Aaryn Ellenberg talks verbal
On Monday Aaryn Ellenberg ended her recruitment by verbally committing to Sherri Coale and the Oklahoma Sooners. She chose Coale's program over Arizona State, Baylor, California and Connecticut.
The recruitment journey ended after Ellenberg got "that feeling" that so many recruits talk about after a good visit. She had originally planned on playing out the summer circuit and deciding after the viewing period or during her senior season.
"It pretty much just happened," Ellenberg said.
She made unofficial visits to Arizona State and California before visiting the Norman, Okla., campus.
"I just felt it was the place I wanted to be," Ellenberg added.
Her mother, Annette Ellenberg, was on board with her daughter's decision and the timing.
"We both felt the same way about it," Annette Ellenberg said. "We both have pretty much the same feeling, the coaches the players& it was different from the others we visited, but the others were nice too."
Ellenberg met many of the current players but said the conversation wasn't about basketball and that she really got to know what life at Oklahoma was about.
"You kind of get a feeling for how the players interact to with each other," Ellenberg said.
Norman isn't exactly Las Vegas but the family hasn't always lived in the bright lights of Sin City either. The family moved from Fairfield, Calif., in the summer of 2003.
"(Norman) is a lot different from Vegas," Ellenberg said. "It wasn't too much. On the way there I was just looking and checking things out. I got to the campus and everything was just there, convenient, close together."
Ellenberg toured campus and fell in love.
As is the case with many recruits, the relationship with the coach -- Sherri Coale, in the case of the Sooners -- was a big part of the decision and beyond basketball.
"She's a really nice lady and she kind of just knows how you're feeling," Ellenberg said. "She didn't try to push me or anything or try to pressure me."
Perhaps more impressed with Coale was Ellenberg's mother.
"She's very put together," Annette Ellenberg said. "I told her I was impressed with the way she carries herself and the way she feels about family and her whole coaching style. That was one thing that really attracted me."
Despite Ellenberg's quiet confidence she is not satisfied with her game or her national ranking, which is No. 17 in the 2010 class according to ESPN HoopGurlz. She doesn't evaluate herself but when asked what her personal goal for ranking is she said "probably top five".
"I feel like over the past couple years I've gained a lot more confidence," Ellenberg said of her improvement. "I want to go at people; I don't want to wait for my shot or my chance.
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Chris Hansen is the National Director of Prospects for ESPN HoopGurlz and covers girls' basketball and women's college-basketball prospects nationally for ESPN.com. A graduate of the University of Washington with a Communications degree, he has been involved in the women's basketball community since 1998 as a high-school and club coach, trainer, evaluator and reporter. Hansen can be reached at email@example.com.
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