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By GOOSE LINDSAY
Kayla Christopher wanted to choose a college to continue her playing career before the Lady 'Cats tipped off the 2008-09 season.
Christopher did just that over the weekend as the Lady 'Cat senior star committed to the Lady Mocs at the end of her official visit to Chattanooga on Sunday.
“I was leaning toward Chattanooga before I took my visit,” Christopher said after choosing the Lady Mocs over MTSU, Kentucky and Louisville. “I really like the girls down there and I like Chattanooga. Plus it's a great program. They've won their conference a lot and coach (Wes) Moore has done a great job.”
Under Moore, the Lady Mocs have won nine straight regular season Southern Conference championships and they have won their conference tournament seven of the past nine seasons. Last season, the Lady Mocs finished the season with a 29-4 record and ended their season in the NCAA Tournament.
Although Christopher isn't exactly sure what her role will be for the Lady Mocs, she could play a number of positions. Her natural position is shooting guard, but she has the ball handling skills of a point guard and she's strong enough to play small forward.
“I'll probably be a two or a three (shooting guard or small forward),” Christopher said. “Being able to play a number of positions should help me, but I know my role at first is going to be to step up and knock down open shots.”
Knocking down shots shouldn't be a problem for Christopher. Entering her senior season, Christopher has scored 1,845 career points. Last year alone she averaged 21.6 points per game in leading the Lady 'Cats to a 25-9 season and a third straight trip to the TSSAA Class A State Tournament in Murfreesboro.
Christopher is also well-rounded. As a junior, Christopher shot nearly 57 percent from the floor and 83 percent from the charity stripe. She also averaged 4.0 rebounds, 3.8 steals and 3.0 assists during her junior campaign.
Those numbers helped Christopher in being nominated as a TSSAA Class A Miss Basketball finalist as a junior. Christopher has also been named the District 4-A Player of the Year and All-East Tennessee three straight years as well as being a Tennessee Sports Writer Association All-State pick each of the last two seasons. She was also named to the Tennessean's 2008 Dream Team, which recognizes the top five players in the state regard-less of classification and her AAU basketball team won a national championship this summer.
With the recruiting process out of the way, Christopher is now hoping to lead the Lady 'Cats back to Murfreesboro and hopefully the Lady 'Cats' first-ever state championship.
“A lot of pressure is off now,” Christopher said. “I'm really excited to get the season started and hopefully win the state championship.”