When she traveled to Italy with the Muhlenberg women’s basketball team during the summer of 2010, Alexandra Chili fell in love with the culture and European way of life (especially the croissants and cappuccino).
Now, she wants to make another trek across the pond. But this time she hopes the trip will be primarily about business.
After completing one of the most accomplished careers in both Muhlenberg and Centennial Conference history, the two-time All-American was invited to the 2012 Women’s Final Four Combine held in late March in Denver.
Chili was part of a group of about 80 players from all NCAA divisions, as well as former college players, who took part in a series of drills and games played in front of scouts from the WNBA and several European professional leagues.
And just like she had during her time in a Mule uniform, Chili stood out from the rest, thanks in large part to her lethal jump shot.
The school and conference career three-point leader for men or women, Chili knocked down 21 of her 25 attempts from beyond the arc, more than any other player at the combine. Then when teams were picked for the games, she found herself alongside players from conferences like the Big Ten and Pac 12.
And after taking a short while to get used to the thin air in the Mile High City, she felt that she more than held her own despite being one of just a handful of Division III players invited to the event.
“You could really notice the elevation difference,” she said. “But I feel like I played pretty well. I was a little nervous at first, but once we got going I didn’t really think about that.”
Chili played so well, in fact, that she’s already garnered interest from teams in Israel and Italy. Although there have not been any official offers yet, she received positive feedback from the combine’s director, who told her she had the ability to play professionally.
Now comes the hardest part for Chili, who made a habit of scoring points quickly: waiting. She’s done all she could to leave a positive lasting impression for the scouts, and as she gets ready for finals week, she’s anxiously hoping for the phone call that could come as early as today, or not until August or September.
But as she was during her entire career, Chili is prepared. After she dons her cap and gown and graduates in two-and-a-half weeks, she will continue working to improve her game. She has a summer job lined up in case she doesn’t hear back soon, but she’s also put her long-term plans temporarily on hold so she can chase her dream.
It’s not every day that an athlete is given the opportunity to make a living playing the sport they love. Then again, considering she’s the only player in conference history, male or female, to score 2,000 career points, Chili has shown she’s not like every other player.
Now she’s ready for the opportunity to take her game to the next level. All that she needs is a call.
“I had never really thought about playing professionally until this season,” she said. “But when I looked into it, I thought it might be pretty cool. It would be a great to get to live in Europe and experience the culture. I’ll probably never have a chance like this again, so I want to make the most of it.”
“Hopefully I’ll get a call soon; between that and graduation, it would really be time to celebrate.”