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Morton Times-News - Morton, IL
  • Livingston to ascend to Illinois basketball

  • Sarah Livingston's long recruiting process officially came to a close Nov. 14 when she signed her Letter of Intent with the University of Illinois.
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  • Sarah Livingston's long recruiting process officially came to a close Nov. 14 when she signed her Letter of Intent with the University of Illinois.
    The Morton High School senior will play Big Ten Conference women's basketball for the Fighting Illini.
    "It's really weird thinking I'll be playing in the Big Ten," she said. "I'm excited to play teams like Michigan and Purdue that I grew up watching."
    Livingston said she made the difficult decision based on the coaching staff, which features first-year head coach Matt Bollant, the facilities and her five incoming classmates.
    Oklahoma State and DePaul also were finalists for the all-state forward.
    "It's a weight off my shoulders. I'm excited and relieved to have this done," said Livingston.
    To gear up for the transition to the Division-I level, Livingston said she plans to bulk up, work on her ballhandling and increase confidence in her perimeter game.
    She projects to play either the power forward or center position for Illinois.
    Livingston was ranked the 17th-best power forward and the No. 93 overall recruit in the Class of 2013 by Collegiate Girls Basketball Report.
    The same organization listed Illinois' class fourth among Big Ten programs and 25th nationally.
    It has been a fast rise for Livingston, who said she started taking basketball seriously as a Morton freshman, steering attention away from volleyball.
    Livingston enters her senior season No. 1 on the Potter career list with 276 blocks. She is third with 734 rebounds and sixth with 1,148 points.
    In 2011-12, Livingston led the team with 14.5 points and 7.8 rebounds per game, along with 87 steals and 83 blocks. She shot 56 percent from the floor.
    Morton has won 76 games in Livingston's three seasons, including a record-tying 31 last year.
    She will miss some time initially with an ankle injury. Not worried about long-term effects, Livingston said being sidelined was annoying more than anything.
    Livingston is undecided on a major, but is leaning toward the business field.
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