MILLEDGEVILLE — Following a dominating season with the Baldwin High girl’s basketball team and leading them to a state playoff appearance in her senior season, Jayla Waller announced her decision Monday to take her game to the next level by signing with Lafayette College in Easton, Pa.
For Waller, signing with the Lady Leopards fulfills a life-long dream to compete at the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s Division I level.
“It’s a very special day. I’ve been dreaming about this day since I was little, ‘cause I’ve always wanted to play D-I basketball,” she said. “It’s been very hard to decide; a very difficult decision I had to make, but I had to make it. My parents helped me out with the decision and I prayed, and I asked where I was supposed to go, and I got to sign with Lafayette so that’s where I’ll be going.”
Touted as one of the best players in Central Georgia, Waller let her actions speak louder than her words this season, as she was named Baldwin County Player of the Year and selected to be a part of the Middle Georgia All-Star Team in March.
“The biggest thing was for Jayla to be patient. She didn’t get a lot of looks early, just due to the coaching change,” Randall Owens, head coach, said. “I just told her to let the play speak for itself and all of the offers will come, and she had about seven or eight offers to choose from, so she was very patient throughout the process and never got discouraged and was very upbeat and optimistic throughout. Today, all that hard work paid off.”
After taking a recent visit to the college, Waller said she genuinely liked the feeling of the school and was impressed with both the academics and basketball programs.