Staff Photo: Brendan Sullivan Hebron's rising junior Amber Skidgel has committed to play for the University of Georgia women's basketball program.
Over her first two seasons at Hebron Christian, Amber Skidgel has worked her way onto the radar of college basketball programs from throughout the Southeast.
That apparently includes one of the top women's programs in the country located in her backyard.
The University of Georgia showed interest and the rising junior has reciprocated by giving a verbal commitment to join the Bulldogs in two years.
The 6-foot junior already had attracted interest from other strong programs like Clemson, Mercer and Liberty after a sophomore season in which she finished second in Gwinnett County in scoring with an average of 21.7 points per game, and led Hebron in rebounding at 5.8 boards per game in helping the Lions (14-15) to the Class A (private) state tournament.
However, an unofficial visit to Georgia's campus in Athens late last month was enough to convince her to give her commitment to the Bulldogs.
"It's one of the best basketball programs in the country," Skidgel said of coach Andy Landers' program. "I love the coaches and it's close to home. I was surprised (at the early interest from Georgia). I thought maybe in the future I'd have a chance to play there, but I never thought they'd be interested so soon.
"It's so exciting. It's given me even more confidence to put into my game."
Skidgel has apparently been on the Bulldogs' radar since attending Georgia's Elite Camp last summer. Landers or one of his assistants saw her play either during one of Hebron's road trips to the Athens area last season or with the Deep South Elite team during the AAU season.
When she eventually signs, she will be one of only a few girls athletes at Hebron to move on to play at a Southeastern Conference program, joining the likes of former Lion and current Auburn soccer player Alexa Allen.
It's a point of pride for both Skidgel and the rest of the Hebron athletic program.
"All her hard work has paid off," said Hebron girls basketball coach and athletics director Bryan Bartley. "It's incredible for our athletic program. It tells you we're moving in the right direction.
"But the real work begins for her now."