When it mattered most, Kylee Griffen stuck with her first instinct: Gonzaga.
The 6-foot-2 wing from Lake Stevens, Washington, visited schools around the country, but signed a national letter of intent on Wednesday with the school that offered her first.
“I just felt like (the coaching staff) was easy to talk to, they wanted to know about all aspects of me besides just basketball,” Griffen told the Everett Herald.
“(The players) were welcoming, and I could tell the entire team was close. They reached out and talked to me, not just out of obligation,” Griffen said.
It didn’t hurt that Griffen, the 11th-ranked wing in the nation, has extended family members in the Spokane area.
Several of Griffen’s extended family members live in the Spokane area.
“They’re all big (Gonzaga) fans,” Griffen said. “It will be nice for them to be there. When I want to get away for a bit, I’ll have family members that I can go see.”
At Lake Stevens, Griffen has primarily served as an inside player, but she’ll be asked to play a wing spot in college.
“The main thing I want to work on now is getting stronger,” Griffen said. “I’m also working to develop my 3-point shot.”
Griffen averaged 17.5 points and 11 rebounds per game last season for the Vikings. She earned first-team All-Wesco 4A honors and was a second-team Herald All-Area selection.
Washington Sate signs third sister from Hawaii
A year from now, the Washington State Cougars will have one of the best sister acts in college basketball.
With the signing Wednesday of Hawaiian point guard Cherilyn Molina, WSU coach June Daugherty has completed a trifecta from the same family.
“Cherilyn is a tremendous addition to our Cougar program,” said Daugherty, who already has Chanelle and Celena on the WSU roster.
“She is an awesome point guard that has a great knack for passing and shooting the three,” Daugherty said.
“The third Molina sister has signed her NLI and we could not be more excited for her future her.”
A standout point guard at Konawaena High School in Kailua-Kona, Molina enters her final high school season as the reigning Hawaii Gatorade Player of the Year.
As a junior, the 5-foot-5 Molina also was a first-team he was named the Hawaii High School Athletic Association and the Big Island Interscholastic Federation Player of the Year.
In tournament play, Molina averaged 15 points, 6.1 assist, and 4.3 steals per game in the state championships en route to being named the HHSAA Tournament Most Outstanding Player.
Eastern Washington signs three 6-footers
Eastern Washington coach Wendy Schuller announced three signees, including a post player from Hawaii, a forward from Great Britain and guard Grace Kirscher of Sandpoint.
Kirscher, a 6-footer, was named to the Idaho Statesman’s 4A Al-Idaho State team after leading Sandpoint a third-straight appearance at the state tournament.
“She can play anywhere on the floor and has really nice size for a guard,” Schuller said. Physically, I think she will be able to step in right away and compete at the DI level.”
Eastern also signed Bella Cravens, a 6-3 post from Laie, Hawaii, who is coming off a runner-up finish in the state tournament.
Cravens led her Maryknoll squad to back-to-back ILH Championships during the 2014-15 and 2015-16 seasons.
“She is an excellent athlete and will bring a paint presence with her shot blocking and rebounding,” Schuller said.
The Eagles’ third signee, 6-1 power forward Milly Knowles of Cumbria, England, has played internationally since she was 12.
Knowles also competed for Great Britain in the U-18 European Championships.
Also in 2017, she was named the Women’s Elite Academy Basketball League North Defensive Player of the Year and earned Most Valuable Player of the England Schools.
Knowles is coached by former Eagle great Julie Page, who played basketball for EWU under Schuller from 2004-06.
Subscribe to The Spokesman-Review's sports newsletter
Get the day's top sports headlines and breaking news delivered to your inbox by subscribing here.