Alexis Prince chooses Baylor
Alexis Prince of Maitland, Fla., is one of the most intriguing prospects in the class of 2012. The 6-foot-2 wing is a quiet player on the court, and off the court she isn't exactly a chatterbox, either. But the No. 16-ranked prospect in the ESPNU HoopGurlz 100 is ready for the next step in maturing as a person and as player, and she believes Baylor is the best place for that.
Prince, who also considered Kentucky, LSU, Maryland and Oklahoma before deciding on the Bears, knows she needs a catalyst to help her reach her potential, and she's looking for Baylor coach Kim Mulkey to be just that.
"Basically at the end of the day when (Mulkey's) in her face, is she willing to step out of her comfort zone?" said Kimberly Davis Powell, Prince's Essence club team coach. "She said 'I'm willing to take that chance.' She knows she needs to be pushed. She's willing to take the chance to be great."
Prince will have a safety net of sorts while spending her college years on the Waco, Texas, campus. She has family in Dallas -- her mom's cousin and her immediate family. But more important, perhaps, is having trusted teammate Niya Johnson alongside.
Johnson, a teammate of Prince's on Davis Powell's Essence team, committed to Baylor on Nov. 1, and the 5-7 combo guard admitted that one of her first jobs as a Baylor Bear was to help convince Prince to come with her.
"If they could all try to go to school with her, they would," Davis Powell said of Johnson and her teammates.
The commitment pushes the Baylor class to five prospects, and at five different positions. One could easily accept a starting five of Johnson, No. 43 in the class, at the point, four-star guard Destiny Brown on one wing, Prince, a five-star recruit, on the other wing, Chardonae Fuqua, No. 44 in the class, at the forward spot, and Kristina Higgins, No. 56 in the class, at the post.
Whether that group emerges someday as a starting five will remain to be seen, but at a minimum it shows you that things in Waco are going to be just fine in the post-Brittney Griner years.
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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. He is a member of the McDonald's All-American team selection committee. Hansen can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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