Las Vegas Sun

September 17, 2019

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Liberty’s Burrell couldn’t say no to Tennessee’s basketball tradition

Rae Burrell

Ray Brewer / Las Vegas Sun

A poster of Liberty High’s Rae Burrell welcomed guests to her signing day event on Thursday, Nov. 9, 2017, in the Patriots cafeteria. Burrell signed with Tennessee.

There’s only a few women’s college basketball programs with a brand name many are familiar with. And when Liberty High senior Rae Burrell spent the weekend checking out one of those brands, she couldn’t help walking away impressed.

The facilities, tradition and fan following at Tennessee are second-to-none, she quickly learned.

Burrell, a 6-foot-1 wing who ESPN considers a five-star recruit, signed a letter-of-intent today with the Lady Vols.

“It was just amazing with all the support and the great program they have,” Burrell said. “It was filled with love. Just amazing.”

She also had scholarship offers from top-20 programs Duke, Oklahoma and Oregon State. But Tennessee, you can argue, is on another level. It has won eight national championships since 1987, and former coach Pat Summit is considered one of the game’s best all-time coaches.

“Her name is everywhere,” Burrell said.

Burrell averaged 18 points and seven rebounds per game last season while playing at Foothill. She led Foothill to the Sunrise championship, scoring 30 points in a win against her new school in the championship game. Her family moved into Liberty's school boundaries in the offseason.

“I feel like all my work has paid off. We have been through so many different coaches and teams,” she said.

Other players to sign with Division I schools this week include Spring Valley’s Essence Booker (UNR), Centennial’s Justice Ethridge (UNLV) and Desert Oasis’ Dajaah Lightfoot (Tennessee State).