Former South Carolina center Kelsey Bone ended speculation as to her transfer plans with the announcement that she signed with Texas A&M.
“We had recruited Kelsey Bone since she was in the seventh grade,” said Texas A&M coach Gary Blair. “I remember the heartbreak our entire community felt during that timeout of the McDonald’s All- American Game [when she announced her decision to attend South Carolina]. However, we wished her and her family well. We rolled up our sleeves and went back to work with our young ladies.”
Bone revealed her decision in a phone interview with the Houston Chronicle and Texas A&M announced the newest member of their team today. “I’m a Texan born and raised through and through,” said Bone. “I felt it was the best decision for me to transfer and come home to be closer to my family. The Texas A&M coaches were still waiting for me with open arms. I am really excited to join the Aggie family and be a part of the winning tradition that Coach Blair, his staff and players have built there.”
Bone, a 6-foot-5 center out of Dulles High School, requested a transfer from the University of South Carolina and will sit out the 2010-11 season due to NCAA transfer rules. She will be eligible to play for the nationally-ranked Aggies during the 2011-12 campaign as a sophomore. The No. 2 overall prospect in the Class of 2009 by several scouting services, Bone is the fourth McDonald’s All-American and highest-rated player to ever sign with A&M.
“Today is a testament of the close knit family we have with our players, my staff and our entire program,” said Blair. “There is an unbelievable amount of pressure on the elite athletes to make the right decision at the age of 17, and sometimes, it just doesn’t work out. Sometimes your priorities change. The state of Texas is a special place. I’m not so sure if homesickness is the right word. Kelsey has deeps roots in this state that come from playing alongside young ladies she has grown up with and playing in front of friends and family. Those roots are very special – it is why I chose to come to Texas A&M as well.”
During her freshman season for the Gamecocks, Bone became the first South Carolina player to be tabbed Southeastern Conference Newcomer of the Year. She also earned Second-Team All-SEC and SEC All-Freshman Team honors by the league’s head coaches.
Prior to South Carolina, she was a four-year letter-winner in basketball under head coach Doug Lechtenberger at Dulles High School in Sugarland, Texas. Bone was a consensus All-American averaging 19.2 points and 8.7 rebounds as a senior. She was named the 2009 McDonald’s John Wooden National High School Player of the Year and made three appearances on the prestigious Parade All-America Team.
Bone is already familiar with Aggie players including Big 12 Newcomer of the Year and All-Big 12 Second Teamer Danielle Adams.
“I followed the Aggies throughout the season and NCAA Tournament,” said Bone who is friends with Adams, Sydney Colson and fellow Class of 2009 signee Kristi Bellock of St. Rose, Louisiana. “I was happy to see the team do so well. Coach Blair is a great guy and his staff are very deserving of the success they saw this past season. I hope to add to the program any way I can and help them progress toward winning a national championship at A&M.”