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West Ranch star Branham commits to Chico State

Wildcats senior Whitney Branham headed up north for college ball

Posted: December 18, 2013 10:47 p.m.
Updated: December 18, 2013 10:47 p.m.

The Santa Clarita Valley’s top returning girls basketball player from last season now has a home for college.

West Ranch High senior guard Whitney Branham recently committed to Chico State University.

Branham, who was an All-Foothill League and All-Santa Clarita Valley first-teamer last year, could have waited further into the season to attract more attention from colleges. But she said Chico State, an NCAA Division II program that plays in the California Collegiate Athletic Association, felt like the right fit.

“I went there and the whole feel and the whole coaching staff, everything. Everything they stood for I stood for as well,” Branham said. “For me it’s not about, Division I, Division II. I want to play basketball. I love it.”

Branham led the Foothill League in scoring at 17.9 points per game. She also rebounded at 7.6 per game, added 2.4 assists and 3.9 steals.

“Whitney’s a tough competitor who plays hard,” said Chico State head coach Brian Fogel. “Her ability to play multiple positions will make her a welcome addition to next season’s team.”

Branham should be one of the leading candidates for the Foothill League and All-Santa Clarita Valley players of the year awards come season’s end.

“I want it more than anything. I want it more for our school and team, to show it’s our team, not just me,” Branham said.

Chico State grabbed another Santa Clarita Valley player as well by getting former Saugus player and current Chaminade of West Hills post player Natalie Valenzuela.

Valenzuela played at Saugus her freshman year and is averaging 8.2 points and 5.5 rebounds through the first six games this season.


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