"Who's your pick to win the national championship?" I heard a fellow journalist ask Nicole Kornet after the 2012 WBCA High School All-American game. Her response, "Stanford!"
Kornet, a 5-11 guard from Liberty Christian in Lantana, Texas, isn't a Stanford signee, but that was indeed one of the last two standing when she made her college choice.
"It went down to OU and Stanford for me," Kornet said of her selection process. "Stanford - their coaches are great, they're a good team, so I guess I'll pull for them."
And while she might be pulling for Tara VanDerveer's Cardinal tomorrow, Kornet will be playing her college basketball for Sherri Coale's Oklahoma Sooners. There were a few factors that sealed the deal for the Texan to cross the Red River border and head north.
"It was all the people - Coach Coale and all the players," she said about her decision. "And (Stanford) being in California when I'm from Texas, it is quite the distance. It was good to get to be with my brothers and my family, so that was a big deciding factor right there."
Another deciding factor might take you a second to recognize unless you're familiar with the current OU roster. Another Liberty Christian alumnae has made quite an impact in Norman during her career thus far, one Whitney Hand. Kornet is excited to have the opportunity to play with someone she looks up to.
"Whitney Hand is one of my idols and my mentor," Kornet said. "She went to my school and I'm excited to play with her. She was one of the deciding factors. She was a big part of it, I've got to say."
Kornet's weekend was not just one to discuss her own recruiting process or pick for national champion, however, she had a game to play during which she faced off with some of the best and brightest competitors that will be scattered throughout the country next season.
"Workout yesterday was a lot of fun and just being around these girls and just getting better," Kornet said of the All-American weekend. "They make you better by practicing against them."
Along with having fun and maybe even getting better, she went above and beyond, as she walked away with Blue Team MVP honors after a 12-point outing in the 74-62 contest won by the White Team.
"Well, it was a little shocking. I was excited," she said after a round of signing autographs for fans. "It is something that not many girls get to do, and all the past MVPs are great, great players and they're all-stars, so I'm excited to be up on that list now."
The list of former MVPs is indeed distinguished, with many former winners playing in this weekend's Final Four. 2008 MVP Nneka Ogwumike, 2009s pair of winners in Skylar Diggins and Brittney Griner along with 2010 honoree Chiney Ogwumike will all take to the court tomorrow for the opportunity to advance to Tuesday's NCAA title game.
And I'm guessing those Ogwumikes will appreciate a little extra help by another future collegian that will be dressed in a shade of red - only instead of Cardinal, Kornet will don the Crimson. But for this one weekend, it sounds like any red will do for Nicole.