The Western Kentucky women’s basketball team picked up its second verbal commitment in the 2015 class Sunday in shooting guard Kayla Smith.
The 5-foot-11-inch wing out of Fayette County High School in Fayetteville, Ga., chose the Lady Toppers over Belmont, she said. She took an unofficial visit to WKU last year and said she immediately felt at home.
“I really liked how together they are,” Smith said. “They’re like family to each other. Coach (Michelle Clark-Heard) really believed in me, and I felt like I can trust her. I feel like she can make me a better player and a better person coming out of college.”
Smith was also impressed by WKU’s effort in an 87-74 loss last month to Baylor in the first round of the NCAA tournament, she said.
“I felt like Western Kentucky is really moving forward and moving up with coach Heard as its coach,” Smith said. “As far as when they played Baylor, they really put up a fight and didn’t stop pushing. Everybody thought since they were playing Baylor, that Western Kentucky wasn’t really going to do good. They proved everybody wrong.”
Smith averaged 18 points, five rebounds and three assists as a junior at Fayette County. She previously played AAU ball for the AOT Lady Rebels but plans to play with the Georgia Pistols this year, she said.
Smith is rated No. 83 nationally in the 2015 class by All Star Girls Report. Her first opportunity to officially sign with the Lady Tops will be during the early signing period in November.
If she signs, it would be the second straight year WKU has signed a player ranked in ASGR’s top 100. 2014 signee Ivy Brown is ranked 80th by the women’s recruiting outlet.
“I see myself as a growing player,” Smith said. “I have some things I need to work on, but I feel like I’m a hard worker and can handle anything that’s thrown at me as long as I work hard and have a lot of confidence.”
Smith is WKU’s second verbal commit in the 2015 class, joining Morgan Tipton, a 6-foot wing player from Huntsville, Ala., who gave her verbal pledge in August.