Valley senior Savannah Easter (center right seated) signed to continue her education and basketball career at the University of Rio Grande. Pictured: (front L-R) Melissa Easter, Samantha Jones, Savannah Easter, Loren Easter; (back L-R) Brandon Bias, Tyson Phillips, David Smalley.

Jacob Smith | Daily Times

LUCASVILLE — From the time she could perform her first “basketball move”, Valley senior Savannah Easter saw playing collegiate basketball as a dream.

As of her signing on Monday with the University of Rio Grande women’s basketball program, Easter will be able to live out her goal beginning this fall.

“I’ve been dreaming of being a college basketball player since I could dribble,” Easter said, at Monday’s signing. “To be able to make it to the next level, it makes me so excited.”

Easter said the small school nature of URG helped finalize her decision, along with being able to see friends and family on the short 40 mile one-way drive from Lucasville to Rio Grande.

As of now, she is undecided on her future major.

“I like Rio because it’s a small school. I can be really close to the teachers because of that,” Easter said. “And it’s really close to home, so I can still see everyone.”

During her time at Valley, Easter has been a four-year member of the Lady Indians’ girls basketball and volleyball programs.

She spoke to how the hiring of third-year girls basketball coach Tyson Phillips was an important step in her and her teammates’ basketball journey.

“It was really important because I feel like he brought the team together,” Easter said. “He showed us things that we hadn’t seen before. We practiced a lot of team dynamics and team bonding.”

In her senior season, Easter and the Lady Indians won the program’s first sectional title and district tournament appearance since 2014.

“It was so much fun. Having the feeling of winning a tournament game, it was the feeling of finally getting that,” Easter said. “Went out in the district semis, but getting there was really awesome.

Easter added that she feels her shooting ability and leadership qualities will be welcome among the URG program.

“I’m a shooter, I feel like I can contribute in scoring points and being a leader,” she said.

Surrounded by friends and family, Easter expressed her thanks to those who attended her signing as she prepares to begin the next chapter in her life.

“It’s amazing. I love having all the support, having these all of these amazing people in my life. My friends, my family, and my coaches.”

Reach Jacob Smith at (740) 370-0713 ext. 1930, by email at [email protected], or on Twitter @JacobSmithPDT © 2023 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights reserved