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Highland’s top-100 hoops star Crawford picks San Diego State

Highland’s Cailee Crawford (22), shown in 2019 state tournament action vs. Pojoaque and Ashten Martinez, committed to San Diego State on Tuesday. (Jim Thompson/Albuquerque Journal)

The second of Albuquerque’s elite Division I women’s basketball recruits for the 2020-21 season is also now off the market.

Highland High School senior-to-be guard Cailee Crawford, rated among the top 100 prospects in the country by ESPN, on Tuesday ended a years-long recruiting process, committing to San Diego State.

“Through my whole process, they watched me and recruited me, and I had a good relationship with all the coaches,” Crawford, 17, said. “The dedication and the passion that they showed during my recruiting stuck with me.”

The other blue chip recruit in the metro area this upcoming season, Sandia senior guard Viané Cumber, committed in April to Texas Tech.

The 6-foot Crawford said her final choice was down to San Diego State or Rutgers. She averaged 18.7 points, 6.3 rebounds and nearly four assists a game during her junior season.

Crawford was a first-team, Class 4A All-State selection in her sophomore and junior seasons. ESPN has Crawford at No. 99 on its list of the top 100 prospects in the country.

New Mexico, New Mexico State, Colorado State, Colorado, Cal-State Bakersfield, Hawaii, Hampton and Oklahoma State were the other schools that had offered Crawford.

Crawford said she hadn’t had contact with the Lobos in months. But she will get to return to Albuquerque regularly with the Aztecs.

“That is probably one of the most exciting parts to me, coming back and playing in the Pit in front of my family and friends,” she said, adding that she will sign with San Diego State in the fall and major in sports medicine or criminal justice.

San Diego State first offered Crawford two years ago, before her sophomore season. For the rest of this summer, Crawford said she will be playing in some out-of-state tournaments with her club team, the New Mexico Clippers, before the school year begins in August.

The signing period for basketball typically begins in November of a high school player’s senior year. College coaches by NCAA rules are not allowed to elaborate on a recruit until having received a letter of intent.

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