Katie Borowicz has another season to go at Roseau High School. This will be her fourth as the starting point guard on Roseau’s girls’ basketball team, her sixth with the varsity. Expectations up near the Canadian border are high.
But, in some ways, Borowicz already feels like a Gopher.
Borowicz is expected to sign a national letter of intent Wednesday to play for Lindsay Whalen at the University of Minnesota next season. She should be part of a three-person class that includes Watertown-Mayer wing Maggie Czinano and Alanna Micheaux, a physical, 6-2 power forward at Wayne (Mich.) Memorial High School.
Even up in Roseau, with her senior season about to start, Borowicz is keeping track of the Gophers. She fell in love with the staff and the team during her official visit late last winter, before the coronavirus pandemic hit. Since the team started practicing this fall the Gophers coaches have been sending out practice film and weekly updates that have Borowicz eager to get to campus.
“I wanted to stay close to home,” said Borowicz, who like Czinano was a Class 2A all-state selection last spring. “I felt it was a perfect fit.”
Like Sara Scalia in Whalen’s first recruiting class, the Gophers are making inroads with in-state players. Borowicz and Czinano are in the fold this year, and already Whalen’s 2022 class includes Chaska’s Mallory Heyer and Eden Prairie’s Nia Holloway.
After a difficult 2019-20 season that saw Destiny Pitts first get suspended and then leave the program, Whalen and her staff have worked extensively to create a team-first culture in the program. And that means recruiting players both for their skills and their attitudes. It would appear this year’s recruiting class fits the bill.
“She’s a competitor,” said Roseau coach Kelsey Didrikson of the 5-6 Borowicz. “She wants to prove she can make it work at this level. Katie is a kid who will up the energy at practice. She’ll compete every day. She’ll make everyone around her better.”
Czinano, whose sister, Monika, was a first-team All-Big Ten player for Iowa last season, also wanted to stay home. She found the recruiting process illuminating.
“One of the things they asked me right away was, ‘What is your dream?’ ” Czinano said, referring to the Gophers coaching staff. “Is it to play in the WNBA? Overseas? I’d never thought about that. It’d be cool to play in Europe.”
Czinano is eager to play against her sister; she’ll have one season to do that. She’s eager to play with Borowicz, Heyer and Holloway. “Growing up in Minnesota, I always watched the Gophers,” Czinano said. “It was a dream to play in-state. Once I got my offer, it was a dream for me.”