Brenda Frese has had a lot of happy moments as coach of the Maryland women's basketball team, like guiding the Terps to a national championship and winning coach of the year honors.
Frese had another one Saturday night, and it was because of a phone call she received from a 17-year-old from Beaver County.
"She just started screaming at the top of her lungs she was so excited," Shatori Walker-Kimbrough said of Frese. "I couldn't even understand what she said."
Frese understood exactly what Walker-Kimbrough said.
Walker-Kimbrough, a 5-foot-11 senior guard/forward at Hopewell High School, verbally committed to Maryland that night. One of the top players in the state, Walker-Kimbrough is coming off a monstrous junior season in which she helped Hopewell win the WPIAL Class AAA championship, while also earning first-team all-state recognition for the second year in a row and being named the Post-Gazette's player of the year.
Walker-Kimbrough chose Maryland -- a perennial power that advanced to the Elite Eight last season -- over a dozen other scholarship offers. She also was considering Purdue and Duquesne. She made an unofficial visit to Maryland this past weekend and committed on her return home.
Walker-Kimbrough averaged 25.6 points, 10.5 rebounds, 3.1 assists and 3.9 steals per game as a junior. She scored 35 of Hopewell's 50 points in the WPIAL championship.
The pairing with Maryland seems like a perfect match for Walker-Kimbrough, an outstanding athlete who also excels in volleyball and track. She is at her best running the floor and scoring off the dribble, but is also an excellent shooter.
"They're a running team," Walker-Kimbrough said. "When I get a rebound, I like to go. They play really uptempo and press a lot. I think I fit in with that type of play."
Maryland began recruiting Walker-Kimbrough when she played at a camp there last summer. An offer came less than two weeks later. Walker-Kimbrough said Maryland coaches attended about a half-dozen of her games last season.hsbasketball