MOSES LAKE — Camille Carpenter described visiting Southern Utah University like “Christmas morning.”
“From the beginning, I felt like part of the family,” she said.
Carpenter will be a part of the Southern Utah family after high school, verbally committing to play basketball for the university on Monday.
“I feel very blessed to announce my commitment to the Southern Utah University Women’s Basketball family! I have so many teammates, coaches, friends and family members who have supported me along my journey. I can’t thank them enough for everything they have done for me. I can’t wait to further my education and basketball career,” Carpenter posted on social media.
Carpenter was a key reserve on Moses Lake’s 2018 team that placed third in state. There, Carpenter caught the eye of then-Willamette University coach Katie Gruys, who was in Tacoma scouting Morgan Yamane.
Gruys moved on to Southern Utah, but kept in touch and Carpenter visited the campus two weekends ago. Jordan Loera — a former Moses Lake High School standout and older sister of Jessie and Jamie — is also a graduate manager for Southern Utah, adding to the familiarity.
Carpenter said she began playing basketball in third grade and always had the goal of playing in college — the level didn’t matter. However, an offer from Division I and Big Sky Conference member Southern Utah is impressive for the senior.
Carpenter credited the people around her, including her parents, Moses Lake head coach Matt Strophy and Amateur Athletic Union coach Barbara Berry.
Strophy described Carpenter as “always about the team.”
Carpenter’s unselfishness allowed the Chiefs to play her in a myriad of positions, making for a more well-rounded player.
“Camille was willing to play out of position because that’s what was best for the team,” Strophy said.
Southern Utah finished 8-23 overall and 4-16 in conference play last season, but did win its first Big Sky Conference Championship Tournament game against Montana. Carpenter begins her senior season at Moses Lake on Dec. 3 against Mt. Spokane.
“This last high school season I just want to go out there and have fun, have memories,” she said.