DePaul Seniors Depart Well-Traveled

The roads led from Chicago King College Prep H.S. and Chicago Marist H.S. on the Southside, from Chicago Resurrection H.S. on the Northwest side, and from Engineering & Science H.S. in Philadelphia.

These roads led Taylor Pikes, Maureen Mulchrone, Deanna Ortiz and Keisha Hampton to the corner of Belden Avenue and Sheffield Avenue in Chicago where they would spend their next four years playing basketball for DePaul University.

The contributions of these four over the past three years led to three straight NCAA tournament appearances including a Sweet Sixteen appearance last year.

But this season, their final one, could not have been more unlike what one dreams a senior year should be like.

Their head coach, Doug Bruno, drawing on his 26 years of collegiate coaching, sums it up.

"I don't know that I have ever had a Senior Day where three of the seniors have not been able to play."

Pikes missed the entire year and Mulchrone and Hampton missed most of the year with various injuries.

But they were there emotionally, emoting during the pre-game huddle and, when able, standing and cheering their teammates who were on the floor.

Pikes, the Big East's 6th Man of the Year last year and who earned DePaul's Rebounding, Most Improved and Shirley Becker Academic Award following the 2010-11 season.

Mulchrone, who averaged 4.4 ppg and 2.7 rpg this year before injuring her back and who scored a career-high 11 points against the University of Arkansas.

Ortiz, who was nominated by her team to the school's Captains Council and who led DePaul in assist/turnover ratio this year.

Hampton, a preseason All-America nominee this year, DePaul's 11th all-time leading scorer with 1,574 points, and with 22 games at DePaul scoring 20 or more points.

All four of them great contributors on the court, on the team, and in the classroom.

Again, Bruno: "they are all smart, funny and fun to be around."

And the roads that led these four seniors to DePaul also led them out of DePaul, on team trips that included visits to Alcatraz prison, to Pearl Harbor, to France to learn about the philosophical moorings of Saint Vincent de Paul, and to the World War II beaches of Normandy as part of DePaul University's effort to create well-rounded human beings.

"The women in this year's senior class have given a lot to DePaul and I think DePaul has given a lot to our senior class," said Bruno. "And that is the way it should be."

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