Recruiting & Scouting

Three of the top girls basketball players decide to commit to out of state schools

Basketball   | Scott Burnstein

Three of the top girls basketball players decide to commit to out of state schools

Arguably the top three candidates for the 2017 Miss Basketball award all recently settled on their respective plans for college, and two are headed in the same direction.

Detroit Country Day’s Destiny Pitts and Southfield A&T’s Deja Church both committed to Minnesota, and Warren Cousino’s Kierra Fletcher committed to Georgia Tech. All are 5-10, play multiple positions on the perimeter and check in on ESPN’s Top 100 rankings for the best players in the country.

Fletcher, at No. 58, is ESPN’s highest-ranked prospect in the state. She led the Patriots to a Class A championship last season as a junior and was the last to commit, choosing Georgia Tech over Michigan, Ohio State, Oklahoma State, Clemson and Minnesota this past week following an on-campus visit.

“As soon as I got to campus in Atlanta, I had an immediate reaction,” she said. “I just had a gut feeling that very moment I arrived that Georgia Tech was my new home. The coaches are amazing, the players are amazing and the city is amazing. I’m incredibly fortunate. Now, I can keep my focus on the coming season.”

Last year Fletcher averaged a balanced stat sheet of 24 points, nine rebounds, five assists and four steals per game. She had 37 points against Hudsonville in the 2016 semifinals and then followed it up with 27 points in the finals where her Patriots edged Detroit King, 67-65.

Pitts, who ESPN has dubbed the No. 59 player, led Country Day to a Class B title as a sophomore in 2015. Country Day advanced to the semifinals last year behind Pitts’ 16 points, six rebounds and four assists a game.

Selecting from her bevy of scholarship offers proved a taxing endeavor.

“It’s an extremely strenuous process, but one that I learned a lot from,” Pitts wrote in a Twitter message. “Many people ask why Minnesota? The question is why not Minnesota?”

The Golden Gophers were 20-12 last season and have concentrated on recruiting Metro Detroit hard under coach, Marlene Stollings, entering her third campaign as coach of the Minnesota program. Twin post players, Taiye and Kehinde Bello, graduates of Southfield-Lathrup in the spring, are freshman with the Golden Gophers this season.

Church (17 points, five rebounds and four assists per game, ESPN’s No. 64 player in the country) was teammates with the Bello sisters the last three years at Southfield-Lathrup. Currently set to anchor the A&T team after the school merger, Church decided to join the Bellos in Minnesota earlier this month, only weeks removed from Pitts' opting to do the same.

“I think we have the opportunity to do great things at Minnesota,” Church said.