ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Kianna Keller didn’t exactly feel at home in Albuquerque.
Turns out, that was part of the appeal.
Keller, a 6-foot-4 post from Waukesha, Wis., plans to make Albuquerque at least a temporary home starting in 2013. She committed this week to play women’s basketball at the University of New Mexico.
The decision came after campus visits to UNLV, Xavier, Rhode Island and several other schools, including some in her home state. Keller toured UNM’s campus last weekend, attending a Lobo volleyball game during her visit.
“It’s a lot different than Wisconsin. I liked that,” Keller said in a phone interview. “I’m used to the cold, but I’ll adjust.”
Keller averaged 12 points, 6.5 rebounds and three blocked shots per game as a junior at Waukesha West High School last season. She played club basketball for the Wisconsin Lakers, who have produced a steady stream of Division I players.
Though she attracted plenty of recruiting attention from Division I programs around the country, Keller said UNM was high on her list for quite a while.
“The end of my sophomore year, New Mexico started following me,” Keller said, “and they’ve been really consistent. When I finally visited, it had a family atmosphere and I felt like part of the group. The players and coaches were very welcoming.”
UNM coach Yvonne Sanchez confirmed she is recruiting Keller. NCAA rules prohibit college coaches from otherwise commenting on unsigned players.
Keller’s addition brings UNM’s 2013 recruiting class to five members, which would fill the program’s available scholarships for 2013-14.
Previous commitments came from Shaylee Anderson (6-2, G/F, Texico High School), Brooke Allemand (5-10, PG, San Antonio), Alex Lapeyrolerie (5-11, G, Dallas area) and Josie Greenwood (6-0, F, Hobart, Australia).
Sandia grad Ebony Walker, a 6-2 junior post who transferred from Texas Tech, also will be eligible in 2013-14.
— This article appeared on page D2 of the Albuquerque Journal