Above, Cajon’s two Division I basketball players (so far) talk after signing their National Letters of Intent in the last week. Top, forward Kayla Washington after she signed with Washington State, and bottom, guard Tyla Turner talks after signing with Long Beach State.
Cajon’s Kayla Washington
Cajon High senior basketball player Kayla Washington wanted to make her verbal commitment before the season began, but she was waiting for what she felt was the right offer.
On Sunday, she got it. And on Monday night, she made the commitment, giving a verbal commitment to Washington State.
“When I talked to them, their style of play, was just perfect for me,” she said. “Their coaching staff, I felt real comfortable with.”
Washington, a 6-foot forward who was The Sun’s Player of the Year last year after averaging 28.1 points and 16.1 rebounds per game for the Cowgirls, said the leading candidate until last weekend was Grand Canyon University, a school that recently became Division I.
She said one of the things she liked about Washington State is that they see her as a combination small forward/power forward while other schools wanted her to be a guard.
“They (Washington State) liked the way I play. Most wanted to change me into a guard,” she said. “And they (Washington State) told me they didn’t have a player like me on their team.”
Washington said her father told her that Cajon’s team during last weekend’s West Coast Premier Fall Showcase tournament at Chaffey College might be a good chance to get an offer. He was right, and Washington State offered her a scholarship after seeing her play for the first time.
“I was definitely discouraged (by the number of offers),” she said. “I felt like it was my last shot.”
Washington isn’t concerned that she’s leaving Southern California., and is in fact glad to leave the area, but at the same time, stay on the west coast.
“My family can still make some of the games, and 14 of the games are on TV,” she said.
Washington said she wants “to get in the best shape I’ve ever been in and keep working on my guard game.”
Washington, who said she had other offers that included Long Beach State, Weber State, Eastern Washington, George Washington, Seattle, Arkansas and Kansas State, plans to make a trip to Washington State in October and sign her National Letter of Intent during the early signing period in November.
Cajon High’s girls basketball team won the Division 2 bracket at the San Diego Classic last weekend.
Yes, it is summer basketball and the tournament means nothing once the regular season starts in more than four months.
But it is impressive for a few reasons.
- First, there were 128 teams in their bracket, meaning they had to win seven games to win the title.
- Second, they weren’t playing a bunch of small schools. As the name of the bracket would suggest, those were all Division 2 opponents, with the exception of the team they beat in the championship game, Division 3 Oak Ridge of El Dorado Hills.
- Third, they had only seven players, so there wasn’t a large margin for error in case of fouling out or injury or just fatigue.
Kayla Washington, who scored at least 20 points in each of the last three games, was named MVP. The games were played with two 20-minute running clock halves, but Cajon won each game (except for the championship game) by at least 11 points.
In the championship game, a 45-44 win over Oak Ridge, Washington was nine for 13 from the floor scoring 21 points with 10 rebounds, while Tyla Turner had 10 points & nine assists.
The last time Cajon won this tournament it was 2007. The next high school season 2007-08, the Cowgirls went on to win the CIF-SS Division IIA title.