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GIRLS' BASKETBALL: Cann explains why she'll remain Bearcat

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Basketball star to play for Cincinnati

By John Herndon

The recruting trail has ended for Makenzie Cann.

At least, that is her intention.

The Anderson County senior verbally committed to the University of Cincinnati on June 22, making the announcement on her Twitter account, saying, “Once a Bearcat, always a Bearcat.”

Cann says she called Cincinnati coach Jamelle Elliott to let her know of her decision.

Cincinnati has been recruiting Cann hard for some time, reportedly liking Cann's shooting ability and skill set. NCAA rules prohibit Elliott or anyone on the Cincinnati staff from talking about Cann until she signs her national letter-of-intent.

Cann says she also considered Division I schools Eastern Kentucky, Northern Kentucky and Austin Peay. Several other schools rieed to woo her as well.

Her commitment is not binding until she signs. At this time, she is not sure if she will sign in November or next spring.

“I picked UC for a lot of reasons,” Cann said. “I wanted to be in a bigger city, but still not too far away from home. UC is only an hour and a half from (Lawrenceburg).

“I also love the coaches. I could see myself playing there and helping the team. I feel like the coaches can make me the best player I can be and I will continue to get better there.”

Cann also just had a gut feeling that Cincinnati was the place for her.

“Everywhere I've been, everyone has told me when you get on different campuses, you'll just know which school is right for you,” Cann said. “Well, I had been on a lot of visits and I was thinking that it wasn't going to be that way for me, until I visited UC. Then I knew the feeling they were talking about.”

At one time, it appeared that Cann would be headed to Western Kentucky, where both of her parents attended. Former coach Mary Taylor Cowles had offered Cann a scholarship during her sophomore season (2011-2012) but Cowles was fired following that season. New coach Michelle Clark-Heard did not continue recruiting Cann. “I had really been interested in them because both of my parents went there,” Cann said. “I overall love the school. … When the coaching staff changed, they didn't keep in touch other than a few letters.

“Another thing I've been told by a lot of people is to go somewhere they really want you. UC really likes me and I really like them.”

Cann will be joining a Cincinnati program that is in a transition. After being in the Big East in recent years, Cincinnati reportedly made a strong push to join the Atlantic Coast Conference but that invitation eventually went to Louisville. The Bearcats will now be a part of the American Athletic Conference, largely made up of former Big East members.

Cann says she does not have a lot of knowledge about the new conference, but adds, “I do know being in the Big East, they got to play some of the best women's teams in the country like Uconn and Louisville. … It will be such an amazing experience to get to play against the best women's program in the country.

“It's a dream come true.”

 

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