Cardinal Make Cut for 2007 Fab Forward

The ink is barely dry on Stanford's nationally acclaimed 2006 signing class, and already things are heating up for Tara VanDerveer & Co. in the 2007 crop. One of the top five players in that junior class is 6'4" Kayla Pedersen from Mesa (Ariz.) Red Mountain High School. The Cardinal will be watching her next week at the Nike Tournament of Champions as one of just 10 teams remaining on her list.

Kayla Pedersen, a 6-foot-4 forward with mobility and accomplished mid-range game, has pared her list of schools to 10 finalists in her recruitment, according to her select coach.

The list, intended to take some recruiting pressure off Pedersen, includes Arizona State, Duke, Louisiana State, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Stanford, Tennessee, Texas, UCLA and USC. All have offered scholarships.

Pedersen has taken unofficial visits to all but Duke, LSU, Ohio State and Tennessee. She most recently has visited Notre Dame, UCLA and USC.

It is not unusual for girls basketball prospects to have such a large list at this stage in their recruitment.

Kayla Pedersen
The red-hot recruitment of the Mesa, Ariz., standout "has begun to take its toll on her," according to Kenny Drake, head coach of the Arizona Elite. Pedersen will play with Red Mountain High School in the Nike Tournament of Champions that begins Monday, Dec. 19, in Chandler, Ariz.

Drake describes Pedersen's recruitment as "waves of daily text messages, emails, coaches coming to the school and her games, and so many letters her dad actually has to use a full-size file cabinet for them all."

A preseason junior All-American by and Full Court Press, Pedersen is at the vanguard of an emerging new breed of high-school girls basketball players who combine size, mobility and wing skills. The short list includes players such as 6-6 Amber Harris of Indianapolis, the No. 4 prospect in 2006 by HoopGurlz and Full Court Press; 6-5 Victoria Baugh of Sacramento, Calif., one of the nation's top 2007 prospects, and 6-3 Elena DelleDonne of Wilmington, Del., considered the top prospect in 2008.

Pedersen can get up and down the floor with guards, handles the ball, passes it well and has accuracy on her jumper to 15-18 feet. She works hard inside and has a nice assortment of moves on the blocks, particularly a turnaround jumper.

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