A few months from now, Reynoldsburg senior Alyssa Rice will be exchanging the purple and gold colors of her high school for blue and white.
Late Monday night on her Twitter account, the 6-foot-3 post player who is ranked No. 3 at her position and 20th overall according to ESPN Hoopgurlz, announced her verbal commitment to the University of Kentucky.
"I chose Kentucky because they had everything I was looking for in a college," Rice said. "They are extremely family oriented, run a fast-paced offense and an aggressive defense, have incredible program support and offer great academics, which were the key criteria I looked at when visiting schools."
Rice averaged 15.1 points, eight rebounds and four blocks last winter as the Raiders went 24-3 and were Division I regional semifinalists. She joins Alexis Jennings, a 6-2 forward out of Alabama, among the recruits to the Wildcats' 2014 class.
Last season, Kentucky went 30-6, losing to Connecticut 83-53 in the Elite Eight. The Wildcats have advanced to that level of the tournament in back-to-back seasons.
Ohio State made a coaching change in the offseason, bringing in former Xavier coach Kevin McGuff, and his 2014 recruiting class will feature the Mitchell sisters from Cincinnati Princeton and Africentric post player Alexa Hart, but it won't include Rice.
Although Ohio State originally was on Rice's list of about eight schools she was considering, her final decision came down to Kentucky and Virginia.
"The coaching staff was also a big reason I fell in love with Kentucky," Rice said. "They are all very personable and outgoing and I honestly feel like they care about me as a person as well as a basketball player."