High School Basketball

Brunori returns to Hilton Head Prep for senior season

Wake Forest recruit back from year in New Jersey

ccox@islandpacket.comAugust 23, 2012 

Jill Brunori has returned to Hilton Head Prep to finish out her high school career before moving on to play basketball at Wake Forest.

FILE -- THE ISLAND PACKET

Dan Sheehan has yet to coach his first game for the Hilton Head Prep girls basketball team, but he's already notched a check-mark in the win column.

And it's a victory that could lead to many more for the Dolphins during the upcoming season.

Senior Jill Brunori, who played for Prep from eighth grade to her sophomore year, has returned to the Dolphins after one season at St. John Vianney High School in Holmdel, N.J. The 6-foot guard, who has collected nearly 30 basketball scholarship offers, originally left Hilton Head Island due to family reasons but has come back to finish her high school career where it all started.

"The choice to come back had nothing to do with basketball," she said. "It was more of a personal, family-oriented choice. I wanted to spend senior year at home where I grew up."

The forward -- who committed to Wake Forest University in the summer -- played in 16 games last season for the Lancers and averaged 11.3 rebounds and a Shore Conference best 5.7 steals per game, good for a spot on the All-Shore third team.

Despite her success, Brunori still decided to return home to the area where she grew up. Her commitment to the Demon Deacons helped make that choice possible, Brunori said.

"Basketball-wise it would have been a better option to probably stay up in New Jersey for senior year," said Brunori, who will play for a Dolphins team that went 8-17 last season. "But considering I was making a decision by the end of the summer for college, my family and I decided it was for the best to be happiest where I wanted to go to school."

Brunori's first collegiate offer came from coach Dawn Staley and the University of South Carolina following her sophomore season with the Dolphins, but the forward verbally committed to the Deacs over St. John's and George Washington.

She'll suit up at Wake for first-year coach Jen Hoover, who is the school's career record holder in points and rebounds. Wake Forest went 20-14 last season and lost in the second round of the Women's NIT.

"I went there and loved the coaches, loved the school and loved the campus," Brunori said. "I loved the basketball team. It came down to being the best fit for me personally."

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