WOMEN’S BASKETBALL: Miss Basketball, Crystal Kelly, will sign today

Michael Casagrande

The announcement women’s basketball fans in Kentucky have been waiting months for, will finally come this evening.

Sacred Heart Academy senior Crystal Kelly said last night that she will make her college decision known at a 5 p.m. CDT news conference at the Louisville high school. Kelly would not give an indication as to what school she will attend.

She was at Western on Sunday to tour the School of Journalism and Broadcasting facilities. Kelly said she would like to study photojournalism in college.

After her visit to the Hill, Kelly said she planned to visit her other two finalists, the universities of Louisville and Kentucky. She said she visited the Louisville campus but did not make the trip to Lexington. Kelly had said Louisville’s lack of a journalism school was a negative during the decision making process.

The 2004 Kentucky Miss Basketball said Monday that she was 99 percent sure she had made her final decision.

Kelly narrowed her choices to the three in-state schools last week because she wanted to play close to her family.

“I already have a fan base here,” she said. “Having my friends and family see me play makes me happy.”

Last season, Western lacked the post presence that Kelly could bring to the program. The Lady Toppers fell to both Louisville and Kentucky last season, losing to the Lady Cards 76-75 and to the Lady Cats 76-73.

Kentucky (11-17) did not play in the post-season after falling to Vanderbilt 60-41 in the first round of the SEC Tournament.

Louisville finished the season 20-10 following a 63-61 loss to Western Michigan in the first round of the post-season WNIT Tournament.

Western (20-14) advanced to the quarterfinals of the postseason WNIT before losing to UNLV 78-75.

Today’s announcement will end months of speculation concerning the All-American’s college decision. Kelly said the attention was fun, but did not get to her head.

“It’s OK,” Kelly said. “But eventually it will go away.”

Reach Michael Casagrande at [email protected].