When current high school junior Shay Selby watched Maryland come back and stun Duke in the national championship game last April, she almost cried because she wanted the Blue Devils to win.
Now, the five-star prospect's short-list for schools has Duke at the top-with Maryland, Connecticut and Ohio State trailing behind in the recruiting battle.
Selby, a 5-foot-9 combo guard, will visit Duke's campus this weekend to see if head coach Gail Goestenkors' program is right for her.
"She's always been looking for the opportunity to compete at a high level because that's where her ability lies," said Pat Diulus, her high school coach. "She's always been enamored with Duke. I think they've been the favorite from the beginning."
As a freshman at Regina High School in Cleveland, Ohio, Selby teamed with current Cincinnati freshman Carla Jacobs in leading her team to the state title.
"They were always pushing each other-as a coach you always like to see that kind of development," Diulus said of the dynamic between Selby and Jacobs. "We won a state championship, that's the best team moment that anybody can have."
Diulus said Selby is an unselfish player with a consistent stroke from outside. Selby's GPA is also in the high 3's, making her an ideal candidate for Duke's program, Diulus said.
"It's obviously a great school academically," Selby said. "They've got a good basketball team too, and that's what I'm looking for in choosing a school."
On her visit this weekend, Selby will watch the women's team practice and attend the Blue-White scrimmage for the men's team Saturday evening. She said she hopes to get a better feel for Goestenkors' program and the "whole Duke environment."
Selby hopes to make her decision sometime this year.
"I definitely want to do it my junior year," Selby said. "I want to make it early so I don't lead other schools on and ruin their chances of recruiting another guard."
Should Selby choose to commit, she would be Goestenkors' first for the incoming class of 2008. Duke has two freshmen this season in Joy Cheek and Bridgette Mitchell, and three verbal commits for the incoming class of 2007-Krystal Thomas, Jasmine Thomas and Karima Christmas.
Get The Chronicle straight to your inbox
Signup for our weekly newsletter. Cancel at any time.