The Southern Starz AAU Girls' Basketball team has had a large amount of athletes go on to play basketball at the next level, and this year is no different. In the Class of 2019, there are 16 girls committed to play ball in college and out of those, nine are playing Division I basketball.
Two of those girls signed their letter of intent (LOI) on Wednesday.
The first athlete is Jasmine Gracie from Madison Academy. She's committed to the University of Alabama at Birmingham to play under Coach Randy Norton.
Gracie received a full athletic scholarship to play for the Lady Blazers. She said she fell in love with UAB quickly after being recruited by them and that everyone is so welcoming there.
"Really nice and friendly, and they just make me feel like I'm at home, like it's my second home. It felt like a puzzle piece coming together," Gracie said.
Gracie has a pretty incredible record at Madison Academy:
- Two State Championships in 2017 and 2018
- Selected to the 2018 North-South Basketball All-Star Team
- Named to the 4A Girls State Championship All-Tournament Team in 2017 and 2018
- Selected to the 4A Northeast Regional All-Tournament Team in 2018
- Named to the 4A Girls Area All-Tournament Team in both 2017 and 2018
- 2017 Most Improved Player, Strong Offensive and Defensive Rebounder
- 2018 Clutch Award
The second athlete from the Starz is a Pisgah High School senior, Annie Hughes. She signed her LOI to play ball at Auburn University next year under Coach Terri Williams-Flournoy.
Hughes said that the recruiting process was not a big one, but after she attended an Auburn Basketball Camp the summer before her junior year, she was contacted by the university; thus, beginning the recruiting process.
Hughes said she couldn't believe she was being recruited by the school of her dreams, and one that she'd been a fan of since she was little.
"Ever since I was a little girl, it's just one of those things, you know, mom said 'you're going to play at Auburn.' You know, and you're just like little barely able to walk, and I was like 'yeah, okay!" And you know that never even crossed my mind until just a couple years ago and it was just like heaven sent. It's unreal," Hughes said.
Hughes was a part of Pisgah's road to a nearly perfect season last year with just one loss. They won the 3A State Championship over Lauderdale County in the 2018 season.
She was also named to the ASWA's 3A First Team All-State after the title.
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