From her first game as a member of the Pickerington High School Central girls basketball team, Emilee Harmon has commanded attention on the court.

From her first game as a member of the Pickerington High School Central girls basketball team, Emilee Harmon has commanded attention on the court.

As she continued to improve and the Tigers continued to win, Harmon drew interest from Division I college basketball coaches. On May 19 she disappointed all but one, Ohio State's Jim Foster, by announcing she would continue her basketball career as a Buckeye.

"(Ohio State) was right where I grew up and I could see my friends and family all the time," Harmon said. "They have a great program academically and athletically. It's somewhere I could see myself going somewhere."

In three seasons with Central, Harmon has developed into one of the premier players in Ohio.

Last season, the 6-foot-2 junior was selected Player of the Year in the OCC-Cardinal Division as well as in the Division I district. Harmon led the Tigers in points per game (19.0), rebounds per game (8.0), field-goal percentage (.590) and steals (39).

Harmon's numbers have increased steadily since her freshman season. After missing the first seven games because of injury, Harmon made her debut in a 64-47 win over Mount Juliet (Tenn.) in the first round of the Kroger Holiday Classic at Pickerington North. Harmon came off the bench and had 10 points and three rebounds.

"When she first started out, she was used to playing close to the basket and posting up," retired Central coach Ken Schneider said. "Certainly when you're young, you're 6-2 and have athleticism, that's what happens."

Harmon was named second-team all-league, second-team all-district and honorable mention ThisWeek Super 12 after averaging 13.5 points and 7.9 rebounds and shooting 55 percent from the field that first season.

As a sophomore Harmon led Central in points per game (18.9) and rebounds (9.0) and was named first-team all-OCC-Cardinal and Player of the Year in the district.

"As she's grown and matured the past couple of years, her game expanded to the perimeter and an outside shot," Schneider said. "She handles the ball much better. When she goes to college, she'll be used as a three or four player. She's not a true post."

In talking with Foster, Harmon was sold on the Buckeyes' style of play and where she fits into that style.

"He's trying to build a program that's going to be quicker and can compete against more of the national championship-type teams," Harmon said. "He said when I get out there, I'll run with the guards."

According to Schneider, Harmon's development of her game away from the basket has helped her become a Division I recruit.

"He has an overall flexibility of things she can do," Schneider said. "Her skill development has grown especially her perimeter range."

With one season remaining at Central, Harmon has big plans not only for herself but her team. Over the last three seasons, the Tigers are 65-11 with three OCC division and district titles and one regional title.

"I want to help my team mostly," Harmon said. "I want to get a state championship and individually I want to prepare myself for the college a game. It's going to be a lot more physical and faster in college. You have to be ready physically, but also mentally stronger."