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Two Warhill girls basketball players made their college decisions final earlier this month.
Kasey Grainer, a second-team All-State selection, and Alayna Cormier each signed to play college basketball at Division III schools.
Grainer, Warhill’s leading scorer this year, committed to play basketball at Virginia Wesleyan, while Cormier decided to play for Utica College in New York.
The two players made their decisions final during an off-campus signing ceremony June 1 at Daddyo’s Tavern in Norge.
Grainer, who averaged 12.8 points per game, 6.1 rebounds per game and 2.7 assists per game during her senior year, chose Virginia Wesleyan over other Virginia-based Division III schools such as Bridgewater College, Christopher Newport University and the University of Mary Washington.
Grainer, who has communicated with coaches from Virginia Wesleyan since she was a sophomore, wanted to find a smaller school that would allow her to get a quality education. For Grainer, Virginia Wesleyan seemed to fit the bill.
“I’m going to be a business major, and the program as Wesleyan is great for it being a small school,” she said. “Going to a small school seemed to fit me better. I really wanted to make sure my academics were taken care of as well as being able to play basketball.”
Staying close to home was also a priority for Grainer, which is one reason she found comfort at Virginia Wesleyan. With traffic, Grainer estimated Virginia Wesleyan is about an hour away from her home.
Her former teammate Cormier shared an opposite approach to choosing a college.
Cormier was being recruited by three Division III colleges – Utica College in New York, Arcadia University in Pennsylvania and Guilford College in North Carolina.
Eventually Cormier chose to sign with Utica College, citing the beauty of the campus, the school offering her chosen major of chemistry and the ability to play shooting guard on the collegiate level.
Moving away from home does not bother Cormier, who said she expects to get breaks to come visit family despite the school being nine hours away.
Utica College reached out to Cormier, who averaged 3.8 points per game, 1.7 rebounds per game and 1.6 assists per game during her senior season, after coaches came away impressed after watching her play in a club basketball tournament.
After visiting Utica College twice, Cormier felt comfortable enough with the school and coaching staff to commit.
On June 1, sitting next to her teammate Grainer, Cormier put pen to paper to finalize her decision in front of family, friends and coaches. Cormier said the off-campus signing ceremony was ultimately more fitting for her than an in-school signing ceremony.
“We were able to spend time with our families, coaches and teammates,” she said. “It was a more personal experience. It was a lot of fun.”
Warhill coach Bingo Brungot praised the work ethic of both players and the passion they had for the sport of basketball.
“They’re both very dedicated young ladies. They have been since middle school,” he said. “They both have shared a passion for basketball and have wanted to play at the next level. They were hungry to try to do that.”