This coming weekend, the New York state high school basketball champions will be crowned.

After dropping 27 in the regional round, my Athlete of the Week is looking to get through the semifinals and celebrate a state title for the second time in three years.

“Julia is special. She always has been. She’s always had a drive. She’s always had this mentality that no one can stop her. She doesn’t really even know it, which is crazy to me,” said SCC Head Coach Colleen Jayne.

If you’ve ever seen Julia Hauer play basketball, you know just how special she is on the court.

Hauer and the Seton Catholic Central Saints are back in familiar territory this season, the final four.

Last year, the Saints fell to Jamesville-DeWitt in the semifinals, while two years ago, Seton won the Class B State and Federation championships.

As far as this year goes, Hauer is hopeful that she, and fellow senior Marina Maerkl, can bring that state title back to SCC.

“That would be really cool. Yeah, I want to do that with this team. We’re really like a family, and I want to be able to have my family there. And get everything done like we did two years ago,” Hauer says.

Seton head coach Colleen Jayne has been coaching Julia for the last several years, and she can see how badly Julia wants to win again.

But, as Colleen says, not for herself, but for her basketball family.

“For me, it would just be so much more special for her, and obviously this group. She wants it more for everybody else. She keeps telling me ‘I want them to get there. I want them to experience this, it’s so special and they need to feel it’ because she feels so much about this group.”

That feeling she wants the whole team to experience is one of the many tremendous accomplishments that Julia has achieved in her time as a Saint.

Her hard work and skill have been rewarded with a Division I scholarship to play basketball at Siena come the fall.

It’ll be a reunion for Julia and former Seton teammate Hanna Strawn, with Strawn just completing her freshman season for the Saints.

“It’s going to be great. We already know each other so well. Me and Hanna have been playing since we were like 1st graders together. We’ve always had that bond between us. So, I know it’s going to be great for us.”

So, you pair a D1 scholarship with the possibility of a second state championship, scoring over 1,000 career points, and securing over 1,000 career rebounds, and it’s hard to decide which of those stands out as the crowning memory.

But, when I asked Julia what her favorite memory was, it wasn’t even something that happened in a game.

“Coach Ju-Juing at states two years ago. Or federations, I don’t know, whatever one we won, she Ju-Jued, and that’s probably…”

“So, that beats the winning feeling?”

“Yeah. (Laughs)”

Hopefully for coach Jayne, Julia, and the rest of the Saints, there will be a lot more dancing to do come Sunday afternoon.

Seton and Sewanhaka tip off at 9:00 am Saturday morning.

The winner plays for the Class A title Sunday at 10:00 am.