Girls basketball signing
GNA great says Xaviers the one
Byorick makes early decision to attend Ohio school, plans to sign with them
When Aly Byorick made her decision on where she would
attend college, she didnt waste any time.
Just three blocks into a trip home from a weekend
recruiting visit, she asked her father to stop the car.
She had made up her mind.
Her father turned the car around and Byorick returned
to the campus she just left to declare she would play college basketball
at Xavier University in Cincinnati.
Byoricks sudden decision ended what had been
a spirited recruiting battle involving an estimated 45 Division I schools
throughout the country who sought the services of the multi-talented Greater
Nanticoke Area basketball star.
I liked Xavier the best, said Byorick,
a 5-foot-11 junior guard. I just knew right then that its
where I wanted to go. Its a smaller school with a big-time program.
Byorick made a verbal commitment to Xavier. She
plans to sign a letter of intent in November, which is the early signing
date for D1 recruits.
For Byorick, it was also a sigh of relief. She
was starting to get stressed out by the constant phone calls from college
Every day when I got home from the gym, I
would have five or six phone calls, and I would have to call them all
back, Byorick said. Its good to be relieved. I have
the rest of July to go out and play and enjoy myself, and not to have
to worry about recruiters.
Byorick is one of the top basketball players in
the history of the Wyoming Valley Conference. She is a two-year Street
& Smith All-American, and was a first-team All-State selection last
season. She also was named the Times Leader girls basketball Player of
She is the first WVC girls player to go Division
I since Bishop Hobans Meredith Alexis was recruited by James Madison
University three years ago.
Byorick averaged 21 points per game while leading
Nanticoke to a 29-1 record and the second round of the state playoffs.
Byorick has 1,657 career pointsjust 15 points shy of breaking Ruth
Maleys record set in 1983.
Byorick, 17, is a phenomenal shooter. She finished
the season with 67 three-pointers, tying the school record for treys in
a single season.
Several national powers tried to recruit Byorick,
including Penn State, Stanford and Syracuse. However, she narrowed her
choices to Xavier, West Virginia and Bucknell.
One reason she picked Xavier, which is a member
of the Atlantic 10 Conference, was head coach Kevin McGuff and his staff.
I felt very comfortable around him,
Byorick said. He really looks out for you and he was easy to talk
to. I think that makes a coach.
Byorick said she was impressed by McGuffs
style of play.
Its almost like our style here at Nanticoke.
Xavier likes to run the ball, push it up the middle, and then kick it
out for threes.
Also heavily swaying Byorick was that Xavier just
landed the top high school recruit in the countryAmber Harris, a
6-6 guard from Indianapolis who can dunk the ball.
She was actually committed to Purdue since
she was a freshman, but Purdues coach ended up going to Texas Tech,
Byorick said. She reopened herself up to recruiting, and chose Xavier
over UConn and Tennessee.
Harris will be a sophomore when Byorick joins the
Lady Musketeers next year for the 2007-08 season.
Its going to be good having a player
of her caliber on the team, said Byorick. Coach McGuff said
when other teams double down on Amber, it will leave me open on the wing.
Byorick expects to start as a freshman. Xavier
graduated five seniors this year, including three starters. By the
time I get there, they will have seven sophomores, five freshmen and three
She liked the city of Cincinnati. Its
an amazing place, especially for a big city.
Byorick is the daughter of Dan and Trish Byorick,
of Nanticoke. She has a 3.8 grade point average. She plans to major in
chemistry at Xavier and might pursue a career in forensics.
She currently plays AAU basketball in Philadelphia
two nights a week, and on weekends. She is a member of the Philadelphia
Belles. Byorick said she might pursue a pro basketball career after she
Ive thought a lot about it. A lot of
players go overseas first. At least I would get to do some traveling.