A team effort resulted in a big day for DeAngelique Waithe.
The East Lee County High basketball small forward became the first Jaguars girl to receive a full scholarship from an NCAA Division I school on Monday when she signed a letter of intent with the University of Long Island-Brooklyn.
Waithe was surrounded by family, East Lee teammates, Jaguars coaches and administration, and coaches from her Florida Future AAU team during the ceremony in the school’s media center.
“When she was 12 she came to me and told me, ‘I’m going to be someone famous and here’s my autograph,’ ” her mother Marcia Waithe said.
DeAngelique “Angel” Waithe, a two-year team captain who averaged 13.2 points a game as a junior last season, opened her senior campaign with 21 points and 14 rebounds in a win last week against Mariner.
The Jaguars finished second in District 5A-14 last season, losing to Cape Coral in the first round of the state Class 5A playoffs.
Marcia Waithe, who said she knew nothing about basketball when her daughter began playing, gave credit to East Lee County and Florida Future for helping DeAngelique develop her talents.
DeAngelique said LIU-Brooklyn first got a look at her while she took part in an AAU tournament with the Future.
“The head coach (Gail Striegler) saw me first and she was very interested,” Waithe said. “Then she had her assistant coach come down and see me a couple of times.”
The New York area won’t be all that unfamiliar to Waithe, who spent her early days in Paterson, N.J., before the family moved to Southwest Florida.