Talented Guard Smalley Chooses Tigers

A report on one of the state's top women's basketball prospects is featured.

Arab, Ala.--The Auburn women's basketball team picked up its third verbal commitment for the early signing period in November from one of the more impressive prospects in the Southeast.

Alli Smalley, a five-foot-eight All-State guard from Arab High, told Inside the Auburn Tigers that she has committed to Auburn.

"It came down to Auburn and Vanderbilt and I decided I wanted to stay in the state and represent the state of Alabama as a college player," she says.

Smalley, who took an official visit to Auburn over the weekend, was on campus to check out Coach Nell Fortner's program along with the two previous verbal commitments, guard Ruth Ketcham from Briarwood Christian and center Cassie Moore from Jeff Davis in Montgomery.

One of the prime targets for Fortner and her staff, Smalley led her team to the state championship game as a junior, averaging 20 points per contest. She showed her considerable athletic talents at an Auburn basketball camp in June where she was one of the top players at the three-day event.

Smalley was also an outstanding performer earlier this year on the AAU circuit around the country and garnered scholarship offers from a large number of schools. "I can't really remember how many offered," she says. "You will have to ask my dad that question."

Smalley is ranked as the No. 35 prospect nationally by Scout.com for the 2007 signee class. She is ranked No. 20 among guards.

Alli Smalley

Auburn had an advantage in this recruiting battle because of family ties to AU. "Plus, I know a lot of people who are students there," she says.

Smalley played tennis earlier in high school, but now concentrates on basketball on a year-around basis. She handles the ball well, has an excellent shooting touch as well as excellent court vision. She is expected to be a three-point shooting threat for the Tigers.

The guard says she is excited about her decision to join the Auburn team for the 2007-2008 season. "I really like the coaching staff and the players on the team," she says. "That was a major factor in my decision."

Smalley says she is working with her current high school teammates to get ready for her senior season. "We want to go back to the state tournament," she says. "It won't be easy because we lost three seniors off last year's team and they were all good players."


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