Illinois Signs Dixon Consensus All-State Guard Tara Michels To National
Letter of Intent
IL --- One old-school word immediately comes to mind when describing
new Northern Illinois University womens basketball recruit
and Dixon High School consensus All-State guard Tara Michels.
give her a look, shell put it down, seventh-year Huskie
womens cage boss Carol Hammerle said about her latest National
Letter of Intent signee Tuesday (April 27). Tara can nail
it from beyond 20 feet.
impressive hardwood credentials only amplify her marksmanship and
Shes more than a one-dimensional player. She can put
the ball on the floor and drive, too, Hammerle said. We
feel we can run her at the one (point guard) or two (shooting guard).
In our offense, Tara will get her looks with all our ball screens.
Shes seen it all---double teams and box and ones, you name
it. Shes strong, she keeps it (ball) high, and she has a quick
release. Her shooting style is similar to Charbea Haller (NIU letter-winner
in 1996-97 through 1999-2000).
First of all,
the 5-foot-8 backcourt standout made five All-State units---(1)
Second-Team Champaign News-Gazette All-State, (2) Third-Team Associated
Press Class AA All-State, (3) Third-Team Chicago Sun-Times All-State,
(4) Fourth-Team Illinois Basketball Coaches Association Class AA
All-State, and (5) Honorable Mention Chicago Tribune All-State.
the DHS three-sport standout has been selected to participate for
the Class AA South Squad in the 2004 IBCA All-Star Game on June
19 at Illinois Wesleyan University.
Best of all,
Michels ruled the 2004 Illinois High School Associations Queen
of the Hill three-point basket competition with 10 treys in the
final 60-second competition downstate last March. During the 2003-04
campaign, Michels canned an IHSA record 39 consecutive free throws,
produced a school-record 84 treys, and converted 184-of-206 free
throws (89.3 percent) for a 20-9 Duchess quintet that placed second
in the North Central Illinois Conference.
Michels attended Hammerles Northern Illinois summer basketball
camp as a junior high player. Tara won the MVP or best offensive
player one year, Hammerle said. We started following
her. She really started improving as a junior and then we really
went after her this past season.
four-season varsity career at Dixon, Michel accumulated 2,006 career
points---including 276 three-pointers (fifth-best total in IHSA
girls basketball history), 511 free throws (seventh-best in
IHSA annals), and 102 double-figure scoring appearances for head
coach Gary Morrison. In three of her four campaigns, Michels made
at least one All-State list (Honorable Mention All-State as a frosh
and a soph). As a senior, Michel averaged 22.1 points, 5.8 rebounds,
3.2 assists, and 1.9 steals per game, plus made the all-tourney
squads at the DeKalb Thanksgiving, Harlem Christmas, and Dixon Holiday
tournaments and served as team captain.
Dixon Telegraph Area Player of the Year, she earned All-NCIC honors
four times in basketball (First-Team as a junior and a senior, Second-Team
as a soph and a frosh). The accolades didnt stop with basketball.
Michels earned First-Team All-Area and Second-Team All-NCIC notice
as a senior and a sophomore in volleyball, plus NCIC All-Academic
recognition in both volleyball and basketball. Overall, she won
12 varsity DHS letters---basketball (4), volleyball (4), and track
(4)---and started four years in basketball and volleyball.
also played three years of Amateur Athletic Union basketball for
the Illinois Pacesetters and head coach John Waring. She has
great leadership qualities, Hammerle added. Tara is
constantly talking to her teammates and giving positive reinforcement.
Illinois, Michels will enroll in the Honor Program---possibly with
a double major in business and criminology. In the classroom at
DHS, she was a member of the National Honor Society, will graduate
ninth in her class with a 4.10 cumulative grade point average, scored
a 30 on the ACT, and participated in several extracurricular activities---such
as senior class president, student council, school newspaper, school
yearbook, prom committee, etc. Michels won the Young Woman
of Tomorrow Award from the Sauk Valley YWCA, plus was a finalist
for Illinois State Scholar and the national Wendys Heisman