Ieshia Small must have felt at home in Waco, Texas.
Small – Florida High’s senior All-American guard and one of the nation’s top women basketball players – announced Wednesday she will attend Baylor.
Small, a 6-foot guard who averaged 23.4 points, 8.3 rebounds and 5.0 assists and led the Seminoles (23-7) to the Class 4A state quarterfinals, revealed her decision during the television broadcast of the McDonald’s All-American game at the United Center in Chicago.
Small, who did not play in the game due to injury, selected the Bears over South Carolina.
“I felt like she was going to go where she got that best home feeling, especially with everything she has been through,” Florida High coach Lisa Kelley said.
“Ieshia keeps things very close to her chest, but I think she probably felt more at home there.”
Small, also recently named the Florida Gatorade Player of the Year, played one season at Florida High after her move from Miami.
Small’s mother, Michelle Robinson, died of a heart attack on March 1, 2011, at the age of 48.
Small and younger brother Marvin were adopted by Tallahassee’s Kimberly Davis Powell and husband Kelvin Powell.
Small has played AAU basketball the past two summers for the Essence, a Tallahassee-based club team that attracts players from around the South and is directed by the Powells.
FSU women’s basketball signee Kai James also participated in Wednesday’s game, and was a teammate of Small’s on the East squad.
Small, ranked No. 12 in the 2013 Full Court Fresh 50, recently received home visits from coach Dawn Staley of South Carolina and Kim Mulkey of Baylor.
The defending national champion Bears, led by senior center Britteny Griner, were upset by Louisville in the Sweet 16 on Sunday.