As a 6-foot-1 small forward from Idaho, Mandy Simpson didn’t think there was a chance she’d end up on the radar of a Big 12 basketball school, let alone a Top 25 program.
The Boise High senior ditched those doubts during her official visit to Oklahoma.
Simpson accepted a full-ride scholarship to play for the Sooners on Saturday after meeting the team, touring the Norman, Okla., campus and attending the football team’s 59-17 victory over Louisiana-Monroe.
“I’m not going to say it was an easy decision,” Simpson said. “I made great connections with coaches and with some of the players. It was very hard, but Oklahoma just felt like the best decision for me. When I stepped on campus, I just was like, ‘I see myself here.’ ”
The Sooners were ranked in the Associated Press Top 25 poll the entire 2015-16 season before losing in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
Simpson, a 5A All-Idaho first-team selection last season, estimates she had at least 25 Division I offers. Eventually, she narrowed her decision to Oklahoma, Arkansas, Arizona and Boise State.
“Even my sophomore year, I never thought I would be where I am today, being recruited by a Big 12 school and committing to a Big 12 school,” Simpson said. “It’s pretty amazing and a little bit surreal right now, but it’s all just basketball.”
As a junior, Simpson averaged 17.0 points, 11.4 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 1.5 steals, helping the Braves finish third at state. She has played on the Braves’ varsity team since her freshman year.