By Steve Lansdale
AUSTIN, Texas — Rellah Boothe, the No. 3 high school player in the country and the nation’s No. 1 forward prospect, according to ESPN.com, has signed her national letter-of-intent to play next year for the University of Texas women’s basketball team.
The 6-foot-3 Boothe, of Ocala, Fla., plays at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla. The versatile left-hander is the second player ranked among the nation’s top four to sign this week with the Longhorns, who also landed Chasity Patterson, the nation’s top high school point guard, according to ESPN.com.
“It is an absolute thrill to finally be able to say that Rellah is a Longhorn,” Texas head coach Karen Aston said. “We built a relationship with her a few years ago through (former Texas-assistant-turned-SMU-head) Coach (Travis) Mays and continued it with her and (IMG) Coach Shell Dailey. I feel very blessed to bring her into the Longhorn family and know she will blossom here on the Forty Acres.
“Rellah is a phenomenal talent with rare gifts of being able to play multiple positions and match up with strength, speed and size. One of her biggest strengths is that she is a great teammate. I am so excited to see what the future holds for Rellah as she becomes engrained in our culture and meshes with our current team.”
As a junior at IMG last year, Boothe was named a Naismith Trophy Third-Team All-America after averaging 22.7 points, 8.5 rebounds and 1.6 steals per game. She was named a USA Today All-USA Third Team selection and was named to the USA Today All-Florida First Team.
Boothe was a member of the gold medal-winning USA U-18 team at the FIBA Americas Championship this past summer. In the championship game, Boothe set a Team USA tournament record for free-throw percentage, shooting 9-for-9 from the charity stripe.