Sara Hammond makes pick, Louisville over UConn, many others

Jeff Walz has done it again, Louisville.

Say hello to Sara Hammond, another of America’s top women basketball players.

Widely considered the No. 1 player in Kentucky high school basketball, Hammond will play for the U of L women’s basketball team, selecting the Lady Cards despite an all-out rush over the last week from UConn, the two-time defending national champion. Other suitors included Notre Dame, LSU, West Virginia, and UCLA.

Hammond made her commitment Tuesday at a news conference attended by family, friends and fellow students at Rockcastle County High in Mt. Vernon. She had visited U of L during the opening football game,  saying later she had strong vibes with her potential teammates and was blown away by the new arena.

She told the Courier-Journal: “Passing up UConn was really hard for me. But I had to pick a place where I knew I was going to be happy. I always dreamed of going to UConn and winning national championships. But I had to go where I felt wanted and that was Louisville.”

Sara is ranked 12th in ESPN’s 2011 recruiting class, receiving a 95% rating, meaning she “has the potential to significantly contribute as a freshman for most national programs and should make an immediate impact. She could be a three- or four-year starter and have an opportunity for all-league honors.” Per ESPN:

Hammond is a very well-built 6-2 forward with a game that is as refined as we saw out of any player in the Class of 2011 during the event. The Kentucky Premier star has the physicality that allows her to score on the block, but her ability to involve others while on the perimeter is what’s most attractive about the Rockcastle (Ky.) County junior.

Displaying the ability to find cutting teammates with pinpoint precision on her passes, Hammond was more then comfortable away from the basket. She has the ability to shoot and make the 3-point shot with consistency. The lefty plays at a pace that keeps her under control and one step ahead of the competition.

As Walz tweeted Sunday, “Good things are happening in The Ville.”

Author: Charlie Springer

Charlie Springer is a former Louisville editor and sportswriter, as well as a public affairs consultant, a UofL grad and longtime fan.

9 thoughts on “Sara Hammond makes pick, Louisville over UConn, many others”

  1. I couldn’t be more excited about this news. Sara seems like a very high quality young lady who will be a great asset to the University and the community. She is upfront with everybody, very well spoken and apparently very talented. Welcome to Louisville, Sara.

  2. What a fine young athlete and person she seems to be. You made a great choice to go with Jeff Walz and Louisville, Sara. We look forward to making Louisville your second home.

  3. Walz is back out on the road again…recruiting never sleeps. Geno, although disappointed by the Hammond decision, is a class act that will be a huge Hammond fan over the next four years.

    He’s a little busy these days as well..head coaching the USA National Team over in the Czech Republic in the World Championships. They start play Thursday against Greece. Angel’s over there with him…and the 12 player USA roster has six former and current Connecticut players.

    (Wonder how the roster would have looked if Pat Summitt had gotten the job? No Vols made the team.)

  4. @Paul

    Last I checked, Tamika Catchings made the team and was a four-year All-American at Tennessee.

    And Candace Parker didn’t make the team because of shoulder/knee surgery.

    BTW, Sara’s other final two schools were Western Kentucky and Vanderbilt. Honestly, I’m not sure where that other list of schools is coming from at all, and I know Tennessee never recruited Sara.

  5. You are absolutely right about Tamika. I’m getting senile I guess, I was thinking about where her dad Harvey went…ex NBAer who attended Hardin-Simmons. (thanks for pointing that out to me.)

  6. Oh, I didn’t know if you didn’t realize Tamika was on the team or if she didn’t attend UT. We love Tamika in Big Orange Country! Such a great person and such a great role model. And obviously she’s pretty good at basketball. 😉

    The last statement was more general and wasn’t directed at you. 🙂

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