By Ryan Murken Your Prep Sports
IOWA CITY – With two full seasons of high school basketball left to play there is plenty remaining that Rachael Saunders would like to accomplish in a West High uniform.
Before her junior season got underway Saunders checked a big item off that to-do list.
Saunders ended her recruitment early, verbally committing to Creighton and head coach Jim Flanery this week, less than two weeks before the start of her junior season.
“It just seemed like the right place for me,” Saunders said. “I went on a visit and had a great time and I absolutely loved it there and they play the style of play that I’m used to playing and I think that will really help me with the transition.”
A 5-foot-9 guard, Saunders averaged 4.3 points per game as a freshman while helping West High advance to the state semifinals.
Last season Saunders began to garner attention from major college programs when she averaged a team-high 9.7 points per game.
Saunders visited the Creighton campus in Omaha on Oct. 4 and committed later during a phone call with Creighton assistant coach Chevelle Herring.
“She called me and we were having this nice conversation and I just thought, ‘I think I want to do it now,’” Saunders explained. “It seemed like the right time.”
Saunders shot 35 percent from 3-point range last season and averaged 2.1 rebounds and 1.9 assists while helping West High to the regional finals.
West High coach B.J. Mayer said its all the little things that Saunders brings along with her scoring and athleticism that attracted Division 1 coaches.
“She has a motor that doesn’t quit,” Mayer said. “She is always doing the little things, getting on the floor for loose balls and she is so athletic that she can do a lot of things for you.”
Saunders collected scholarship offers from North Dakota, North Dakota State, Northern Illinois and South Dakota State among others before settling on the Bluejays.
Creighton is coming off a 17-18 season in which it went 8-10 in Big East play and lost in the opening round of the WNIT Tournament.
Mayer views Saunders as a player that could play both the point guard and shooting guard spot at the next level.
“I think she is one of those kids that at Creighton they are probably going to play her as a combo guard,” Mayer said. “She can play a little point guard or she can play the two. I think that versatility will help her also.”
Saunders is set to join the program for the 2018-2019 season.
Before that time she has a list of things she’d like to get done at West High, starting this winter.
“Two state championships are the goal right now and our whole team is on board for it,” Saunders said. “Our goal is state tournaments and state championships and going for it all these next two seasons with all the talent that we have.”