Still another breakthrough.

Bria Smith, one of the top guards in the 2011 recruiting class, announced Wednesday she will play with the University of Louisville women’s basketball team, obviously having had positive vibes with coach Jeff Walz and her potential teammates a couple of weeks ago.

Playing in the Big East was also a major factor. “I had a lot of support from my coaches and family this time around and I am glad that they will be close enough to see me play,” she told ESPN. “It will allow them to see a lot of games since I will be playing in the Big East.”

Bria Smith (third right) with future teammates during Louisville visit
Same could be said of UConn, Rutgers, Seton Hall or a couple of other Big East schools but none of them were apparently in contention after decomitting from Virginia when the coach retired there.

Smith was a four-year starter and McDonald’s All-American at the renowned Christ the King high school, averaging 21.1 points, 7.5 rebounds and 4.7 assists per game as her team compiled a 21-9 record during her senior season.

Smith will join Shoni Schimmel, a future U of L teammate, at the U19 USA Basketball trials to be conducted May 22-25 in Colorado Springs, Colo. Smith was a member of the USA team that claimed gold at the FIBA U17 World Championships last year.

Louisville previously had signed the No. 12 prospect, Sarah Hammond, a 6-2 forward from Rockcastle Couty, which won the state championship this season. Other recruits include  French guard Monny Esther Niamke and Jude Schimmel.

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By Charlie Springer

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

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