3 Chiefs ink letters of intent for D1 basketball

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  • Connor Vanderweyst/Columbia Basin Herald Jamie Loera (middle seated) poses with (left to right) Hector Cuello, Randy Sandberg, Matt Strophy, JD Taylor, Brant Mayo, Loren Sandhop, Chad Utter, (seated) Javier Loera and Lori Loera after signing her national letter of intent to Arizona State University.

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    Connor Vanderweyst/Columbia Basin Herald Abby Rathbun (middle seated) poses with (left to right) Brant Mayo, Greg Rathbun, Jen Rathbun, Matt Strophy, Chad Utter, JD Taylor, Loren Sandhop, (seated) Taggart Rathbun and Tell Rathbun after signing her national letter of intent to the University of San Francisco.

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    Connor Vanderweyst/Columbia Basin Herald Spencer Kimbro (seated) poses with (left to right) Kevin Whittall, Tomie Zuchetto, Teresa Skinner, Robin Kimbro, Dan Kimbro and Loren Sandhop after signing his national letter of intent to the University of Alabama.

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    Connor Vanderweyst/Columbia Basin Herald Moses Lake basketball player Jamie Loera signs her national letter of intent to Arizona State University with parents Javier and Lori Loera.

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    Connor Vanderweyst/Columbia Basin Herald Moses Lake basketball player Abby Rathbun signs her national letter of intent to the University of San Francisco.

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    Connor Vanderweyst/Columbia Basin Herald Moses Lake para-athlete Spencer Kimbro signed his national letter of intent to the University of Alabama.

  • Connor Vanderweyst/Columbia Basin Herald Jamie Loera (middle seated) poses with (left to right) Hector Cuello, Randy Sandberg, Matt Strophy, JD Taylor, Brant Mayo, Loren Sandhop, Chad Utter, (seated) Javier Loera and Lori Loera after signing her national letter of intent to Arizona State University.

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    Connor Vanderweyst/Columbia Basin Herald Abby Rathbun (middle seated) poses with (left to right) Brant Mayo, Greg Rathbun, Jen Rathbun, Matt Strophy, Chad Utter, JD Taylor, Loren Sandhop, (seated) Taggart Rathbun and Tell Rathbun after signing her national letter of intent to the University of San Francisco.

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    Connor Vanderweyst/Columbia Basin Herald Spencer Kimbro (seated) poses with (left to right) Kevin Whittall, Tomie Zuchetto, Teresa Skinner, Robin Kimbro, Dan Kimbro and Loren Sandhop after signing his national letter of intent to the University of Alabama.

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    Connor Vanderweyst/Columbia Basin Herald Moses Lake basketball player Jamie Loera signs her national letter of intent to Arizona State University with parents Javier and Lori Loera.

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    Connor Vanderweyst/Columbia Basin Herald Moses Lake basketball player Abby Rathbun signs her national letter of intent to the University of San Francisco.

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    Connor Vanderweyst/Columbia Basin Herald Moses Lake para-athlete Spencer Kimbro signed his national letter of intent to the University of Alabama.

MOSES LAKE — Any kid that ever stuck with a sport dreamed of one day “going D1.”

For three Chiefs, that dream became a reality Wednesday.

Moses Lake girls basketball players Jamie Loera (Arizona State), Abby Rathbun (San Francisco), and para-athlete Spencer Kimbro (Alabama) signed their national letters of intent inside a packed office filled with friends, family and coaches.

Loera verbally committed to Arizona State in July, so signing day was a welcomed formality for the standout guard.

“It’s kind of cool seeing all the people that have been with us through it all here tonight,” she said. “We’re continuing our journey and we’re really excited.”

Loera averaged 17.5 points, 6.2 rebounds, 4.4 assists and 3.3 steals per game as a junior. In addition to her all-around numbers, Loera helped Moses Lake finish fifth at the 2017 Class 4A state tournament, was the Columbia Basin Big Nine co-Player of the Year and Associated Press 4A All-State honorable mention.

Loera will join an Arizona State team that reached the second round of the NCAA Tournament in 2017.

“She just our type of player, first and foremost,” ASU head coach Charli Turner Thorne said. “We put performance character right up there with performance measures.”

Rathbun announced her commitment to the University of San Francisco in September.

Known for her defense, Rathbun has improved offensively each year of high school. She wanted to visit prospective schools while class was in session and was immediately impressed with the Bay Area.

The University of San Francisco women’s basketball program finished the 2016-17 season 18-13 and reached the second round of the West Coast Conference Tournament.

Teammates throughout high school and long before that, Rathbun and Loera have combined to help Moses Lake finish top-five in state the previous three seasons.

And they aren’t done yet.

“It’s good to think about our future, but at the same time we’ve got a whole season ahead of us and we still got that gold ball in mind and we’re not going to stop until we get it,” Rathbun said.

Spencer Kimbro made a name for himself racking up state championships on the track, but it was his work on the hardwood that drew Alabama’s attention. The para-athlete who has competed at the Pan American Games and has traveled as far as Qatar to compete signed a national letter of intent to his “dream school.”

“It was my No. 1 choice so I was just trying to get them to watch me,” Kimbro said.

Kimbro has played wheelchair basketball out of Spokane since 2011.

Alabama is one of 12 universities in the nation that sponsors wheelchair athletics. The men’s basketball team last won a national championship in 2013 and the women’s team won in 2017.

“I visited the campus last week,” Kimbro said. “As soon as I got there I just fell in love with the campus and I enjoy playing with them and just meeting the guys, it just felt right to be down there.”

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