COLLEGE STATION -- Texas A&M women’s basketball head coach Gary Blair has announced the signing of one of the nation’s top 20 recruits in six-foot shooting guard Tyra White out of Kansas City (Mo.) Hickman Mills High School Monday.
White originally signed with LSU early, but was granted a full release in June which makes her eligible for the upcoming 2007-08 season. She is the second McDonald’s High School All-American to sign with A&M next to sophomore Adrian McGowen out of Goodrich (Texas) High School. White scored 10 points and grabbed three rebounds in this year’s McDonald’s High School All-American Game held in Louisville, Ky. She chose A&M over Texas Tech, Kansas, Cal and Middle Tennessee.
“To be able at this late of date to sign a top 20 player in the country is just unbelievable,” Blair said. “Tyra is one of the top two or three shooting guards in the Class of 2007. She’s got tremendous range, is versatile and has a tremendous upside to her game. Combine her with our incoming freshmen in Sydney Colson and Maryann Baker – this should be our next generation of guards who will eventually compliment A’Quonesia Franklin, Takia Starks, Morenike Atunrase and Danielle Gant. With the versatility of our team, this should be the big push to put us over the hump. Her strengths of shooting the three-pointer and taking it to the rack will help us against teams that are going to zone us. She has the complete game for a two-guard.”
Tabbed as the Missouri Gatorade Player of the Year, White was rated as the No. 17 overall prospect in the nation by HoopGurlz.com and fourth-best shooting guard by the All-Star Girls Basketball Report. During her senior season, she averaged 18.5 points, 10 rebounds, four assists, three steals and three blocks per game at Hickman Mills. She was honored as Metro Player of the Year as a junior averaging 20 points, eight rebounds, five assists and four steals per game. White also played AAU Basketball for national powerhouse Kansas City Select under coach Earnest Jones.
“We feel we were at the right place at the right time with a scholarship available,” Blair said. “Tyra really fell in love with the campus, her new teammates and the opportunity we have this coming year as defending Big 12 champions. She will present us with many opportunities for success in the coming years. Her AAU coach Earnest Jones has done a good job of exposing her to big time basketball. Texas A&M associate head coach Kelly Bond along with the other members of our coaching staff did an outstanding job on developing a relationship with Tyra and staying with it through the middle of our current recruiting season. Our players themselves had a lot to do with getting her here. Kids want to play with kids who they get along with and we needed her to get to that next level.”
Off the court, White received the 2007 Missouri DST Systems Challenge Award presented annually to women who have demonstrated their ability to break through barriers while participating in athletics. She plans on majoring in communications/journalism at Texas A&M.
WHAT THEY ARE SAYING ABOUT TYRA WHITE
“Tyra has the ability to dominate and take over a game. She can play at all four positions without any stumbling blocks. She will be that go-to player if Coach Blair needs someone to take over a game. She is going to change the level of play in the Big 12, because she is the total package. She has the abilty to drive, hit the jumpers and go one-and-one. She is going to help elevate Texas A&M to a whole new level. Off the court, she is a really good kid and overall, Texas A&M will offer that family setting she is used to. I am excited for her and excited for the A&M Family.” – AAU Kansas City Select Head Coach Earnest Jones
“Her versatility is outstanding. She can finish with power or finesse or step out and knock down the three-pointer. She can play any position on the floor from point to pivot, and her shot-blocking ability has to be seen to be believed.” – Hickman Mills Head Coach Steve Cassity