St. Francis College was on Maddie Jankowski’s radar even before she was on theirs. The Middle Village, Queens native attended the Terriers’ basketball camp growing up and developed an affinity for the Brooklyn Heights school.
“I knew I wanted to go there for a long time, but my mom and my dad, they wanted me to just wait it out and keep all my options open,” the St. Mary’s of Manhasset rising senior said.
St. Francis was her first visit last October and they offered her in late July. She also checked out Lehigh, George Mason, Fordham and a few Division II schools. But staying close to home and playing in a conference where her family could watch nearly all her games made the difference. Jankowski verbally committed to the NEC school Wednesday.
“My family, my best friends they are all like, ‘We are going to be at every game,’” she said. “I told [coach Brenda Milano] my family is crazy with coming to my basketball games and she started laughing. She was like, ‘Maybe we will get to open up the other half of the gym.’”
The Terriers are getting a budding 5-foot-8 guard who can light up a scoreboard with her sweet shooting stroke. Jankowski’s game has grown in all aspects over the last two seasons playing for the Gaels and the Long Island Xtreme and Ring City AAU teams. She also trains with former Hofstra guard Jason Hernandez.
This summer with Nike Ring City Elite has been a prosperous one that raised her recruiting stock. Jankowski, who played with Boston College guard Kristen Doherty last year with the Xtreme, shared the backcourt with Rutgers-bound stars Syessence Davis and Shakena Richardson of Neptune (N.J.). She believes that experience will be a huge help going into her final year at St. Mary’s.
“From that, my game is more than shooting now,” said Jankowski, who transferred from St. Francis Prep to St. Mary’s after her freshman year.
She scored 22 points, including six 3-pointers, in a win over Midwood last year and netted 20 points on six more triples to end Archbishop Molloy’s season in the CHSAA Class A state quarterfinals. Jankowski, who transferred from St. Francis Prep after her freshman year, is hoping to have a similar impact on a Terriers team that has struggled in recent years, going just 2-27 overall and 1-17 in the conference last season. She will join Medgar Evers guard Jasmin Robinson, an incoming freshman this season.
“I am totally pumped about the possibility of making an impact on the Terriers and in the NEC,” Jankowski said. “Things are looking up in Brooklyn Heights.”
It’s an opportunity she has dreamt of since she was an 11-year-old camper.
“Even when I went on the other visits they were fun,” she said. “But I knew where I wanted to go.”