Heather Robben knows people might not understand her decision. They'll call her crazy, say she's out of touch with reality. By her own admission, people might even think she's stupid.
But let's be clear about something — she doesn't care what anybody else thinks. Not one bit.
"You know when something feels right and when it doesn't," Robben said. "And if I don't feel comfortable, then there's nothing else to it."
Robben, a Maize product, turned down a scholarship offer from Texas Christian to return to Hutchinson Community College for her sophomore season after leading the Blue Dragons to their first Region VI title since 1977.
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Even her coach, John Ontjes, was surprised.
"It's a $37,000 a year education she turned down, so yes, I was kind of shocked," Ontjes said. "But she feels comfortable here... she's happy here. And I think, in her mind, she's still got something to prove."
Robben, a 5-foot-9 guard, averaged 14.7 points and 5.9 rebound last season.
And with both Robben and 5-11 forward Ariel McGhee — the Region VI MVP — returning, expectation are sky-high for Hutchinson this season. The Blue Dragons are picked to win the Jayhawk West, ranked 10th in the country and Robben is a preseason All-American.
And instead of jetting to places like Las Vegas, San Diego and Salt Lake City to try and win games, Robben will find herself battling it out — via bus trips — in Pratt, Colby and El Dorado for a chance to come back to Wichita in March.
Glamorous? Hardly. Fulfilling? For Robben, most definitely.
"Winning Region VI last year was one of the funnest things I've ever been a part of," Robben said. "We weren't supposed to win it, and we did. We want to get back there again. I don't know what's going to happen with the schools that are looking at me, or where I'm going to end up at after I leave here... but there's nowhere I'd rather be right now than right where I'm at."