NEPA Sports Nation

Three-time NCAA champions latest to be courting Toomey

Baylor University has built a women’s basketball dynasty.

New Bears coach Nicki Collen would like Ciera Toomey to help in the team’s efforts to try to continue that success.

Baylor on Friday became the latest school and the second Big 12 program in the last three days to offer the NEPA Elite Clark 17U forward and rising Dunmore High School junior a full National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I scholarship.

The Bears have won the last 11 Big 12 regular-season titles with the help of a 187-9 conference record during that time. They have won nine of the Big 12 tournament titles during that stretch and their 368-28 overall record since the start of the 2010-11 is the second best in the nation behind only the University of Connecticut (384-22).

Baylor won NCAA titles in 2005, 2012 and 2019. It reached the Elite Eight this season where it dropped a two-point decision to Connecticut.

The Bears have made 17 straight trips to the NCAA Tournament reaching the Sweet 16 in 15 of them and the Elite Eight in 10.

Toomey’s rise through the ranks of the nation’s top recruits continues to show in the schools extending scholarship offers.

Since the end of her sophomore high school season, where she earned first-team Class 4A all-state despite not having the benefit of a postseason because of a COVID-19 shutdown of the school’s program, Toomey has received offers from the Big 12, Big Ten (Maryland) and Atlantic Coast Conference (North Carolina State) champions.

Beginning in July, NCAA Division I coaches could get their first in-person looks at recruits since the start of the pandemic. Toomey made the most of the start of the live recruiting period with strong efforts while leading NEPA Elite to second place in the 32-team Stanford Bracket at the PBR Super 64 National Championships in Frisco, Tex., then a repeat of its Hoop Group Showcase League title, all in a span of a week.

Toomey led NEPA Elite in points (15.0 per game), rebounds (6.4), blocked shots (1.8), field goal percentage (57.7) and free throws made and attempted (10-for-16) in the HGSL Championship Weekend, which ended Monday in Atlantic City. She received her first offer since those tournaments Wednesday from Oklahoma.

Baylor, Michigan, Maryland and North Carolina State have all made offers after reaching the Sweet 16 of the 2021 NCAA Tournament.

No. 5 Baylor, No. 7 North Carolina State, No. 9 Maryland, No. 11 Michigan and No. 24 West Virginia were all in the final Top 25 poll while Northwestern was second among others receiving votes, effectively leaving it 27th in the rankings.

Toomey also has scholarship offers from Boston College, Bucknell, North Carolina, Northeastern, Ohio State, Penn State, Pittsburgh, Rider, St. John’s, Vanderbilt, Villanova and Virginia Tech. She has been extended the opportunity to play at Columbia or Penn, which, as Ivy League members, do not offer athletic scholarships.

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