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UNM women’s recruit in a hoops state of mind

Antonia Anderson has nothing against football, but she’s heard enough about the sport.

It’s part of the reason the 6-foot-2 high school senior decided to play college basketball outside her home state of Texas. The highly recruited Anderson committed last week to play at the University of New Mexico.

“I loved the Pit,” Anderson said, “and I thought it was great that so many people get excited about basketball (in Albuquerque). In Texas, it’s all about football. It’s so nice to be going somewhere where people want to come and watch my sport.”

Anderson had her share of options, more than a dozen Division I scholarship offers, including several in Texas. She had official campus visits scheduled at Texas Tech and North Texas but canceled them after visiting UNM along with two other Texan recruits, guards Tia Wright of North McKinney High School and Madi Washington of Red Oak High.

All three players committed to join first-year coach Mike Bradbury’s Lobos.

“It definitely helped having all three of us there together,” Anderson said. “We had a lot in common and got along really well.”

Anderson plays forward at Steele High School in Cibolo, a San Antonio suburb. She averaged 12 points per game but improved her stock by scoring 23 per game in Steele’s playoff run to the state semifinals. Anderson was named All-State and selected to play in this summer’s Texas Girls Coaches Association Class 5A/6A All-Star Basketball Game.

New Mexico got into the recruiting sweepstakes late, but Anderson was already familiar with Lobo assistant coach Aarika Hughes from Hughes’ time as an assistant at New Mexico State.

“She let me know she was moving to New Mexico and we stayed in contact,” Anderson said. “When I visited and coach Bradbury told me about his style — play fast, get up and down, drive and kick it out for the (3-pointer) — that clinched it. That’s my style, too. I want to take those 3s.”

Anderson said she was also pleasantly surprised by her first visit to Albuquerque.

“I think it’s beautiful,” she said. “It’s nice with the mountains and the weather’s good. It’ll be a nice change from flat and hot.”

Bradbury, who has collected five commitments for 2017-18, confirmed UNM is recruiting Anderson. NCAA rules prohibit coaches from commenting on unsigned recruits.