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Buford's Carter verbally commits to Tennessee
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When Andraya Carter was 7 years old, she told her parents that she wanted to play college basketball at the University of Tennessee.

On Wednesday, Buford’s highly-touted sophomore guard took a huge step toward realizing her dream when she gave a verbal commitment to play for Pat Summitt and the Lady Vols.

“This is just a great feeling,” Carter said. “There are a ton of great programs out there, but this is a dream come true for me. (Tennessee) is where I want to be and I want to play for Pat Summitt.

“I don’t know if it’s hit me yet, and I know some people will question (such an early committment), but I have the blessing of the people closest to me and that’s what matters.”

Carter, who first began receiving Division I scholarship offers in the eighth grade, has been in contact with the Tennessee staff for more than a year.

Lady Vols assistant Daedra Charles-Furlow came to see her play for Buford before last year’s state tournament and Summitt came in January to not only see a game, but offer a scholarship.

“I didn’t want to commit at that time because I didn’t want to go on emotion,” said Carter, who has received letters from each of the country’s top women’s basketball programs. “I went and visited the school twice and like it. I prayed about it because I wanted to see if (Tennessee) was what God wanted for me.”

After conversations with her AAU coach, Buford coach Gene Durden and her parents, Carter decided Tennessee was the place for her.

“Honestly I felt that I was leading other colleges on,” Carter said. “I’m a personable person and could, in time, build a relationship with any person from any college and calling the schools I had to call — the ones I’d gotten close to — to tell them (about the verbal committment) was hard enough.”

In her two years at Buford, Carter has proved herself worthy of the attention.

Her freshman year, she averaged 9.5 points, seven assists, 5.7 steals and 2.7 rebounds per game while garnering first-team all-state honors by both the Georgia Athletic Coaches Association and the Georgia Sportswriters Association. She was named to the Region 6-AA first team as well as The Times All-Area first team.

This past season, one in which Buford won its second state title in as many years, Carter averaged 19.5 points, 6.5 rebounds and 5.2 steals per game.

She was named Region 6-AA’s Player of the Year and once again made The Times All-Area first team.

For Carter, however, early successes along with an early commitment doesn’t mean her work is done.

“Tennessee is going to bring in all-stars every year so there is no taking a break,” Carter said. “To be remembered at UT you have to be great, but even if I don’t end up being a superstar, I’ll go up against the best everyday and one of my goals in life is to simply be the best I can be: they’ll push me to that.”

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