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Papillion-La Vista Monarchs v. Lincoln East Spartans, 2.21.2012

Lincoln East senior Jacqueline Osenbaugh, a basketball standout, has never gotten a grade lower than an A in high school. She'll take her skills to NAIA Taylor University. (KRISTIN STREFF / LJS file photo)

KRISTIN STREFF / Lincoln Journal Star

Jackie Osenbaugh knows what it's like to have options.

The Lincoln East senior's varied skill set on the basketball court meant she could choose between shooting the three-pointer, driving to the basket, posting up inside or using her passing ability to find an open teammate.

It was a similar scenario when it came to picking a college. Between basketball and academics, the straight-A student had a lot of choices, and she couldn't go wrong with any of them.

And that may be why Osenbaugh put off a final decision until just recently, finally going with Taylor University, a private Christian NAIA college in Upland, Ind.

She had scholarship offers from 12 schools, and two of them were for academics only — a Regents Scholarship from Nebraska and a scholarship from Loyola University in Chicago.

The basketball offers came from NAIA, NCAA Division II and Division III schools in the Midwest and on the East Coast. It ranged from Colorado Christian and Minnesota State on the Division II level to Division III schools such as the University of Chicago, Washington University and New York University with national academic reputations.

"I prayed for wisdom on my choice, and I feel that God is calling me to go to Taylor," said Osenbaugh, an all-city girls basketball selection who averaged 16.7 points, 9.4 rebounds, 2.2 steals and 2.4 assists this season for the Spartans.

"They are the No. 1 Midwest regional college for five years running," added Osenbaugh, who intends to major in economics with a minor in finance before pursuing her MBA. "Their combination of academics, basketball and character development seemed like the right fit for me."

As a cross country runner in the fall who does distance events on the track in the spring, hard work and endurance go hand-in-hand for Osenbaugh. It's the same way in the classroom in her final semester of high school with a full workload that challenges her every day.

She has three advanced placement classes — chemistry, psychology and stats — to go along with college accounting, American literature and a government and politics class. Osenbaugh also fits in a weight training class, which should also be useful when she makes the transition to college.

"It's not horrible, I've been able to manage," Osenbaugh said. "I like having a full day because I like being busy and I get to see all my friends. It's getting better in my three AP classes because we're just about done with new material and we're just starting to review for the AP tests at the end of the semester."

Osenbaugh has never had a grade lower than an A, and she says there's been some late-night study sessions and long hours finishing up projects to keep that standard.

"I've had a few times when it (the A) came down to the final test or a project," she said. "There's been a sigh of relief when I've gone online and seen the A."



Reach Ron Powell at 402-473-7437 or



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