Laneah Bryan played a role in one New Mexico success story. She intends to shoot for two.
Bryan, a 5-foot-6 senior guard at El Paso’s Franklin High School, verbally committed Wednesday night to play women’s basketball at the University of New Mexico.
Her résumé at Franklin the past two seasons was impressive. As a senior Bryan averaged 20.8 points, 5.5 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 3.5 steals per game, helping the Cougars to a 21-5 record and a district title.
It was a strong follow-up to 2012-13, when Bryan was named El Paso Girls Basketball Player of the Year by the El Paso Times.
But not all of Bryan’s shining moments came in Texas. She grew up in Albuquerque, attended Volcano Vista High School for two seasons and helped the Hawks win a Class 5A state championship in 2011-12 when she was a second-team All-State selection.
“It feels like coming home, and I’m really excited about it,” Bryan said of returning to Albuquerque. “I’ve loved UNM since I was little. I always went to games and wanted to be a Lobo.”
Bryan moved to El Paso with her father and stepmother in the summer of 2012, but her mother still lives in Albuquerque and Bryan visits frequently. That included last weekend when she watched Volcano Vista win another 5A championship at the Pit.
“Most of the players weren’t the same,” Bryan said, “but I was happy to see them win.”
Bryan primarily has played point guard and figures to battle sophomore Brooke Allemand for playing time behind UNM starter Bryce Owens next season. Bryan hit 42 3-pointers this season, however, and could see time at 2-guard.
“I can bring defensive pressure and intensity,” Bryan said. “That’s a big part of my game. I take pride in running the offense and setting up my teammates, too, but I can definitely play 2-guard if that’s what the team needs.”
Bryan will be part of an influx of freshman guards for the Lobos, who also have commitments from Kenya Pye (5-8, G, Tallahassee, Fla.), Jayda Bovero (5-11, G, Syracuse, Utah) and Cherise Beynon (5-11, G, North Las Vegas, Nev.). UNM also will add sophomore transfer Tori Henderson (6-1, F, Missouri State) at midsemester.
Lobo coach Yvonne Sanchez confirmed UNM is recruiting Bryan. NCAA rules prohibit coaches from otherwise commenting on unsigned players.