Mariya Moore had to decide if she wanted to leave home.
The top-25 women's basketball prospect from Hercules, Calif., made that decision and then said she felt like Louisville was "the place for me."
The 6-foot Moore gave the Cardinals a verbal commitment last week, becoming the third member of the Class of 2014. She picked U of L over UCLA with heavy interest from Washington, USC, Kentucky, Ohio State and Kansas.
"I decided if I wanted to go that far then I needed to be comfortable and I needed to have fun," Moore said. "I felt really comfortable at Louisville. I really like the staff and I was born in North Carolina, so I always wanted to go back to that side (of the country) anyways. I just really liked Louisville."
Moore helped lead Salesian High School into the Division IV state title game two years in a row and last week helped her Cal Stars AAU team into the championship game of the Nike Nationals.
Cal Stars coach Kelly Sopak called Moore "just a winner." She was playing with the Cal Stars for the first time this spring and summer.
"I thought she was a great player, but I had no idea she was this great," Sopak said. "She's a winner. She plays to the scoreboard. I was fortunate this summer had whole team that played to the scoreboard, and what I mean by that is the scoreboard is all that matters to her. She wants to win."
Moore is a two-time All-East Bay first-team selection and was the San Francisco Chronicle Area Player of the Year as a junior. She averaged 18.8 points, 8.1 rebounds, 6.8 assists and 4.0 steals as a junior.
"The staff made me feel really special," Moore said. "They were at every one of our events, so they made me know they wanted me."
Sopak said a lot of programs wanted Moore and the Cardinals are getting a "very special" player who will continue to improve.
"She's versatile and physical, probably to put it better extremely physical," Sopak said. "She is probably too physical for the high school game, I think that's the nicest way to put it. Once she gets to college, she's going to be a monster.
"The other thing is her vision also and that's something you can't teach. I didn't realize her vision and her passing was as good as it was. She has a Magic Johnson, Oscar Robertson type feel for the game. She's a good one."
Moore is ranked as high as No. 22 by All-Star Girls Report.
The Cardinals already have commitments from Sydney Brackemyre of Harveysburg, Ohio, and Ariana Freeman of Manassas, Va.