Malia O'Neal is reconsidering her oral commitment to play basketball for UNLV and is leaning toward Arizona instead. "I'm not sure I'm going to go there (UNLV)," said O'Neal, a...
Malia O’Neal is reconsidering her oral commitment to play basketball for UNLV and is leaning toward Arizona instead.
“I’m not sure I’m going to go there (UNLV),” said O’Neal, a 5-foot-5 point guard for Garfield’s top-ranked Class 4A girls team.
She said she visited UNLV last month after recruiting visits to George Washington and Arizona State.
“I think I jumped the gun a little bit,” O’Neal said. “I think I want to play in a bigger conference.”
Such as the Pac-10. So, when it came time to sign the letter of intent with UNLV, she held off.
“I thought, ‘Is this the place I really want to be? I don’t know if I really want to come here. I can’t do it,’ ” O’Neal said.
She said she likes Arizona a lot.
“I think that’s where I want to go,” she said.
The speedy O’Neal is an outstanding shooter and passer and led the Bulldogs to a second-place finish at last season’s 4A state tournament. Garfield coach Joyce Walker said she agrees there might be a better fit for O’Neal than UNLV.
“I think she got a little over-anxious,” Walker said. “There are a lot of big schools still interested in her.”
Rank commits to South Carolina
Taylor Rank, the state’s 4A football player of the year, has given an oral commitment to attend South Carolina next year.
Rank, a 6-2, 204-pound running back, rushed 286 times for 2,013 yards and scored 35 all-purpose touchdowns, leading Evergreen of Vancouver to a 14-0 record and its first state championship.
He also had scholarship offers from Montana State, Portland State and Vanderbilt. Washington made an offer last spring, but rescinded it in October, according to Evergreen coach Cale Piland.
“It’s a great fit,” Piland said of Rank and South Carolina. “It’s just a real opportunity for him. He’s going to play football in the SEC, and to have an opportunity to play for a coach as storied as (new Gamecocks hire) Steve Spurrier, that’s pretty awesome.”
Bellevue finished No. 8 in USA Today’s Super 25 football rankings, the third-highest finish for any state team since the rankings began in 1982. The Wolverines (13-0) won their fourth consecutive 3A state title this month. Only three other football teams from Washington have finished in the Top 10 nationally. Juanita (1985) was sixth, Gonzaga Prep (1986) seventh and Juanita (1984) ninth. Southlake Carroll (16-0) of Texas finished No. 1.
Times staff reporter Matt Peterson contributed to this report.
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