So much for assumptions.
Although family ties certainly weighed heavily on Allison’s mind during her recruiting process the last few months, in the end, the Iota senior chose to go a different route than her sisters – one that takes her east to Lafayette and the University of Louisiana at Lafayette .
Allison made it official Wednesday, issuing a verbal pledge to ULL’s womens’ basketball program.
“This was a really tough decision for me because I wanted to play with my sisters so bad,” said Allison. “But they have always told me to make this decision for myself, not for them because I would only play with them for one year. So I took their advice and went on my visit to UL.”
That one visit was all it took for the youngest of the Baggett family to make her decision.
“When I went on my visit, the coaches were just so welcoming to me,” said Allison. “They made me feel like I was at home. I see the people they are recruiting and the people they have now on the team and I just really wanted to be a part of that.”
Baggett chose UL-Lafayette not only over McNeese, but over nearly every other school in the state, including UL-Monroe, UNO, Northwestern, Southeastern and Centenary as well as numerous smaller colleges in Arkansas, Mississippi and Alabama .
“I’m just happy to be a Lady Cajun,” said Allison. “I was strongly considering McNeese and ULM, but my experience on my trip to ULL was just great. I love the place, I love Lafayette .
“It’s just so close to home and I will still get to spend time with my family. It just seemed like the right place to be.”
Being close to home is something that was a plus for her father, Iota head girls’ basketball coach Stan Baggett.
“We are very excited that she’s going to be so close to home,” said the elder Baggett. “To me, that’s the biggest thing. I wasn’t going to fight her if she wanted to go farther away, but as parents, my wife and I are very happy that she’s going to be less than 35 miles down the road.”
The decision to commit prior to her senior year also takes pressure off the young Baggett, who ranks third all-time in scoring at Iota with 1,796 points. She trails her sisters Ashlyn and Caitlyn, who hold the top two spots with 2,684 and 2,681 points, respectively.
“This takes a lot of weight off my shoulders,” said Allison. “Not that it was really pressure. But I was kind of ready to be part of a team, I just didn’t know where yet. Now that I am certain that ULL is the place I want to go, I’m so excited and I feel so relieved.”
Being on the same court with her sisters is not out of the realm of possibility either.
ULL has played McNeese the last three seasons and the two squads meet again this year in Lake Charles. However, the 2012-13 schedule has not been released.
“If we could play together, that would just be a real magical experience,” said Allison. “If I could play them one time, one game, share one court with them, because I have never been able to do that. If I could do that just one time, that would make my life.”
And if the three sisters do get a chance to square off, you can bet it would be as competitive as their pickup games over the summer.
“Whenever we’re on that court, if they have that Cowgirl jersey on and I have a Cajun jersey on, I don’t know them,” said Allison. “They’re not my sisters until after the game. After we beat them, I’ll give them a big hug.”