By Jeff Holt
Published February 8, 2023 in The Burg
The great thing about a junior college is the opportunity that it gives a student athlete.
Galesburg native Sophia Gugliotta is a perfect example of that.
The 5-foot-9 Gugliotta did not have too much of a basketball resume when she enrolled at Carl Sandburg College. She just wanted to play hoops.
"She (Gugliotta) has had an amazing season. I'm so proud of 'Soph,'" said Chargers coach Kellen Fernetti. "She came to us late August and wanted an opportunity to play. She has just gotten better and better."
Continued Coach Fernetti, "She started pretty much since game 5. She had a big role coming off the bench early for us. We had some injuries and we lost a couple sophomores - one for the year and one for an extended period of time. Soph came in ready for the first game that she started - she had 12 points and 18 rebounds. From there, she has solidified that starting position for us."
Last week, Gugliotta nearly had a double-double in Carl Sandburg College's 71-50 victory over Kishwaukee. She connected on 5 of 10 shots from the field for 11 points, along with pulling down 8 rebounds.
Beyond the stats, Gugliotta has improved her overall game. On offense, you can't leave her open for a shot and she's able to drive to the hoop with a pull-up jumper. Then on defense, she is a taller guard at 5-9 with a wingspan that makes it tough to shoot over. There's a scrappiness to her on defense, too, that causes havoc on any opposing offense.
Added Coach Fernetti, right after his team's win over Kishwaukee, "Her defense was outstanding. She was on their leading scorer the majority of the time."
Gugliotta also had a double-double of 14 points and 12 rebounds earlier this season against Madison College.
But she is just enjoying the overall experience of playing basketball at Carl Sandburg College.
"I love our connection," said the 20-year-old Gugliotta. "Everybody here is so nice. There is never drama. Everyone is so individually different, but we all come together as one and I love that."
Academically, Gugliotta is set to graduate from Carl Sandburg College and she currently has a perfect 4.0 grade point average.
She laughed and said, "A 4.0 GPA ... schools check me out - Sophia Gugliotta."
Still smiling from ear to ear, she added, "I absolutely love school at Sandburg. I would sponsor it if I could. I'm heavy on telling everybody about Sandburg. The professors and everyone are really nice."
(Photo credit: Bill Gaither/Carl Sandburg College)