She wears her uniform the same way every game. She shoots the same shots at a certain time during warmups. But the biggest part of Jeannie Boehm’s pre-game ritual? Her mother prepares the same meal, which includes apple slices, peanut butter, and ham and cheese rollups.“I don’t know how I acquired the taste for it,” Boehm said. “But it’s delicious.”
The New Trier 6-3 junior is superstitious. But she’s also very, very good. Ranked among the top forward prospects in the Class of 2016 by ESPNW, Boehm led the Trevians in points and rebounds last year. She gives a lot of credit to her five brothers.
“I grew up in a house full of boys, so my mom was very cautious of me,” Boehm said. “She always wanted me to be a girly girl, and I was. But I think I started seriously playing basketball in like second or third grade.”
Among her brothers, Connor plays at Dartmouth, Peter played at Harvard, Jack played baseball at Bucknell and Mike gave up sports when he arrived at Bucknell. But the best of the bunch could be her younger brother, Spencer, a 6-6 eighth-grader.
“He’s really good,” Boehm said. “It’s actually been so helpful because he’s the toughest defender I’ll ever face. If I have a new move or I want to do some one-on-ones, Spence and I always go head to head. We don’t keep score any more because he’ll win. But he’s a nice asset to have.”
Boehm is a nice asset for the New Trier.
“She’s such an unselfish player,” coach Teri Rodgers said. “She’s the kind of kid who’s always trying to get better. She’s never satisfied. She’s always working hard, always wanting to improve her game. That’s such a great thing for everybody else to see.
“She doesn’t just rest on what she’s done in the past. She’s constantly striving to get better and she plays so hard. She’s a great example for everybody. You just can’t rest on who you are. We’re all a work in progress. She really exemplifies that.”Boehm’s talent, work ethic and leadership have not gone unnoticed. She has college offers from across the country, including several from the Ivy League, where brothers Connor and Peter chose to play.
“There are definitely a lot of Ivy League schools on my list, but there are others, too,” she said. “I’ve narrowed it down significantly ever since September 1, when they could contact me. So the list is a lot shorter now. I’m still taking everything in and deciding. Right now, the focus is our season.”
Last season ended with a 60-43 loss in the supersectional to eventual state runner-up Rolling Meadows. This team has loftier goals.“I think [state’s] something we aspire to do, but right now there are a lot of things we’re not so happy with,” Boehm said. “We’re working really hard to put it together and take it one game at a time.”
Boehm admits there are facets of her game that still need improvement.
“I have to post up more aggressively,” she said. “I’ve been getting into a habit of standing up straight, and that’s been something I’ve really had to work on, getting low and calling for the ball. I want to be really open in order for my teammates to see me.”
So they can pass her the ball, and toss her another cheese rollup.