With colleiate basketball career over, Jude Schimmel looks to the future
ALBANY, NEW YORK – As the buzzer sounded at the Times Union Center in downtown Albany last Saturday, the Louisville Cardinals found themselves in a early exit in the Women’s NCAA March Madness tournament when compared to the previous two seasons.
The No. 7 seed Dayton Flyers pulled out another improbable win over the No. 3 seed Cardinals just like they had done previously with the No. 2 seed Kentucky the game before.
Every March Madness tournament has its “Cinderella” squad that busts the brackets by lifting their game to another level and this years Dayton squad is that team looking to crash the party.
But for the five seniors from the Louisville squad, including Indian Country’s very own Jude Schimmel (Umatilla), this marked the last time they would wear the uniforms in competition. Heralded as the winningest class in Louisville women’s basketball history, in some regards, this team over achieved after losing a majority of the scoring from last season’s senior class that was led by Jude’s sister Shoni.
“I think it’s been a great year, I’m not going to lie” Head coach Jeff Walz said. “There were a lot of question marks about what we were going to do. To be 27-7, I’m thrilled.”
Jude Schimmel, the Cardinals’ senior floor leader, hit just four of her 23 shots and finished with 11 points in her final career game.
“It’s always frustrating when you can’t get shots to fall, but at the end of the day I feel like it was our defense and our rebounding that kind of lost the game for us,” Schimmel said.
With Jude finishing her college playing career now, her future has been something that has been widely debated. From early reports, she plans to see about her prospects of possibly playing in the WNBA. In a preseason interview, Jude talked about her post-season options. She said,
“I’m in the graduate program for sports administration right now, so if the professional basketball thing doesn’t work out then I’ll probably just end up managing Shoni.”
Reaching the WNBA level is quite a bit more challenging than reaching the NBA as the WNBA only has 12 teams and in the WNBA draft there are only three rounds to draft from. But if there is one player that can achieve that goal it is Jude.
Head coach Jeff Walz said, “When she (Jude) came in as a freshman, everybody was like, ‘Oh, she’ll never play.’ But we loved her out of high school. The kid’s a fighter, the kid’s a competitor and that’s what she’s shown for three years.”
At Jude’s senior game back in February, Jude told ndnsports.com special correspondent Patti Tanewasha that she intends to write a book titled “Dream Catcher” after the season was complete. Jude said, “It’s about where I grew up, and were I came from. My experiences since I was a little kid until now I want to inspire hope, and good qualities into people. Giving people a story to be inspired by.”
Jude now closes the chapter from her and Shoni’s documentary by Hock Films titled, “Off the Rez”, which thrust Shoni and Jude onto the national stage. It was a movie that documented the careers of Shoni and Jude in High School on their quest to obtain college scholarships and possibly play professionally. We know how Shoni’s story has followed through but now we will wait and see what prospects lie ahead for the younger sister Jude.
Editor’s Note: This article first appeared in NDNSports.com. Used with permission. All rights reserved. Photo by Ryan Coody.