Saniya Chong had remained open throughout the recruiting process. Rather than rushing to a decision, her goal was to consider all of her options.
Chong, a 5-foot-9 guard from Ossining, N.Y., made her officials visits. She weighed the atmosphere of the respective universities, the connection she had with the players and the team’s style of play.
During her official visit to UConn this week, the entire process became clear. It had everything she was looking for in a school, and Saturday morning Chong made an oral commitment to play for the Huskies.
“I’m really glad that it’s over now,’’ Chong said. “Every visit the whole concept was basically the same thing. But what really stood out was I really connected with the girls. It’s like one big family. I think it’s the perfect fit for me.’’
Chong, who made official visits to Louisville last month and Ohio State last weekend, is the first player from the Class of 2013 to orally commit to UConn. The Huskies remain involved with Erica McCall, a 6-3 forward from Bakersfield, Calif., who also made her official visit to UConn this week.
“I think it’s a great choice for her,’’ Ossining coach Dan Ricci said. “She knew all along that she loved it here. She just wanted to go through the process and see what else was out there. But the official visit, staying with the girls I think put them above everybody else. She really clicked with the team.’’
Chong had dinner at the home of UConn coach Geno Auriemma Thursday, attended First Night festivities at Gampel Pavilion Friday and the Huskies’ first official practice Saturday morning. She was hosted by junior All-American Bria Hartley.
Chong said that she knew Friday night that UConn was the place for her.
“Her biggest thing was the team aspect and the family situation,’’ Ricci said.
Chong averaged 33.3 points, 5.2 rebounds, 9.7 assists, 5.0 steals and 1.4 blocks last season in leading Ossining to a 23-1 record and its second straight Section 1 Class AA championship. The Pride advanced to the Class AA state semifinals.
Chong has scored 2,060 points in her career.
“I think she’ll fit in great here,’’ Ricci said. “She loves the staff and their style of play. She’ll be surrounded by unbelievable players, which in high school she always had to do everything herself and people thought she was a selfish kid. She’s the furthest thing from selfish. She likes to distribute the ball. She’d rather not shoot it if she didn’t have to and I think she’ll fit in great here. And I think (Auriemma) will develop her into the great player that she can be.’’