ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Rick Anderson should have known something was up.
In Albuquerque to watch his daughter’s Texico High School team compete in last season’s state high school basketball tournament, he saw her making an unscheduled Pit stop.
“She went in the souvenir shop and was buying Lobo stuff,” Anderson said. “Good planning as it turns out.”
Shaylee Anderson does figure to get plenty of use out of her University of New Mexico gear in the coming months. The 6-foot-2 post verbally committed this week to play women’s basketball at UNM.
Anderson won’t be getting any official team gear for a while and may need a larger size when she does. Shaylee will be a junior at Texico this season and is scheduled to become a Lobo in 2013-14.
“I still have a lot of work to do, but I’m very excited,” she said in a phone interview. “I’ve seen UNM’s program and I really like it, the atmosphere, the coaches, everything.”
Anderson already has tasted some success at the Pit, having reached the Class 2A state final in each of her first two varsity seasons, winning once. She’s also won two state volleyball championships with the Wolverines and was a Class 2A All-State pick in both sports as a sophomore and carries a 4.0-plus GPA.
Anderson plays club basketball for New Mexico Heat Elite, and Heat coach Robert Sanchez describes her as explosive.
“People will be surprised at her quickness,” Sanchez said. “She’s very long but she can take you off the bounce, hit the 3 and post you up. She’ll need to get a little stronger over the next couple years, but I think she’s the best high school post in the state right now. I think UNM stole one.”
NCAA rules prohibit college coaches from commenting on unsigned recruits, but first-year Lobo coach Yvonne Sanchez has said she’ll make signing top players from New Mexico a top priority. Anderson is the first prep player to commit to UNM since Yvonne Sanchez was named head coach.
Anderson’s commitment also breaks a string of Heat Elite players that have signed with Texas Tech, including Cibola’s Amber Battle, Sandia’s Ebony Walker and Clovis’ Anteisha Brown. Both of Anderson’s older brothers, Zane and Brett, attended Texas Tech.
“You might have thought she’d want to go to Tech,” Rick Anderson said, “but Shaylee said `I’d just as soon beat Tech as go there.’”
Shaylee said she’s looking forward to being part of the UNM-Texas Tech rivalry, adding that her brothers have helped her prepare for the college game.
“Every once in a while we go out to the barn and play basketball,” she said. “It gets a little physical and that helps me out quite a bit when I go back to playing against girls.”
Anderson said she plans to visit UNM’s campus this week, and Rick is looking forward to more trips to the Pit in coming years.
“UNM is a class-act program,” he said, “and the Lobos are a good fit for Shaylee. This has been a good week for our family.”