Recee' Caldwell may be known as the best 2014 point guard in the state of Texas, but let's not confuse things, she's really from California -- so today's announcement that she committed UCLA is a homecoming of sorts.
"I'm going to be a Bruin and I'm just so happy about it," says Caldwell, who says she broke the news to UCLA coach Cori Close last night on the phone.
The 5-8 star for Johnson High School in San Antonio, Texas, grew up in Los Angeles and moved to Texas in 2008 when her father took a job there. After taking official visits to Duke, Connecticut, Texas A&M and UCLA, Caldwell says everything felt right about going back to Cali. "All my family lives in California and just the appeal of playing in front of them was a huge factor."
But it's not all about family, as the Bruins are currently ranked 19th in the Associated Press top 25 Poll and have become a major factor nationally and in the Pac 12 conference. Former coach Nikki Caldwell (now at LSU) got the program back on track and as Close enters her second season, the winning ways look to continue.
"She's so passionate about the game and she cares about you as a person more than basketball and I believe I'm going to be a better women because of her," says Caldwell about her future coach. "She's always asking me 'What am I doing as a player and a person to better myself?'".
Caldwell burst on the scene in Lone Star State when she scored 37 points against Taft High in her freshman debut. That 2010-11 season she averaged 20.5 points, 5 rebounds, 5 assists and 2.5 steals per game and was named to the all-District team.
Thanks to her outstanding season, Caldwell received an invitation to try out for USA Basketball. Not only did she make the U16 National Team, she got plenty of playing time and tied a USA Basketball individual record with six assists in a single game against Venezuela. She went on to help Team USA to a perfect 5-0 record, winning a gold medal at the 2011 U16 FIBA Americas Tournament.
As a sophomore in 2011-12, Caldwell started in all 33 games for Johnson High School, averaging 17.4 points, 4.4 rebounds, 6.1 assists and 2.6 steals per game to help her team to a 27-7 record. For her outstanding season she was named to the 2012 San Antonio Express-News Super Team and to the 2012 Texas Assosciation of Basketball Coaches All-State Team.
Caldwell had verbally committed to Baylor during her freshman year, but re-opened the recruiting process. Now she's delighted to be going back to Cali.
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