Royals’ Calhoun narrows colleges

Royals’ Calhoun narrows colleges
Photo by Robert Cole
By Joseph Staszewski

Phoenixville, Pa. — Sierra Calhoun has been meticulous about her recruiting.

The Christ the King rising senior wing had a laundry list of the nation’s top women’s basketball programs as suitors. She had narrowed them to three, before her final travel ball season truly began. Calhoun is down to defending national champion UConn, Notre Dame and Duke after recently eliminating Tennessee from her final four.

She has felt no need to let programs she doesn’t want to go to hang around. Instead, Calhoun, the No. 10-ranked prospect in her class by ESPN, wants to narrow her focus to help her make the best decision possible. There will be no more slicing of schools and she has visited all three unofficially already. Her college choice is on its way.

She just doesn’t know when.

“I don’t really know,” Calhoun said. “I could make my decision tomorrow, before the season or in the season.”

UConn doesn’t seem to have an advantage, according to Calhoun, despite brother Omar coming off a successful freshman season with the Huskies men’s squad. The two played two years together at Christ the King, but Calhoun seemed to want to leave her brother out of her decision to shape her future.

“I’m just looking to pick the best program for me,” Calhoun said. “He chose the best program for him.”

One advantage she got from Omar was watching firsthand what it’s like to be a high-profile recruit. Her Gauchos travel team coach, Earl Elliott, thinks Calhoun and her family have learned from Omar’s recruiting process and have been intelligent throughout hers.

“They have a real feel for what’s going on,” Elliot said.

Whatever program lands her is getting a complete and versatile player. The 6-foot Calhoun prides herself as being a combo guard who can also play the small forward if needed. She’s worked hard on improving herself as a point guard, though Elliott will most likely be a shooting guard in college.

Calhoun calmly got her Gauchos’ travel team into its offense and looked to attack the basket more last weekend at the Blue Chip USA Invitational at the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center, where she led her team to victory in the Platinum bracket.

“That’s what makes her special, she can do so many different things,” Elliott said. “She is definitely comfortable handling the ball. We just have to get her more comfortable running the offense.”

He feels that will come quickly for someone with Calhoun’s basketball IQ. It will only add to her abilities to rebound and defend another team’s top player.

She isn’t treating this summer any differently despite being so close to her college decision. Calhoun believes she isn’t done proving herself and loves to compete every time she steps onto the floor.

“I may be in a different place,” Calhoun said. “But I’m not in a different mindset.”