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Most athletes, from the time they first pick up all a ball, dream of playing at the Division I level. Some get that opportunity; some don't.

Crown Point's Hannah Albrecht didn't have her D-I dreams realized when she graduated in 2016, but the talented point guard was more than happy with her opportunity to play at D-II St. Joseph's College this season. She averaged 31 minutes per game for the Pumas with 9.3 points and 1.7 assists.

Everything was going swimmingly until St. Joe's announced it would be closing after this school year. Her hoops dreams turned into a nervous nightmare overnight.

"It was extremely frustrating," Albrecht said. "I had to do the whole process all over again. It was really overwhelming."

Last week, an old AAU coach made a call to IPFW coach Niecee Nelson. Albrecht visited the campus in Fort Wayne, had a tryout and was offered that night. She committed to play for the Mastodons shortly thereafter.

She becomes the third member of her family to play D-I hoops. Brother Stephen played at Brown University, while Spike played at Michigan and just completed his fifth year at Purdue.

"It's a blessing, it really is," Albrecht said. "To get this opportunity is so incredible. It's so exciting."

Albrecht was named the Duneland Athletic Conference's Most Valuable Player in 2016.

She said she couldn't even count all the offers she got from schools around the country, but she wanted to stay close to home, which eliminated many suitors.

She had the most interest from Purdue Northwest and Lewis University, but when IPFW came along the debate was over.

"It worked out perfectly," Albrecht said. "St. Joe's was a good experience. I got to get one year under my belt. I got to step on the floor and play. That door closed and now this one has opened.

"It's just awesome the way things worked out."

Albrecht plans to continue her business major.

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Sports Reporter

Steve has won awards during two different stints at The Times. In addition to being the Prep Beat columnist, he covers football, boys basketball and boys track. He is a long-suffering Cubs fan.