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Sandia’s Cumber commits to UNM

Sandia senior Viane Cumber, right, de-committed from Texas Tech because of turmoil within the program. She now says she’ll be a Lobo when her high school days are done.
Greg Sorber/Journal

Now that was a way to celebrate your 18th birthday.

Sandia High School senior guard Viané Cumber, who de-committed from Texas Tech in the middle of August after a Red Raiders scandal, on Sunday marked her 18th with an announcement that she had committed to play for the University of New Mexico.

“I’m super excited,” said Cumber, last season’s Gatorade New Mexico Player of the Year. “Me and coach (Mike) Bradbury have had a really good relationship for the last four years, so it’s been a blessing. The relationship with the coach really matters to me.”

Cumber will sign her national letter of intent later this year.

“Super excited!!” Bradbury tweeted.

“He’s always gonna put me in a position where I can be successful,” Cumber said of Bradbury. “He knows my strengths and weaknesses. They know who I am, they know what I can bring, they know what kind of impact I can have on a team.”

Cumber had previously verbaled to Texas Tech, but following an embarrassing national media report that spotlighted accusations from players that coach Marlene Stollings ran a toxic and abusive program, the Red Raiders fired her on Aug. 6.

On Aug. 18, Cumber de-committed from Texas Tech.

And, Cumber said Sunday, she has known for many weeks that she would be a Lobo. She said she wanted to wait for a special day to announce the news, and her 18th birthday fit that description.

Cumber said she informed UNM of her decision a month ago.

UNM already had been heavily recruiting Cumber, and was one of many schools that had offered Cumber a scholarship. In fact, the Lobos have been pursuing Cumber going back to her days at Madison Middle School when Yvonne Sanchez was the UNM head coach.

The 5-foot-10 Cumber was a first-team, Class 5A All-State player last season for the Matadors, averaging 22.6 points, 10.6 rebounds and 3.4 steals a game.

San Diego State and New Mexico State, plus Florida International, were among the Division I programs that continued to seek Cumber after the Texas Tech situation fell through.

Cumber’s older brother Adam is a former walk-on player for the Lobo men’s program.

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