Reported by Ashley Naples
Little Black girls are making an incredible impact in the sports sector over the last year. Little League pitcher Mo’ne Davis, 17, of the Philadelphia Taney Dragons, made national headlines with her stellar performance on the field. Gymnasts Gabby Douglas, 18, and Simone Biles, 17, are also household names for their stellar performances during competitions, and now 13-year-old basketball star Deja Kelly is joining the list of exceptionally talented Black girls who are dominating in the sports sector.
Kelly and her father, Darren Kelly, snapped a happy picture with University of Texas coach Karen Aston that circulated on Twitter after the young teen committed to joining the college’s basketball team. If you’re wondering how a child could commit to a team so soon, it’s because the agreement is only verbal — meaning the child nor the school are locked into a formal contract that obligates them to commit to one another.
Although nothing is “official” at this stage, the 13-year-old is reportedly beaming with excitement because she has always wanted to play at the school, which is also the same school that her proud father attended.
Here’s more about the star and her commitment:
The 13-year-old seventh-grader from San Antonio’s Luna Middle School committed to the University of Texas last month, according to reports.
Kelly’s father, Darren Kelly, played for the Longhorns from 1999 to 2001. The 5-foot-8 teen, also a guard, reportedly accepted an offer from Texas during the Longhorns’ football victory over Iowa State on Oct. 18.
“It was my dream school, because my dad went there,” she told the San Antonio Express-News. “I’ve been putting in the work.”
A photo of Deja in a Longhorns jersey with Texas coach Karen Aston and associate coach Travis Mays circulated on Twitter last month.
Young athletes who are years away from being eligible have been recruited by colleges from time to time; Kelly even has a male counterpart in the San Antonio area, quarterback Zadock Dinkelmann, who committed to LSU in February while still in junior high, the San Antonio Express-News noted.
But in all these cases, the agreements are verbal and non-binding. Deja cannot sign a letter of intent until November 2019, the paper wrote.
Still, “We are confident about the decision,” Kelly’s mom, Theresa Nunn, told ESPNW.
But Deja”s father told NBC’s “Today” he would have preferred for Deja to have gone further through the recruiting process.
Asked if she might change her mind about Texas, the young teen, who began playing at age 3, told the outlet, “I don’t think so.”