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A blog on UConn women's basketball.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Hammond gets offer

Sara Hammond, a versatile 6-foot-2 rising senior forward at Rockcastle County High in Mt. Vernon, Kentucky, was offered a scholarship by UConn coach Geno Auriemma on Friday.

Jarrad Parmley, Hammond's coach for the Kentucky Premier AAU program, confirmed that Auriemma made the scholarship offer as the team returned from the Battle in the Boro in Murfreesboro, Tenn.

"He called her and said he'd like for her to play (at UConn)," Parmley said. "Obviously, she was pretty excited."

Hammond, a lefty who Parmley said can play both on the perimeter and in the post, had a quadruple-double with 18 points, 17 rebounds, 12 blocks and 10 steals in a Jan. 29 win over Pulaski County. She had an impressive performance at the Deep South Classic in April and has been on UConn's radar in the last couple of months.

"She's very unselfish and what the coaches like the most about her is her consistency," Parmley said. "She can hit the 3-pointer and can put the ball on the floor and go by people. She is a very well-rounded player."

Parmley said that Hammond had been in the process of narrowing down her list of schools with Louisville being the frontrunner with Vanderbilt and Western Kentucky also very much in the mix. He also said that was "before Friday." Notre Dame has also been pursuing her. Parmley said that Hammond's plan as he understood it was to visit her top schools before making a decision but with UConn in the mix, that could - and likely will - change.

"I know she would like to go up to UConn for a visit," Parmley said.

Kentucky Premier is entered in the Girls' Showtime National Championship in Indianapolis from July 23-25 and the FILA National Championships in Suwanee, Georgia from July 28-31 which will give college coaches more chances to evaluate her game. When she returns home, she will likely set up some campus visits.

With just nine players on scholarship following the graduation of Maya Moore and Lorin Dixon in 2011, UConn can take as many as six players in the next recruiting class. The Huskies already have commitments from guards Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis of Mater Dei High in Santa Ana, Calif. and Brianna Banks out of Northgate High in Newnan, Ga. Besides Hammond, UConn has offered scholarships to post players Elizabeth Williams, currently the leading scorer and rebounder on the U.S. Under-17 national team and a star at Princess Anne HS in Virginia Beach and Kiah Stokes from Linn-Mar High in Marion, Iowa as well as Smyrna (Delaware) High wing Betnijah Laney.

Hammond's recruitment could easily follow that of current UConn rising sophomore Kelly Faris. UConn appeared to get serious about Faris well into the process and there was talk that the Huskies would be too late to get in the mix with Faris. Obviously, as much of the recruiting gossip tends to be, the information was incorrect as Faris committed to the Huskies over teams closer to her Indiana home. While it's too early to determine whether Hammond will become a teammate of Faris' at UConn, it was clear in speaking with Parmley that UConn is in game with Hammond.

I found this video of Hammond on youtube featuring game action and an interview with her courtesy of sports anchor Derek Forrest from WYMT in Lexington, Kentucky.

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