Ashten Prechtel got her first recruiting letter from Stanford just after her freshman basketball season at Discovery Canyon. Monday, a phone call from the Cardinal coach ended her recruitment.
Tara VanDerveer, the second women’s coach to reach 1,000 wins, called Prechtel earlier in the week to tell the Thunder senior-to-be she was going to be getting an acceptance letter from the California university that admits about 5 percent of applicants.
“Coach Tara called me yesterday, and I committed right after she told me I was accepted,” Prechtel said Tuesday night.
“That was a big part, making sure I could get in first.”
While the 6-foot-5 forward said she isn’t sure what direction her studies would take in college, Stanford’s academic offerings helped distinguish it from Texas, UCLA and many other top Division I programs that sought Prechtel’s commitment.
“Honestly, I really liked all three of those schools a lot,” she said of her finalists.
“For me, it was so hard to (find) differences between them.”
The Cardinal’s interest intensified after Prechtel averaged nearly 14 points, 12 rebounds and four blocks as a sophomore. She took an unofficial visit to Stanford in the fall and returned for an official visit in May after posting averages of 18.4 points, 14.3 rebounds and three blocks in her junior season.
Like the Cardinal, UCLA and Texas have alumni playing professionally in the WNBA and abroad, a possibility that excites Prechtel.
"That would be a really cool opportunity if I got the chance," she said.
VanDerveer’s call could hardly have come at a better time.
A four-star prospect on ESPN for her combination of agility, touch around the basket and size, bundles of recruiting letters and frequent phone from coaches calls wore on Prechtel.
“It got to be a lot, especially this past couple weeks,” Prechtel said. “It just got to the point where I had to make a decision.”
The decision to join Regis Jesuit’s Fran Belibi in the Cardinal’s 2019 recruiting class allows Prechtel to focus on her development with Colorado Premier at big AAU tournaments this summer before her senior year with the Thunder.
“Just to play as well as I can, go as far as we can as a team and have fun for the last year,” Prechtel said of her goals for her senior year.