- Glenn Nelson, ESPNHS HoopGurlz
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Cokie Reed figured she'd clear up some important business before head up to Beaverton, Ore., where she will butt heads next week with one of the more extraordinary group of post prospects the game has seen in a long while.
Clear of mind before the arduous summer evaluation period, Reed narrowed her college choices to five finalists, she said in an e-mail to ESPN HoopGurlz. Those schools include Texas, LSU, Rutgers, South Carolina and Oklahoma -- roughly in that order.
Texas and LSU are her leaders, said Reed, the 6-foot-4 post out of Waco, Texas, who is ranked No. 8 overall in the 2009 class by ESPN HoopGurlz. She said she aims to make a final choice in October after taking her official visits.
Asked what her main criterion would be, Reed wrote, "At this point, I'm looking for championship potential."
Of course any of the five immediately would have "championship potential" the second Reed signed with them. She has very good size, hands and feet, great power inside and a smooth mid-range jumper to keep defenses guessing. Reed has been overshadowed in the state of Texas by Houstonians Brittney Griner and Kelsey Bone, ranked 1-2 in the class, and in her own club program, DFW Elite. Reed has a great shot at making her mark during Nike's National Skills Academy, beginning next Monday.
Among Reed's finalists, Texas and Gail Gostenkors is in on several elite prospects, LSU made a huge haul last year with Van Chancellor's first recruiting class, Reed could be the final piece is what is developing as a fleet and basket-attacking group for C. Vivian Stringer at Rutgers, Dawn Staley is expected to pump new life into the program at South Carolina and Sherri Coale will be looking to plug a huge hole left by the departure of Courtney Paris, the perennial All-American.
• Though still listed on the official girls' grassroots Web site for adidas as a sponsored team, Exodus NYC, one of the country's powerhouse club teams, is not playing in any adidas events this summer, according to Apache Paschall, coach and program director. Paschall said finances and dissatisfaction with adidas' spring evaluation event prompted him to pull his teams out of a series of events adidas is conducting, including its national championship tournaments, in College Station, Texas.
Because of that Paschall said, "I assume they've pulled our sponsorship." Not necessarily, according to John Phillips III, director of the adidas Women's Basketball Grassroots Program. "This is the first I'm hearing of this," Phillips said, "so I won't know until we talk. ... It's all depending on what the circumstances are."
• Candace Parker's signing of an endorsement deal with adidas means she will participate in the grassroots program, Phillips said. The specifics and extent of Parker's participation likely will be determined after the end of the WNBA season.
• Ki-Shawna Moore, the dynamic guard out of Sacred Heart in San Francisco, Calif., ranked No. 44 in the 2009 class by ESPN HoopGurlz, has Arizona State, Cal, Michigan State, and Oregon State on her schools of interest list.
• Diana Rolniak, a 6-3 forward from Regis Jesuit in Aurora, Colo., ranked No. 93 in 2009, is considering: Colorado, Harvard, Iowa, Kansas, Marquette, Nebraska, Princeton, Utah and UC Santa Barbara.
• Several members of the Cal Sparks club team have made early commitments. They include Jazmyne Porter, a 5-8 point guard out of Wilson High School in Long Beach, Calif., who picked Long Beach State; Noelani Viloria, a 5-11 guard out of Huntington Beach, Calif., High School., who chose Santa Clara; and Shaylese Shoftner, a 6-2 forward from Lynwood, Calif., High School, who verballed to U.C. Riverside.
• Stephanie Running of Oak Creek, Wis., High School committed to Drake head coach Amy Stephens on Wednesday, shortly after returning from a second visit to the Des Moines, Iowa, school last week. Running, a 6-2 post who has been a First Team All-State selection the past two seasons, averaged 16.8 points and 7.7 rebounds this past season while leading Oak Creek o the state finals. She chose the Missouri Valley school over Evansville, Wisconsin-Green Bay, Loyola, and the University of Toledo, among others.
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Glenn Nelson is a senior writer at ESPN.com and the founder of HoopGurlz.com. A member of the McDonald's All-American and Parade All-American Selection Committees, he formerly coached girls club basketball, was the editor-in-chief of an online sports network, and was a longtime, national-award-winning newspaper columnist and writer. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more in-depth coverage of women's college-basketball prospects and girls' basketball, visit HoopGurlz.com