CHICKAMAUGA, Ga. — Gordon Lee High School has turned into Titlesville and with team championships comes more individual attention.
That continues this week as the Class A school has a pair of Division I signees from its championship teams. Katelyn Lee, the 6-foot-3 center from the 2012-13 Lady Trojans' basketball title team, signed with fledgeling D-I program Grand Canyon University, while four-year starter -- and four-time state softball champion -- Jordyn Hamill will cement her commitment to UTC when she signs Friday.
Lee, who averaged nine points, 8.7 rebounds and nearly two blocks per game last season, had never heard of Grand Canyon, but once she became familiar with the Phoenix, Ariz., school she knew it was the right choice.
"The coaches saw me play with my AAU team and starting talking to me," said Lee, who had received interest from Alabama, Furman and Western Carolina among others. "The coach wrote my family a really sweet letter about how much she liked me and didn't even mention basketball. That really impressed me because I want to be around people who are interested in me more than just for basketball."
Lee intends to major in Pre-Med with the goal of becoming a pediatrician, so she did intensive research before and during her official visit. She will also, says her prep coach, fit right in on the court, where her presence in the middle is always a key.
"Katelyn was the difference in us winning the title last year," Lester Galyon said. "We've always had good guard play here -- and Kassidy Blevins was a once-in-a-lifetime player for us -- but even with those quality guards we couldn't get over the hump without someone like Katelyn. She will do well there because she is constantly trying to improve her game and this year she will be able to showcase more of her skills."
Hamill, who battled through hip surgery prior to this past season, hit .436 with three homers, nine doubles and 33 RBIs in only 78 at-bats while anchoring the Lady Trojans' infield at shortstop. She has been committed to the Lady Mocs for over a year and says staying close to home is a major reason for her decision. It's also nice, she says, to stay in the same coaching family.
"I love the coaches and with Coach [Frank] Reed it's almost like playing for Coach [Dana] Mull, which makes sense because she's his daughter," said Hamill, who cemented Gordon Lee's title two weeks ago with a home run in the final game. "And staying close to home is a big deal for me because I'm a homebody."
Contact Lindsey Young at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 423-757-6296.
Lindsey Young is a sports writer at the Chattanooga Times Free Press who started work at the Chattanooga News-Free Press 24 years ago. He covers the Northwest Georgia prep beat and NASCAR. Lindsey’s hometown is Ringgold, Ga., and he graduated from Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe High School. He received an associate’s degree from Dalton Junior College (now Dalton State) and a bachelor’s degree in communications from UTC. He has won several writing awards, including two Tennessee Sports ...