|(above) Houstonian Paige Bradley will come to DU in 2012|
by Keith MacPherson
Paige Bradley (5'9") has made her decision, but that doesn’t mean she's ready to relax.
The All-Montgomery County point guard for The Woodlands (Houston, Texas) girls’ basketball team verbally committed to the University of Denver on Friday and is ready to get to work for what looks to be a big senior season.
Bradley’s commitment to the Lady Pioneers ended a strenuous recruiting process that saw a total of seven teams offer scholarships before she ultimately chose between Denver and SMU.
Bradley, who averaged 10.5 points and 7.2 assists per game as junior last season, attended a camp at the Sun Belt Conference school in June and liked what she saw.
“The best thing about Denver was the people,” Bradley said. “They were awesome. I knew I was going to be around these people for the next four years, so that was important to me. Everyone was real nice and I got to talk to freshmen that were there. It was just a great experience. When they want you to go there, you want to go there too.”
Though not your prototypical college town, Bradley said being in Denver is a big plus and the Rocky Mountain atmosphere helped draw her in as well.
“The city is beautiful,” Bradley said. “Everything about it was great. The atmosphere, the coaches, their style of basketball, I fell in love with everything. I know I’ll love playing basketball there.”
The 5-foot-9 Bradley is rated No. 61 in the nation among prep point guards by ESPN.com and helped lead the Lady Highlanders to the Region II-5A quarterfinals last winter.
Recruiting began to heat up over the recent months while playing AAU ball with DFW Elite Washington Black. Bradley narrowed her choices down to Davidson, Texas State, Denver and SMU before eventually picking between the Lady Pioneers and the Lady Mustangs.
“It was definitely stressful,” Bradley said. “It’s a relief that it’s over, but it’s also bittersweet. It’s a different experience.”
Known for her court savvy and passing ability, Bradley said she hopes to add some strength to her game before heading off to college.
“I really want to improve my game before going to college,” she said. “I know everyone’s freshman year is difficult no matter where you are, but I hope to improve myself to make it a little easier. I want to get stronger, too. I just hope to improve as a player before I go up there.”
Now, with a college destination in hand, it’s time to go to work for Bradley.
“I’m excited about my senior season,” she said. “I want to go far in the playoffs and have a great senior year with my team. This is just the start of it.”