Leonard senior Kimmy Blackburn will join a college basketball program that knows how to win.
The 5-4 senior guard, who was an all-region and all-district selection for the Lady Tigers, has signed a letter of intent with the University of Texas at Tyler. The Patriots went 27-3 last season.
Blackburn averaged 14.8 points, 3.3 steals, 3.2 assists and 2.8 rebounds to help Leonard to a 27-4 record this past season. Leonard reached the area round of the Class 3A playoffs before falling 68-67 to Mount Vernon in an overtime heartbreaker.
Blackburn, who scored 1,450 points in her career, earned all-tournament honors for all four seasons as a player in the Leonard Holiday Tournament. She was selected as most valuable player on the All-District 13-3A team as well as in two tournament this past season.
Blackburn said she likes UT-Tyler’s playing style.
“They play full court man-to-man defense,” she said. “They shoot a lot of threes (3-pointers).”
Blackburn also said, “I really love the campus and the atmosphere. I like Coach (Kevin) Baker and their assistant (Kayla Weaver).”
Blackburn, the daughter of Darrell and Wendy Blackburn, plans to major in kinesiology and eventually become a physical therapist.
She considered some other colleges before choosing UT-Tyler.
“I wanted to stay in Texas for sure,” she said. “I didn’t want to go far from home.”