By BRIAN CUNNIFF
Gabby Turco has had colleges from all levels showing interest in her basketball skills, including some Division I schools.
But soon after the 5-10 rising senior forward engaged with Division II St. Anselm College, she knew she had found her fit.
Turco, who averaged 16 points and 7.2 rebounds per game for the Crusaders last season as a junior, has verbally committed to the New Hampshire school, which finished 22-10 overall and reached the Elite Eight of the NCAA Division II Tournament last season.
Turco said she became enamored with St. Anselm during an official visit to the school in early July.
“I’d never been to New Hampshire before but the campus is really nice and it’s five minutes from the city of Manchester,” Turco said. “It’s a smaller kind of school and I really like that kind of atmosphere. It’s kind of like here where everybody knows everyone and their basketball community is really big.
“I really liked the family culture vibes they have and the vibes I got from the coaches.”
Turco said St. Anselm had first seen her play while she was competing with her AAU team, the Cherry Hill-based Jersey Dream, at a tournament in Boston in the spring.
“They showed a lot of interest right away,” she said.
St. Anselm offered Turco a full scholarship during her unofficial visit. Turco was scheduled to take an official visit to the school this weekend but a conflict prevented the trip.
“I kind of took my time to think (about St. Anselm’s offer) and talk it over with my family,” Turco said. “But the more I thought about it the more I really wanted to go there. I was going to commit during my official visit this weekend but then when I couldn’t go I just decided to tell them I was committing.”
Turco played her first two seasons of high school basketball at Washington Township. Her family moved to Cape May County before the start of last scholastic year. Her parents are natives of the Wildwoods.
“The help and support I get from everyone down here — my trainer, T. John Casiello, (Wildwood Catholic) coach Steve (DiPatri) and everyone in the Catholic family, including my teammates — they’ve helped shape me into the player I am now,” Turco said.
Turco said she had also received interest from Division I New Jersey Institute of Technology, Florida Institute of Technology and Fairleigh Dickinson; Division II Goldey Beacom; and some Division III schools.
But the recruiting process is now finished following her commitment to St. Anselm.
“It’s kind of like a weight off my shoulders and now I can focus on academics and the season with Wildwood Catholic,” Turco said. “That can be my main focus. I don’t have to worry about that whole process anymore.”