Until this summer, Paris Lauro didn’t know she would have a chance to play college basketball at the NCAA Division I level.
But after standout performances in basketball tournaments around the country on the select circuit, recruiting interest suddenly intensified for the Highland Park senior.
That culminated in Lauro signing with the University of New Mexico on Wednesday. She was recognized along with 12 other HP athletes during a ceremony on the first day of the fall signing period.
“They were a school I was already interested in,” said Lauro, who committed to the Lobos after visiting the campus a few months ago. “It’s a winning program and a winning culture.”
Two HP girls soccer players also signed with Division I programs — midfielders Hattie Patterson (Mississippi) and Ella Weathersby (Arizona). Goalkeeper Claire Binns will play at the Division III level for Trinity University.
Patterson visited the Ole Miss campus in during her junior season for the Lady Scots in February and committed a month later. She said signing with the Rebels to close the recruiting process was a relief.
“It was so stressful, but when you find the place that’s right, it feels great,” Patterson said. “I felt so comfortable and so at home.”
Weathersby will be almost 1,000 miles from home, but she will join an Arizona roster that includes several Dallas-area natives, thanks to a coaching staff with significant Texas ties.
“The campus, the people, and the coaching staff were all super appealing to me,” said Weathersby, who committed to the Wildcats in the spring. “I’m looking forward to the challenges academically and athletically.”
The HP volleyball program, which capped a 42-3 season on Tuesday, had four players sign with Division I schools, including Sydney Breon (UCLA), Ceci Gooch (Michigan), Zoe Winford (Georgia Tech), and Nicole Mauser (California Baptist).
Breon has been enamored with California since vacationing there when she was younger, and the opportunity to play volleyball for the Bruins was too good to pass up. She has been committed to UCLA for about 18 months.
“I wanted to go to a bigger school with great academics and athletics,” Breon said. “I really wanted to go out west. They check all the boxes.”
Other HP athletes honored for signings and college commitments included Dylan Walker (boys basketball, Lubbock Christian), Will Cornog (boys soccer, Portland), Charlotte Hudson (girls track and field, Richmond), Ben Abel (lacrosse, Loyola Maryland), and Rebecca Bustos (field hockey, Davidson).