Brooke Hughes commits to Pitt

Published 12:00 am Sunday, June 30, 2002

Another Hughes is going big time.

First, Amy Hughes signed with Connecticut. Beth Hughes inked then with Marshall. And Abby Hughes was a Morehead State recruit.

Now it's Brooke Hughes' turn. The South Webster Lady Jeeps senior-to-be has given a verbal commitment to play for the Pittsburgh Panthers.

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"I wanted to play in a big conference, and the Big East is one of the best," said Hughes. "It was one of the things I was looking for. It will be awesome to play against (Big East teams)."

As a junior, Hughes was the Division IV Southeast District Co-Player of the Year along with Megan Tackett of Green. She was first team All-Ohio.

The talented point guard averaged 18.2 points, 4.9 assists and 6.5 steals a game to lead South Webster to the district finals.

"Certainly you have to bring a lot to the court to be a Division I recruit," said South Webster coach Mike Hughes who also happens to be Brooke's father. "She's a good passer, a good ball handler, a good 3-point shooter, and she is good at penetrating. Plus, she is very good defensively."

Pittsburgh was only 8-19 last season, but Hughes sees signing with the school as a challenge.

"I hope to see a turnaround," said Brooke. "(Pitt coach Traci Waites) has gotten five new girls for my class and she really wants to turn it around and try to get into the NCAA Tournament.

"It has always been one of my dreams to play in that tournament. Once you get in, you never know how far you will go."

Hughes was recruited by more than 50 NCAA Division I schools before settling on Pittsburgh. Due to NCAA rules, she will not be able to sign a National Letter-of-Intent until the November signing period.

Brooke said the determining factor was Waites, the Big East Co-Coach of the Year for the 1999-2000 season.

"(Waites) was probably the main factor. You could tell she wanted to make the team better. She was energetic, and she was just dynamic and positive. She is awesome," said Brooke.

The youngest of the Hughes sister, Brooke can rely on her sisters for advice not only at the college level but improving her game. Amy Hughes is the new head girls basketball coach at Ironton High School. Jim Walker/The Ironton Tribune