Dekeiya Cohen, a senior at West Ashley High School who last year was The Post and Courier’s female athlete of the year, will take her immense talent to Waco, Texas, to play basketball for Baylor.
Cohen, considered one of the top 50 senior basketball players in the country, averaged 26.7 points, 13 rebounds, 4.1 assists and 3.5 shots blocked per game last season. She will begin her final high school season with 1,803 career points.
Cohen selected Baylor over South Carolina, Miami, Louisville and Georgia.
“At first, I didn’t want to go that far from home,” said Cohen, who also was an all-state selection in basketball, volleyball and track. “But as the recruiting process went on, I became more open. Then I traveled to Baylor. I really like the coach (Kim Mulkey) and I really love the team. They made me feel like they wanted me as part of their team, as part of their family. I loved the campus, and my parents loved it too. When I got to Baylor, it was pretty amazing.”
Mulkey was named coach in 2000 and has guided the Bears to 13 postseason appearances. In 2004, the Lady Bears made their first trip to the NCAA Sweet 16 and have played in seven Sweet 16s, four Elite Eights and three Final Fours.
Cohen, who will sign with the Bears next month, is happy that the recruiting process is over.
“I was getting a ton of communications,” she said. “I got a lot of calls and text messages. Now, I can focus on school and basketball. That’s what matters.”
The High School League will crown its fall state champions this weekend when the state swimming championships are contested Saturday at the USC Natatorium in Columbia.
The girls gold state championships will be held Oct. 29. The location for the Class AAA match will be decided. The Class AAAA championship will be held at the Willow Creek Golf Course in Greer.
The state volleyball championships will be held Nov. 9 at White Knoll High School. Also on Nov. 9, the state cross country championships will be held at the Sandhills Research Park in Columbia while girls’ tennis will be held at the Cayce Tennis and Fitness Center.
The state individual championships will be held Nov. 14-16 at the Cayce venue.
The Class A state football championships will be held Nov. 29 at Benedict College in Columbia. The Class AA championships will be held Dec. 6 at Benedict College.
The Class AAA and AAAA state football championships will be held Dec. 7 at USC’s Williams-Brice Stadium.
Stratford’s Ray Stackley and Summerville’s John McKissick are two of the eight football coaches from the Palmetto State who were nominated for the USA Today national coach of the year.
Eight coaches from every state in the country were nominated and there will be regional winners and a national winner.
The athletic department of the winning coach will receive $2,000. Second through fifth places also receive cash prizes for the athletic departments: second ($1,000), third ($500), fourth ($250) and fifth ($100). All eight finalists will also receive banners for their schools.
Meanwhile, the Carolina Panthers named Goose Creek coach Chuck Reedy as a coach of the week.
The award recognizes high school coaches who, through their hard work and dedication to young people, have made a difference in the lives of their players, community and school, and provides high schools with financial assistance to help maintain and upgrade their football programs.
Each coach of the week will receive a $1,000 donation from Carolina Panthers Charities and the NFL to his school’s athletic department.