Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Meighan Simmons with good problems!

Meighan Simmons has apparently went from being the #9 ranked player in the nation to being the 24th best player in the land according to Hoopgurlz. While she has lost ground according to the evaluators at Hoopgurlz, she is gaining where it counts. A look at her Top 5 shows that she is still easily one of the most sought after kids in the country. Here is an update:

  • Meighan WILL NOT sign early. She will not sign in the November period. She wants to concentrate on her senior year and is dedicated to helping the Steele Lady Knights win the state championship.

  • Her Top 5 in no particular order are: Tennessee, LSU, Maryland, Duke and Rutgers. Texas A&M is still in the mix. She will take official visits to all five schools.

  • She is in weekly discussions with every head coach on her list. Every school is planning to make a home visit. LSU is coming to town in September to strengthen its case. She is planning to visit Tennessee on October 2nd.

Tennessee's recruitment of Simmons happened in a special way. Simmons grew up idolizing Candace Parker and the Tennessee program from afar. Up until August, she had received little interest from them. Anyone that has ever had the opportunity to speak with Mr. or Mrs. Simmons, will know that they put all of their faith in a higher power. You WILL never have a conversation with Mr. Simmons and not hear him invoke God into the discussion. The Tennessee recruitment came from a decision that put that faith to a test.

Meighan had the opportunity to visit Japan with her club, TeamXpress. She also had the opportunity to go abroad with an adidas sponsored team of select all-stars. The team would be called the Candace Parker Aces. Simmons faced a difficult decision of choosing to play with her friends and club coach that she has been with for three years or go with a team named after her basketball role model. She had to choose between the comfort of known chemistry with her club team and the uncertainty of playing with unfamiliar all stars from across the nation. She chose to play for the Candace Parker Aces and things fell into place.

Simmons reportedly caught the eye of Parker in Los Angeles. As the team prepared for their Japanese trip, they played in exhibitions. In one of the these games, Simmons put on a show that led to Parker immediately calling Pat Summit and wondering why "this girl" was not going to be a Volunteer. Parker was informed that Tennessee was very aware of Meighan but no scholarships were available. Two weeks later, a scholarship opened up.

Now Simmons speaks with Coach Summitt on a weekly basis. One interesting call recently came as Simmons sat down to watch her favorite player, Parker . Game time was interrupted by a phone call. Coach Summitt had called to discuss the game with Simmons. She wanted Meighan to carefully analyze how Candace played and reacted to game conditions. The amazing thing is that without a difficult decision, perseverance and faith, this call would not have been possible in July.

With that being said, Simmons has no front runners. Maryland's Brenda Freeze has been consistent with her pursuit. Like Dukes' Joanne McCallie, her strong family values are a huge plus. Dukes' academic reputation is hard to ignore. LSU has been on Simmons since her freshman year and former Texas star, Travis Mays, has watched her grow up as a player. His daughter plays in the same club as Simmons. Legendary coach, Van Chancellor has already made the trip to Cibolo to show his interest. Another visitor has been Hall Of Fame inductee, C.Vivian Stringer. Coach Stringer has been to Steele's' campus a couple of times. Her resume', conference and stature makes her a major player in the pursuit of Simmons. Throw in Gary Blair and what he has accomplished at Texas a & M and this is going to be interesting.

Meighan Simmons has a lot on her plate; A senior year of high school, a quest for a third state trip, a pursuit for her first state championship, becoming San Antonio's all-time leading scorer, and choosing between great schools led by great coaches. She must decide on attending a program that is a perennial Top 25 team, all while still trying to decide what outfit she is going to wear to school tomorrow.