It was a special night for Trinity Lutheran High School senior Bailey Tabeling on Wednesday inside the Bollinger Athletic Complex.
Although verbally committing over the summer, Tabeling put pen to paper on Wednesday to make it official by signing her national letter of intent to continue her basketball career at Ohio University.
“It’s a really good feeling,” Tabeling said. “It also just takes all the pressure off, so now, I can just enjoy senior year and have a good time with my team, not have to worry about who’s watching or anything like that. It’s a really special moment.”
There was a good showing for Tabeling’s signing, as well. Family, friends, coaches and teammates were all there to celebrate with the Cougar senior.
Before signing, Tabeling thanked everyone for being there and showed gratitude for all of their support along her journey.
“Having all these people come out and support me, it just shows me how much support I have behind me,” she said.
Tabeling is now the second player over the last four years to go play Division I basketball from Trinity Lutheran. Sydney Jaynes was the last, and she is currently playing at Butler University.
Tabeling is part of a five-player class joining the Bobcats in 2023-24.
Two others are from Indiana, too. Monica Williams played at Lawrence North, and Aisah Baxter played at Warren Central. Alyasia Fantroy is from Texas and Emma Barnett is from Kentucky to round out the recruiting class.
Tabeling just got back from her official visit to Ohio last weekend. She stuck around to watch the Bobcats’ first game on Monday against Long Island University.
“It was good,” Tabeling said. “It was nice to see their coaching style and how they play in person. It was a nice, good experience. The other commits were there, as well, so I got to spend some time with them, as well.”
Being back on campus last week just reminded Tabeling why she chose Ohio over the summer, and she’s excited to get her career started there.
“The coaching staff is just amazing. The players were welcoming,” she said. “We got another campus tour, and it was awesome, reaffirming it was definitely where I want to go.”
But before Tabeling becomes a Bobcat, she has got one more season as a Cougar.
The senior is coming off of a season in 2021-22 where she averaged 19.8 points per game to lead the team. Not only did she lead her team in scoring, but she also led the Cougars in rebounds (7.8), assists (4.7), steals (3.0) and blocks (1.4).
In her career, Tabeling has 1,583 points, which ranks third on the school’s career scoring list. She’s 11 points shy of surpassing her sister, Brittany, at 1,593, and she’s 16 points short of becoming the all-time leading scorer, which belongs to the aforementioned Jaynes at 1,598.
Tabeling will start to climb her way up that list on Tuesday when the Cougars open the season at Brownstown Central.
She said the excitement level is high for her and her teammates to get this season underway.
“I’m ready to just get it going,” Tabeling said. “We’ve been practicing for a couple weeks now, so the anticipation is really high.”