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Buford's Horrocks picks Purdue

As a rising junior, Buford girls basketball player Bree Horrocks has plenty of time to make a decision about her future on college basketball.

But the 6-foot-5 post knows exactly what she wants in a school, so she wasted no time in making a verbal commitment when offered a scholarship to Purdue University last week.

"I chose Purdue because it has high academics and a great balance between academics and basketball," Horrocks said. "Coach (Sharon) Versyp, I really like what she brings. She has a winning attitude and she inspires and motivates me. I think she and her staff can pull the best out of me.

"I had a good amount of offers, but I think of all the schools I could go to, either now or my senior year, I'd make the same decision."

That is understandable given Purdue's rich tradition, with the Boilermakers having missed the NCAA Women's Tournament just twice since 1989, including three Final Four appearances and winning the 1999 national championship.

Horrocks chose the Big Ten powerhouse over several offers, including Georgia and Southern Mississippi, plus interest from the likes of Memphis and Maryland.

Her commitment comes despite the fact she saw only limited action for Buford during its Class AA state runner-up season this past winter due to foot and ankle injuries.

But Wolves coach Gene Durden has seen enough of Horrocks during practices and during summer league play to know what she can do.

"Bree's been on a lot of college programs' radar since her freshman year," Durden said. "She went to Purdue's elite camp, and I think it will be a great fit for her.

"She had some injuries early this past year, which is one of the reasons she didn't play much. But I feel like she's going to be a great foundation to this year's team. She's having a great summer."

Indeed, now that she is pretty much back to full strength and with a big decision out of the way, Horrocks says this summer has been somewhat liberating for her.

"I've been doing a lot of preventative therapy, but I'm pretty sure I'm past all the (injury) problems," Horrocks said. "I'm ready to play a whole season this year."