew long before that she wanted to go to Green Bay.
“The more time went on, the more I just wanted to commit,” Hartwig said. “They’re going for their 20th consecutive conference championship. They’ve had a really successful program, and I don’t see them not being successful anytime soon with the freshmen and sophomores they have this year.
“It’s fun to know I’m going to go to that kind of program.”
Hartwig said her parents, Brian and Jennah—Parker’s head coach—supported her, along with former coaches, through a recruiting process that was stressful at times. And she appreciated the perspective of her older sister, Ashley, a senior at Truman State.
“She said you can’t go to a school because it looks nice, you have to go because you feel like you should be there,” said Julia Hartwig, also a two-time state track and field medalist in shot put. “There’s been some pressure. I know, especially lately, it’s been feeling like I’ve been having to play to impress instead of just playing to play.”
The Vikings have another busy week ahead. They host Big Eight-leading Sun Prairie on Thursday night and play at crosstown rival Janesville Craig on Saturday night.
“I just want to keep working on things that I need to get better at and just keep getting better every day,” Hartwig said. “We’re working really hard and have a really talented group. We show bits and pieces at times, but we’ve got to put a full game together.
“I think none of us know our full potential, which is exciting. Once we get it together, we’re going to be good. I can’t wait for the pieces to fall into place.”
As far as the next level is concerned, though, the puzzle has already been solved.
When her career at Parker is complete, Hartwig is Green Bay-bound.