La Salle Prep's Alyson Miura signs National Letter of Intent with USC
La Salle Prep's Alyson Miura thought she had a handle on the college recruiting process after she'd narrowed her choices down to four schools -- Oregon, Washington, Boise State, and UC Davis.
Then the University of Southern California crashed the party.
It started with a few phone calls, and then within a couple of weeks, Miura was in Los Angeles for an official visit, USC women's basketball coach Mark Trakh was in Clackamas for an in-home visit, and then the 5-foot-9 guard announced via Twitter that she had made up her mind.
On Wednesday, Miura made her decision official when she signed a National Letter of Intent to play for Trakh's Trojans next year.
"It honestly doesn't really seem real yet," Miura said. "Like, it's crazy to think that I'll be in college in less than a year from now. It's kind of scary, but exciting."
What was it that put USC over the top?
"For me, I honestly felt like I wasn't sacrificing anything," she said. "The basketball program is great, and then on top of that the academics are great, so it really had everything that I would want in a school. I just couldn't pass it up."
Miura stock as a college prospect skyrocketed last summer after she was selected to play for the Cal Stars Basketball Club, which is affiliated with the Nike Girls Elite Youth program and is recognized as one of the premier club teams in the nation.
The Trojans had already received a commitment from one of Miura's teammates, Maddie Campbell, and reached out to Cal Stars coach Kelly Sopak in late July to ask him if Miura would be interested in talking to them.
"I wasn't really sure, because it was just so late in the recruiting process, but I was like, 'I guess I'll give it a shot,'" Miura said. "From when we first started talking to when I took my visit, it probably had only been like two weeks.
"And then I got down there and I just loved it. It's kind of crazy. It just happened so fast."
Miura made her USC visit on Sept. 22 and then gave Trakh a verbal commitment when he visited her home on Sept. 26 — three days before she was scheduled to take her fifth and final official visit to Oregon.
"Coaches were only allowed to take home visits in September, so it was Coach Trakh's last week to do it," Miura said. "He didn't know I had decided to commit. He was just coming to say, 'Hi,' before I went on my Oregon visit, but I had already made up my mind.
"It was kind of cool that I was able to do that in person with him."
Miura was one of the six players who signed with the Trojans on Wednesday.
"We are very excited about this 2019 class," Trakh said in a news release. "It is a very talented group with a great mixture of positions. We have height, strength, and shooting. All these young women come from successful programs and are winners. And most importantly, they are excellent students.
"Alyson is the triple threat. She will impact our team both on and off the floor with her leadership and character. She will bring great work ethic, court vision and shooting ability to the Women of Troy, while excelling in the classroom."
Miura, who started playing basketball in the second grade, said it wasn't until she was in the seventh or eighth grade that she started to think that she might have an opportunity to play college basketball.
"I knew that if I just kept working hard, I could go to a college," she said. "I didn't really know which college, but I always set my goals high and wanted to go to a top school."
Miura took time during Wednesday's signing ceremony in the La Salle gym to thank some of the coaches and trainers who have helped her over the years, including Ashley Corral, Matt Conboy, Mike Costello, Brendan Jones, and Angie Sun, as well as Falcons coach Kelli Wedin.
"Kelli was my coach from second to fifth grade and she taught me from a young age how to work hard and still have fun with it," Miura said. "I definitely feel grateful for her.
"And then Kelly Sopak, my club coach, he opened so many doors for me and he really believed in me and gave me so many opportunities."
Miura also thanked her parents, Deb and Blake, and her older brother, Ryan, for "allowing me to train, travel, and develop my skills in any way I could imagine."
Miura is glad to have the recruiting process behind her.
"It's nice to not have to worry about making phone calls and talking to multiple schools," she said. "It's very nice to have one set of coaches to talk to if I want to, or if they want to talk to me. And then I can focus on my actual high school academics and high school ball, so that's good."
Did everything unfold the way that she had envisioned?
"I don't think I ever imagined it being a certain way, so it was kind of crazy," Miura said. "It was like there would be a time period where nobody would really talk to you and then all of a sudden every school wanted to talk to you on the same day.
"It could be a little stressful sometimes, but at the end of the day, I'm just so grateful that I had that stress and I had these coaches talking to me. So, you know you can't get too caught up in it being like crazy, because at the same time, other people would die to be in your position."
When the time came for La Salle Prep's Allison Warta to pick a college to continue her soccer career, she decided to take her talents out of state.
Warta made he decision official Wednesday when she signed a National Letter of Intent to play NCAA Division II women's soccer at Regis University in Denver.
After looking at some schools that were closer to home, Warta said she couldn't pass up an opportunity to play at Regis where she will be reunited with former La Salle teammate Keegan Storlie.
"Keegan recruited me to La Salle and then recruited me to Regis," Warta said. "I visited her there and ever since then I've been corresponding with the coaches."
Warta was a sophomore when she and Storlie played on the Falcons team that won the school's first OSAA Class 5A girls' soccer state championship. She then played for the Portland Thorns Academy during her final two seasons of high school eligibility.
She is projected to play outside back for the Rangers and she plans to pursue a degree in nursing with hopes to someday working as a nurse anesthetist.
"It's always been a dream of mine to play college soccer," Warta said. "I wouldn't say I didn't ever think I wouldn't be able to do it. It's just crazy to think that it's right here and right now and that it's becoming a reality rather than just a dream."