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February 26, 2011As Sharon Versyp assembles her 2012 recruiting class, having a big-time scoring guard was a major priority.
She seems to have found one with her latest commitment, as Alabama's Hayden Hamby gave Purdue her verbal Saturday afternoon.
Hamby, a 5-foot-7 guard at West Morgan High School, has scored 3,336 points in the first three years of her career, having averaged about 35 points an outing during her recently completed junior season. She unofficially visited Purdue for the Boilers' home game last week against Ohio State, a game that's now helped draw two '12 verbal commitments.
"We loved the tradition and atmosphere," Hamby said of her family's trip, "especially Coach Versyp and her staff, and the way they are so passionate about basketball.
"Those are the main reasons, and the team; they seem really nice."
Hamby chose Purdue over offers from Alabama, Southern Miss, St. Louis and Memphis, and had been receiving significant interest from Maryland, Vanderbilt and Auburn. She received her offer from Purdue only last weekend, but says the Boilers had been following her closely.
"We just talked about it this whole week," she said, "and made sure it still felt right after a week and it did. That's why I committed."
Hamby joins point guard April Wilson and post Taylor Manuel, who committed hours after the Ohio State game last weekend, as '12 commitments. With two of a likely five-player recruiting class, although it could be larger, in the fold, Versyp turned her attention toward securing a scorer.
"They did (express that)," Hamby said. "I knew they had a point guard committed and the post on my visit committed. They said my position would be needed that year.
"That said they like people who can score."
Hamby can do that. She's averaged more than 30 points a game, and scored near 50 in a game this season. She's one of only 12 women's basketball players to have scored more than 3,000 in her prep career in Alabama, and she's got a season to go.
She's known as a scorer, through and through.
"I guess so, at least around here," she said. "I score a pretty good bit in high school.
"I like to take the ball to the hole, do that first, but I'll shoot a jumper or a three. Whatever I have to do."
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