Doreo joins high school teammate at Grand View University
RIVERSIDE — Ever since Anna Sweeting signed to play basketball at Grand View University two years ago, she has been lobbying head coach Garey Smith to add former high school teammate Kelsey Doreo to the Vikings’ roster.
On Thursday, Sweeting and Doreo became teammates once more when Doreo, a senior at Highland High School, signed a letter of intent to play basketball for the Vikings.
“Anna kept telling us to keep an eye out,” said Smith, who has been the head coach at Grand View for 13 seasons and has coached for 37 years. “And she was very specific on who to keep an eye on.”
Doreo, the daughter of Keith and Dawnell Doreo, proved worth watching in her high school career. The 5-foot-10 post player finished her career among the top 10 players in school history in rebounds (eighth, 416), blocks (eighth, 51), games played (eighth, 79) and games started (seventh, 67).
This past season, Doreo averaged 8.7 points and 5.7 rebounds per game to lead Highland, which finished 13-11, in both categories this past season and earn second team All-Southeast Iowa Super Conference North Division honors. Doreo finished her career with 545 points and 416 rebounds in 79 games.
Still, she drew more interest from colleges who wanted her to play volleyball. But she’s loved basketball since she began playing the sport in third grade.
“Most of the schools that recruited me wanted me to play volleyball, but I chose basketball,” Doreo said. “That’s my favorite sport. I’m pumped to go up and play next year.”
When Doreo began playing in a basketball league in Lone Tree in third grade, she was the tallest player on the team. Ever since then, she’s always been a post player, but she will have to play outside the paint in college.
“I’ve always been the tallest kid in my class,” Doreo said. “I’ve always been down in the post. So it’s going to be a huge change having to move out. I have to work on my threes and my ball handling, which is what I’ll be doing all summer.”
With that kind of work ethic, Highland head girls’ basketball coach Jody Fink predicted that Doreo will be successful in her college basketball career.
“If she wants to go and work hard and improve, the sky’s the limit for what she can accomplish,” Fink said. “She can do a lot of things for them and help out, especially rebounding and defensively.”
Smith was excited about signing Doreo, who he said is not only a good player, but also a good student and a good person.
“She is a great student. She fits our style of play. She’s going to work hard. Anything we ask her to do, she’ll work hard and get better at it,” Smith said. “I like her personality. She’ll fit right in.”
Doreo chose to sign with Grand View not only because the school has a successful women’s basketball program — the Vikings finished 22-7 and advanced to the second round of the NAIA national tournament — but also because she liked the school’s nursing program.
She also chose Grand View after some long talks with her former high school teammate, who will now be her future college teammate.
“I have talked to [Anna] a ton about this,” Doreo said. “She’s definitely been my biggest supporter about going there.”