MOORE — Kayla Tucker knew exactly why she had started to cry. Less than 20 minutes after the Southmoore senior had signed a National Letter of Intent to play basketball at Alabama State, her eyes began to well up as she thought about the road she took to get there.
“It’s really just a dream come true,” Tucker said. “I’ve been wanting play D-1 since I started playing basketball. This day just shows all my hard work has paid off. It’s very rewarding to have this day.
I have been working hard so long for this. To have it finally here is just really good.”
Tucker joined fellow Southmoore seniors Tre Edwards and Cassidy Herbster on-stage Friday as each signed their letters of intent in front of students, family and friends. Edwards is heading to Arkansas to play baseball while Herbster will play golf at Southern Nazarene University.
“I chose them because I love the school’s athletic and academic programs,” Herbster said. “And they are Christian based and that’s very important to me. They are close to home. I was very impressed and just fell in love with it.”
Edwards had designs to play football in college. But when the offers weren’t coming in, he turned his attention to baseball and found a home with the Razorbacks.
“That was my last time to ever step on the gridiron and sometimes I wish I was taller so I could keep playing the sport I probably love the most,” Edwards said. “But I’m blessed that I had 11 years of competitive football. It’s time to hit the cages hard. I got one more shot of getting a ring and I’m going to bust my butt everyday from here on out to reach my goals, then after, I’ll attend the university of Arkansas and play baseball and get my degree.”
Tucker said she had offers from Northwestern Oklahoma State and was looking at Southern Illinois. But it was the Hornets program and being able to play in the Southwestern Athletic Conference that won her over.
“I went out there for a visit last month or so and I just absolutely fell in love with the campus, the coach and the team,” Tucker said. “Everybody just felt like a family. Just family orientated. I just love it up there. Alabama State just really felt like I should be there for my college years. So I decided to go there.”
Michael Kinney Follow me @eyeamtruth firstname.lastname@example.org