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St. Frances graduate Angel McCoughtry offers periodic blog updates with the Associated Press on her senior season with the Louisville women's basketball team.

By ANGEL McCOUGHTRY

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For The Associated Press

LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- Hi, Angel here again. I hope everyone enjoyed the holidays.

Today, I'd like to tell you about our three seniors — me, Chauntise Wright, and Candyce Bingham — and how we all ended up here at the University of Louisville.

We all took different paths, and I think it is an interesting story because we all have something in common. The three of us did not sign with the University of Louisville out of high school.

As a senior in high school I had signed and planned on going to St. John's. I was very excited about my decision and having a chance to play in the Big Apple. But after several tries I did not get the SAT score I needed, so I enrolled in a prep school.

Chauntise had signed with Seton Hall her senior year in high school, but like me she was in the same boat with the SAT score. But Tise took a different route and waited to find out what she should do to enroll in school.

On the other hand, while I was at prep school and Tise was trying to figure out her best options, Candyce Bingham was enrolled as a freshman at Xavier.

An assistant coach on the previous staff gave Chauntise a call and said, 'We would like to have you here at the University of Louisville.' He told her, 'I know your situation but we are here to help you get an education and continue playing basketball.' Chauntise believed in what he said and enrolled at Louisville and redshirted her first year.

Meanwhile, the assistant coach came to visit my prep school. I was thinking, 'Who is this guy and where is Louisville located on the map?' But all that changed when I came on my visit.

I felt such a family atmosphere and for some reason I just felt in my heart this was the place I needed to be. Louisville had never been ranked in the Top 25 and a lot of people questioned why I decided on being a Cardinal. Louisville had never been past the second round in the NCAA tournament and didn't average large crowds.

But I felt this is where I should be.

Two years after I signed with Louisville, Candyce decided to transfer. She's from Louisville and signed with Xavier because she wanted to move away from home. But after two years there she decided that she wanted to come back — and now she is happier than ever.

I thought that'd be interesting to share, because things have changed since the three of us came to Louisville. We now average over 6,000 fans a game, we've been ranked in the Top 25 the past three years and last season was our first Sweet 16 appearance.

It just goes to show you that you should always follow your heart!

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We are just coming back from a game at South Florida with a 4-0 record in Big East. I have to admit it feels very good because last season we started off 0-3 in the conference. I am very proud of all the young ladies because they are buying into what Coach Walz wants them to do.

Tonight, when we played South Florida and I fouled out with 5 minutes left in the game, the girls came together and played even better with me sitting on the bench. I joked that I need to foul out more often! The point is, it made me so proud and that proves that the team is continuing to improve.

Since starting to write this blog, it has inspired me to write more — so I've been writing almost every day. I have started to write my life story about how I overcame a lot of obstacles to get to where I am.

I hope to inspire young girls and let them know that you can do anything you want to do.

Well, it's been good talking to you!

Angel

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