Maine West’s Angela Dugalic is a do-it-all McDonald’s All-American

The state’s consensus top player can, and does, play anywhere on the court. ESPN ranks her sixth nationally among forwards and 24th overall in the class of 2020

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Maine West’s Angela Dugalic.

Maine West’s Angela Dugalic.

Allen Cunningham/For the Sun-Times

Angela Dugalic’s athletic career started on the soccer pitch, but she didn’t see a long-term future there.

“I was a goalie, I played everything,” the Maine West senior said. “But you don’t see a lot of 6-4 girlsrunning around on the field.”

Kids like that are rare even in basketball — especially ones with skill sets as wide-ranging as Dugalic’s.

The state’s consensus top player can, and does, play anywhere on the court. ESPN ranks her sixth nationally among forwards and24th overall in the class of 2020, offering this scoutingreport:

“Skilled face up-4 performer rises on jumper over defenders in mid-range game; consistent interior game production; competes on the glass; agile in uptempo game.”

She is thestate’s only female McDonald’s All-American and also has been chosen to play in the Jordan Classic and theBlue Star All-American Game (though she plans to skip the latter).

Other recruiting servicessay Dugalic can play anything from shooting guard to center — a description that draws bemused smiles from the Warriors star and her coach, Kim de Marigny.

“She wants to play (positions) 1 to 5,” de Marigny said “‘Coach, can I be point guard?’ She could, she does have the skill to be a point guard.”

“Sometimes I like being a point guard,” Dugalic said. “It depends on who’s guarding me.”

Not many players can defend successfully againstDugalic, who led Maine West during an undefeated Class 4A state title run as a junior.

Then she signed with Oregon in November as part of what’s being hailed as perhaps the best recruiting class in women’s basketball history: five five-star recruits.

One draw for Dugalic, besides the quality of her future teammates, was the Pacific Northwest climate.

“Our weather is really bipolar,” Dugalic said. “You don’t know if it’s going to be hot or cold. If it’s sunny outside, that means it’s probably going to be negative-2 (degrees).”

Unlike the Chicago temps, Dugalic’s game is consistent. And,according to her coach, it’s even better this season.

“She’s stronger that she was last year,” de Marigny said. “She’s gotten more reliable around the basket, more comfortable with her back to the basket.

“She prefers to be (outside) but she can dominate in the paint when she wants to or needs to.”

Dugalic believes her offensive tool kit is more diverse this season.

“I feel like I’m more confident with my shot,” she said. “I’m shooting a lot more both threes and just jump shots. I’m not just in the post.”

Dugalic’s versatility has made her a dominant high school player, but she knows it’ll be different next season. And she’s fine with that.

“I’ll be playing with (other) elite players,” Dugalic said. “Just to play with someone my level is a challenge. But I’d rather have that challenge than just sit around and not do anything.”

That mindset was instilled by her parents, who emigrated to the United States from Serbia in the 1990s.

“They didn’t care which sport I played, but I just had to excel at it,” Dugalic said. “I had to either get a scholarship academically or athletically.”

The same was true of Dugalic’s brother Milos, a 6-7 sophomore who is averaging 10.5 points a game for Illinois Tech’s men’s basketball team.

When their schedules align, the siblings play some friendly one-on-one.

Who’s the better shooter?

“Recently, it’s been me,” she said with a smile. “I don’t mean to drag him, but I’ve been hitting my shots. Because he lets me shoot — he knows if I’m inside it’s easier for me.”

It hasn’t always been quite that easy for the Warriors, who are circled on a lot of schedules after their wire-to-wire state title run last season. They are 27-3 with narrow losses to Montini, the area’s top Class 3A team; unbeaten Indiana big-school favorite Northwestern; and Public League champ Simeon.

Dugalic didn’t see the winning streak as a burden.

“During AAU I lost,” she said. “I really didn’t think it was that big of a deal if we lost to end the streak. But the thing that hurt the most when we lost (to Montini) was that it was so close that we could have won. We could have done so many things to win.”

For her part at least, Dugalic has been doing plenty to win. Her resume leaves no doubt about that.

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