On Wednesday, November 14th, the Early National Letter of Intent (NLI) Signing Period began. The period will run for a full week, from November 14th until November 21st.
During this time period, high school prospects will have the opportunity to sign their respective national letters of intent with the school of their choice. The NLI seals the deal for a college prospect with the desired school - once a student-athlete signs the NLI he/she is locked in to the program.
This week the early signing period begins. Each of the prospects in the state from the 2013 senior class that have given verbal commitments to division-I colleges, will now have the opportunity to sign the NLI over the next week.
On Wednesday, numerous prospects around the state held signing parties at their respective high school programs and signed the NLI in front of their coaches, family and friends.
While the recruiting process can be very long and tough to deal with, almost grueling, for many student-athletes today - the signing day is a day of celebration. After years of preparation and countless hours in the gym, it all comes down to that moment; the moment when a student-athlete sits down and puts the pin to the paper.
Unfortunately for most student-athletes in high school, they will never get the opportunity to sign a letter of intent to a college program, or have the opportunity even to continue playing the sport they love in college. So for the select few that will get this opportunity, we have to come together and celebrate this amazing accomplishment - coaches, friends, family and the community.
St. Mary's High School, winner of last year's national championship and was regarded as the premier girl's high school basketball program in the country, after also winning their second consecutive state championship, will have a big week. While star junior wing Courtney Ekmark will have to wait another year before she officially signs her NLI with UCONN, the Knights will have four other starters for this year's team all signing with their respective schools over the next week - an amazing accomplishment by superb head coach Curtis Ekmark. In today's high school basketball culture where it is rare and uncommon to find a high school coach that works as hard as Ekmark does at helping his student-athletes land scholarships, the Knights will hit the jackpot over the next week. Expected to sign will be St. Mary's dynamic twin senior duo of 5-foot-9 senior guard Dominique Williams (UCLA) and 5-foot-9 senior guard Danielle Williams (University of Michigan). Also signing for the Knights will be skilled 5-foot-7 senior guard Chloe Johnson (San Diego State University), talented 6-foot-2 senior post Chantel Osahor (University of Washington) and 5-foot-11 senior forward Brandee Walton (New Mexico State).
Some other top-rated girls prospects that are scheduled to sign over the next week include Pinnacle HS 5-foot-10 senior guard Sydney Wiese (Oregon State), Mesa Mountain View's 6-foot-2 senior post Jordan Jensen (Iowa State University), Xavier College Prep 6-foot-1 senior forward Katie Werner (Yale), Dobson HS 5-foot-8 senior guard Katherine Hamilton (University of San Diego) and Flowing Wells HS 6-foot-2 senior post Lyndsay Leiken (Ole Miss).
The late signing period, also known as the Regular Signing Period, will begin in the spring - from April 17th to May 15th for division-I athletics, and, for division-II athletics, will run until August 1st.
Congratulations to all those individuals this week that will be signing from our staff here at Arizona Preps.