ALBANY – All it took was one visit to Jacksonville University and Randolph-Clay High School basketball standout Brandi Buie was sold.
The senior called coach Jennifer Acree early on Tuesday and told her she was going to sign with the Dolphins.
“I’m very excited,” Buie said. “I really loved the coaches and I felt at home as soon as I got there. It felt right.”
Buie committed on Tuesday, and Acree said they’ll have a signing ceremony when she returns.
The Dolphins are getting a steal. The 5-foot-9 guard helped Randolph-Clay to a 27-4 record and the Class A girls public school state championship. She averaged 24 points, five rebounds, seven assists and six steals per game this year.
The Dolphins held an in-home visit with her last week and Buie was intrigued. But when she visited the Jacksonville campus, she called off several other trips. A handful of other programs such as Arizona, Ole Miss, High Point and Mercer had shown considerable interest.
“She called me this morning and told me she was going to shut down (the recruiting process),” Acree said. “She said she could see herself playing there. She loved the atmosphere and she loved the coaches.”
It didn’t take long for Buie to develop a strong relationship with coach Yolett McPhee-McCuin and assistant coaches Camille Collier, Darnell Haney, Brandon Rohr and Taneskei Richardson.
Acree said Buie’s stock improved as the season progressed. She said Jacksonville coaches noticed her play during the state tournament and wanted to know what they needed to do to land her.
“I told them they needed to talk to her and sell their program to her,” Acree said. “And they were able to do that.”
The senior had six games this season where she scored 30 points or more. None were bigger than her 38-point performance in a 77-74 victory over Mitchell County in the Region 1-A Tournament championship game at Seminole County High on Feb. 15.
She averaged 23.2 points per game in the state tourney in victories over Central-Talbotton, Towns County, Claxton and Mitchell County. She finished with 30 in a big 62-48 victory over Towns County in the second round.
“That was the best season of my high school career,” Buie said.
Jacksonville finished 13-17 last season and competes in the Atlantic Sun Conference. The Dolphins lost to Mercer in the conference tournament championship game.