By MATT SCHUCKMAN
Herald-Whig Sports Writer
Ali Schwagmeyer won't be taking many days off the next three weeks.
She has three classes to finish at Quincy University to complete her bachelor's degree in exercise science. She has daily workouts planned. And she has to pack.
At the end of July, Schwagmeyer leaves for Germany to live out a dream. Earlier this week, the former Central-Southeastern and Quincy University basketball standout signed a professional contract to join the GiroLive Panthers in the DBBL, which is Germany's first division.
"In my head, it's not real," Schwagmeyer said. "Every time I say it, I just smile. Since first grade, it's been my dream. So every time someone says something about me being a professional basketball player, I just smile."
All it took was a little patience for it to happen.
Since ending her QU career in March, Schwagmeyer and her agent had been in contact with several overseas teams, although she turned down her first offer.
"I wasn't so happy with it," Schwagmeyer said.
The second offer was the right one. Schwagmeyer is the third U.S. player to sign with GiroLive, joining Robert Morris product Angela Pace and UNC-Greensboro graduate Jasmine Byrd.
"It's in the first division and that's what I really wanted," Schwagmeyer said. "I wanted to play at the highest level I could."
That's been the goal since the end of her freshman year in college.
Schwagmeyer signed with Charleston Southern out of high school and made an immediate impact, finishing second in voting for the Big South Conference Freshman of the Year.
"Going into college, I thought let's see how this year goes and that will tell me if I have a chance to make it," Schwagmeyer said. "Finishing second for Freshman of the Year, that was the first thing that made me think I could do this."
Schwagmeyer, who is Central's all-time leading scorer and was the Herald-Whig Player of the Year in volleyball in 2007, transferred to Quincy University following the 2009-10 season and became one of the Lady Hawks' most dominant players.
Schwagmeyer averaged 17.6 points and 6.6 rebounds per game as a junior, earning Great Lakes Valley Conference Player of the Year honors. Last winter, she averaged 17.4 points and 7.3 rebounds to earn first-team All-GLVC honors for the second year in a row.