Women's Basketball - Mon, Feb. 18, 2008
CHICAGO - Mary Kusner, a 6-0 senior forward at Maine West High School in Des Plaines, Ill., has signed a letter of intent to continue both her athletic and academic career at Saint Xavier University as a member of the Cougar women's basketball program. Kusner, a Des Plaines native, is coached by Derril Kipp at Maine West and is the daughter of Bob and Eileen Kusner. She averaged 15.9 points, 8.3 rebounds, and 2.0 blocks per game her senior season and was ranked as the No. 1 player in the Central Suburban North Conference.

"Saint Xavier was a perfect fit for me," said Kusner. "My mother and grandmother both went there and the women's basketball program is very successful. I wanted to stay in the Chicagoland area so that my family could continue to see me play. Plus, I wanted to join a program that would help me grow as a player and Saint Xavier University fit both these criteria."

Kusner was recently named to the 20-player 2007-08 Chicago Sun Times All-Area Girl's Basketball Team and, as a junior, was named to the Illinois Basketball Coaches Association (IBCA) All-State Team as a special mention as well as the 2006-07 Daily Herald All-State Special Mention Team. The three-year starter for the Warriors was also an All-Central Suburban pick in volleyball and track. Kusner was a member of the Illinois Hustle AAU team from 2005-07 and helped the team qualify for the 2007 AAU Nationals in Orlando, Fla., in 2007.

"We are very excited to land a player of Mary's caliber," said Hallberg. "She has excelled as a player at Maine West under the direction of Derril Kipp, who has a reputation of being one of the best high school coaches in the state of Illinois. I feel that she can make a significant contribution as an incoming freshman. Along with Michelle Tourtillott of Maine South High School, we have signed two of the top players in the Central Suburban League."

Saint Xavier is having another big season currently 20-6 overall and ranked No. 11 in the latest NAIA Top 25 Rating.