WILMINGTON – Over the last few years, Kylie DuCharme has played a lot of basketball, between her AAU team and at Wilmington High School. Her efforts and talent have been noticed – pretty frequently with several Division 1 and Division 2 collegiate programs showing interest, as well as being named to the Boston Herald All-Scholastic team last month.
On Monday afternoon, it was announced on social media that DuCharme has verbally agreed to continue to play basketball at Bentley University starting in the 2021-'22 season.
Over the years there's been a dozen or so former WHS players who have gone out to have outstanding – and record-breaking careers at the collegiate level, all at Division 3 programs. It's been a few decades since anyone played at either D1 or D2, perhaps dating back to the early 1980s with Karen Rowe, who played one season at D1 UMass-Amherst.
DuCharme — who next year at WHS could become the first female to break both 1,000 career points and 1,000 career rebounds — will be playing for the legendary Barbara Stevens, one of six collegiate coaches to have won over 1,000 games in her 34-year career.
"There was a lot I liked about Bentley," said DuCharme. "I loved the campus and I would be getting an amazing education. With basketball, I just thought everything was great. I would be playing for a great program with amazing coaches and players."
Over the last few years, DuCharme had interest from several schools including D1 Providence College and D2 Holy Cross.
"I would say my recruiting process started my freshman year, when my AAU team started to travel more," she said. "I talked to a few D1 and D2 schools but I only visited four or five. I decided on Bentley because I just really loved the campus and thought the program was amazing. I just thought it was an amazing environment I could do well in."
DuCharme has been a three-year member of the WHS team. She was the sixth player for most of her freshman season, but did start a handful of games. She was a key part in the team's post-season run which included knocking off the top seed Lynn Classical.
The last two years as a starter she has really blossomed putting together monster double-double performances. This past winter, she helped the Wildcats win the Middlesex League Freedom Division, finish 17-6 overall and was named the league's MVP. The Wildcats won two more state tournament games over Somerville and Dracut before losing to Pentucket, which included a terrific second half comeback which just fell short, led by DuCharme.
She averaged 18.3 points per game and 18.4 rebounds per game. She currently has 790 career points and 798 career rebounds. If she gets 210 more points, she will join Ashley Vitale as the only other player in program history to reach four-digit status.
"I'm just so happy for Kylie and the DuCharme family," said Wilmington head coach Jess Robinson. "Kylie has worked so hard to earn an offer from Bentley - a fantastic school and one of the top women's basketball programs in the country. Kylie has grown and improved tremendously every year as a basketball player and a leader. I truly feel the sky is the limit for her."
With this decision behind her, and hopefully the pandemic ending soon, DuCharme said she just wants to get back to doing what she loves to do – play hoop.
"Making this decision meant a lot to me,” she said. “It meant a lot being a junior and already have had made my decision, made me feel a lot better and took a lot of stress of my family and I. It also meant a lot being able to make and share this decision with my family and friends.”
DuCharme has a strong supporting cast with parents Bob and Linda, her brothers Robbie and Michael and extended family who are always at her games. She said that she really appreciates all of the support they have given her during this long recruiting process.
“I would like to say thank to all my coaches and teammates who help me get here and have always pushed me to be the best on and off the court,” she said. “I would especially like to say thank you to my family and friends for being my biggest fans and always supporting me and believing in me when I need it.”