Sophomore center Hillary Klimowicz made it to the cover of Sports Illustrated. She is not being drafted by the WNBA or posing for the swimsuit issue; instead, Klimowicz is on the cover as a Lions athlete.
Klimowicz is part of the feature “Big Changes in College Sports,” written by SI women’s college basketball reporter Kelli Anderson in the March 5 issue. The article focuses on the changes in Division I sports and what causes student athletes to leave those programs.
The College’s low-post terror is a featured athlete because of her decision to transfer from Division I St. Joseph’s University to the College. Klimowicz’s decision was based on education and extracurricular activities, not athletics.
“I’m big on extracurriculars and I couldn’t do that at St. Joseph’s,” she said. “I spent so much time on basketball in a day and did not concentrate in school enough.”
Klimowicz said that St. Joseph’s did not focus on education and extracurricular programs as much as the College. Division I schools like St. Joseph’s put so much importance on athletic programs that the true concept of the student-athlete is sometimes forgotten.
“There is so much wear and tear on your body I don’t think I could’ve lasted,” Klimowicz said about if she had stayed at St. Joseph’s to play basketball.
As a freshman at St. Joseph’s, Klimowicz started as a freshman and averaged 9.1 points, 7.4 rebounds and two blocks a game for the Hawks. With the Hawks, she was named the Atlantic 10 and Big Five Rookie of the Year. That same year, Candice Dupree from Temple University, currently in the WNBA, won Player of the Year honors in the same conference.
Had Klimowicz stayed at St. Joseph’s, she could be following Dupree to the WNBA, but Klimowicz hasn’t even considered reaching that level.
Since basketball does not dominate her life as it once did, the psychology major and former Division I prospect is looking to explore other options for a future career. The Scotch Plains native hopes to receive a Ph.D. in psychology, coach college basketball or even join the Peace Corps.