Sydney Zambrotta fell for the University of Louisville women's basketball program before the Cardinals even started recruiting her.
"When I was young, I loved watching them and wanted to go there," Zambrotta said. "It was my dream school. My goal."
The 5-foot-9 Zambrotta has turned into a top-50 prospect in the Class of 2016 and this past weekend achieved her goal when she committed to U of L coach Jeff Walz on an official visit.
"It's always been the dream school," she told Cardinal Authority. "I just always loved Louisville. I liked how they've played and coach Walz has just skyrocketed the program. Louisville is one of the top schools in the country.
"I'm so excited. It's really surreal."
Zambrotta, who scored 63 points in a varsity game as an eighth-grader, is considered an elite shooter and has a little flash and flair to her game. She is from North Babylon, N.Y., and attends Christ the King, one of the elite girls' basketball schools in the country.
She picked U of L over Minnesota, Miami, Pittsburgh and South Carolina.
"We visited Miami and Minnesota and were going to Pittsburgh and South Carolina," her father, Bruce, said. "But after this weekend there was no need to go any farther. Louisville was incredible. We had an amazing time."
Zambrotta narrowed the list of schools recently after having a ton of school come into the mix after a sensational summer with New Heights on he AAU circuit. But she said U of L was always her No. 1 school.
"I knew I would like it," Zambrotta said of the U of L visit. "But it was even more than I expected. It was surreal. I felt welcomed from the minute I got there and was with the team. It's just such a blessing for me."
A crafty lefty, Zambrotta has been compared by some to former U of L star Shoni Schimmel because of her offensive prowess and the flair she has to her game. Zambrotta excelled at the USA basketball Under-17 tryouts last spring and was a standout last season after transferring to Christ The King, the school that also produced former U of L star Bria Smith.
Zambrotta said she knows and has talked with U of L freshman Brianna Jones about the school.
"It was truly a blessing when her No. 1 school came in the mix," Bruce Zambrotta said. "But to have a goal to go to a school - an elite school like that - and to reach it is great. We are just so thrilled.
"We think it's a perfect fit for her."
Zambrotta joins Colorado Springs, Colo., forward Kylee Shook - a top-40 prospect - as the two commitments in the Class of 2016 for the Cardinals. U of L is expected to sign a class of four in '16.