Growing up in Falmouth, Alexa Coulombe always envisioned herself playing basketball at Boston College. Her dreams will soon become reality.

Coulombe, the talented 6-foot-2 junior at McAuley High in Portland, verbally committed to attend BC on a full basketball scholarship.

“It was a no-brainer for me,” said Coulombe, who also plays for the New England Crusaders AAU team in Nashua, N.H. “I’ve always wanted to go to BC. The offer came in early before the summer viewing period. I took my time about it, made some visits to other campuses. When I went (to BC) for a visit about a week ago, I committed.

“I think this is better for me. I ended (the recruiting process) before it all started. Now I can focus on school and the school season and the next one after that.”

Coulombe is regarded as perhaps the best defensive center in the state. She averaged six blocked shots per game last year as a sophomore, including 16 in one game, with 10 points and 13 rebounds. According to ESPNU Hoopgurlz Terrific 25, a national scouting service, Coulombe is ranked 19th in the nation in the class of 2012.

Wil Smith, her former coach at McAuley, wasn’t surprised by Coulombe’s decision to go to BC, which plays in the Atlantic Coast Conference.

“I thought last year, even though she didn’t make All-State, that she was probably one of the four most dominant players in the state,” he said. “She carried us offensively when Rebecca (Knight) was hurt, she carried us defensively, she brought the ball up to help us break presses. She did it all and she was still learning.

“I think when it’s all said and done, she can be one of the state’s best ever.”

Smith is now working at the Berkshire School in Sheffield, Mass. McAuley is now coached by Amy Vachon, who watched Coulombe play this summer and was especially impressed with her all-around game.

“One of the biggest things is that she gets it, she understands the game,” said Vachon. “She understands where to be, how to get there and when to get there. I’ve never seen a high school girl in Maine block shots like her.”

Coulombe, who likely will play on the wing in college, said she has much to work on. “My ballhandling, outside shooting, getting my teammates involved, seeing the whole floor,” she said. “That’s what I’m going to concentrate on.”

McAuley should be one of the Class A contenders this year, with Coulombe and Knight, who has accepted a scholarship to the University of Maine.

Staff Writer Mike Lowe can be contacted at 791-6422 or at:

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