Once Chantay Caron made up her mind, it was all over. And Kansas State had been on her mind for a long, long time.
“I’ve kinda been stuck on (K-State) forever,” Caron said prior to signing a national women’s basketball letter of intent with KSU on Wednesday.
Caron, a 5-foot-11 senior who set Free State High’s single-game scoring record with a 36-point outburst against Shawnee Mission West in February, made just one official recruiting visit — to Manhattan.
“I really liked the environment over there,” Caron said. “I feel like if I go there I’ll be at home.”
Caron grew up in Ottawa and was a starter for the Cyclones’ girls’ basketball team as a freshman. Then her family moved to Lawrence, and she has started for the Firebirds for the last two years.
“We’re expecting her to have a great senior season,” Free State coach Bryan Duncan said.
Athletic and mobile around the basket — she was also a volleyball standout for the Firebirds — most of her scoring comes on stick-backs and on short-range jumpers.
“Defensively and physically, she can compete at the (NCAA) Div. I level right now, in my opinion,” Duncan said. “If there is one thing she wants to improve on, it’s her perimeter shooting.”
Caron averaged 14.0 points and 6.4 rebounds for the 11-10 Firebirds last season and earned a first-team All-Sunflower League berth.
Caron is one of two NCAA Div. I prospects on Duncan’s roster. The other is 6-4 Ashli Hill, who didn’t sign Wednesday, but made an oral commitment to Oklahoma State two years ago.
“I’m going to wait until April to sign,” said Hill, who was on hand for Caron’s signing ceremony in the FSHS gym, “and make sure that’s where I want to go. But I’m pretty sure I’ll still go there.”