By Joseph Staszewski
The list of suitors is piling up and falling into place for Sierra Calhoun.
The Christ the King junior basketball star added an offer from national power Notre Dame last Thursday night, according to her father, Omar Calhoun Sr. The Fighting Irish have been to consecutive national title games and beat UConn in last year’s semifinals. Calhoun also has offers from Duke, Kentucky, St. John’s, Rutgers, Florida State, Syracuse and West Virginia.
“I’m building a relationship with Coach McGraw and it felt good to get this offer today,” said Calhoun, a Brooklyn native.
She and her father believe an offer from UConn will come soon. Omar Calhoun Sr. said Huskies Coach Geno Auriemma, who has been watching her for years, didn’t get a chance to see Sierra Calhoun play this summer since he was busy working with the U.S. women’s national team. Her brother Omar, Christ the King’s all-time leading scorer, is currently a freshman at Connecticut.
Sierra Calhoun, the ninth-ranked recruit in the country in her class by ESPN, played with the Gauchos this summer. The 6-foot-1 wing plans on taking unofficial visits to Notre Dame, Duke, UConn and St. John’s in the next month with no specific dates set just yet.
“It is exciting to go and visit these schools,” she said.
It was a different summer for Calhoun. She left the Philadelphia Belles AAU program because of a rule limiting the number of out-of-state players on a travel team’s roster and felt comfortable playing with a young New York Gauchos club. They won at the Peach State Invitational in Atlanta, the 10th Grade National Championships in Florida, the Gauchos Festival at Adelphi University and made the playoffs at Nike Nationals in South Carolina.
“It wasn’t really a hard transition,” Sierra Calhoun said. “I had a great summer.”
An All-City first team selection, she helped lead Christ the King to the CHSAA Brooklyn/Queens title last season and a berth in the Catholic state semifinals. While she didn’t volunteer to play point guard at CK with Amanni Fernandez transferring and Alyssa Gatti out with a torn ACL, she has been working on developing her ball-handing and perimeter skills even more.
“This summer I played the combo guard,” Sierra Calhoun said. “That was just showing a lot of my skill-set and everything I can do on the court.”