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Forest Park's Cole signs with High Point

Photo by Jerry Jackson Ashlee Cole (left) gets a hug from her mother, Natalie, on Wednesday in the Forest Park High library prior to the Lady Panthers guard signing her scholarship with High Point University. 

Photo by Jerry Jackson Ashlee Cole (left) gets a hug from her mother, Natalie, on Wednesday in the Forest Park High library prior to the Lady Panthers guard signing her scholarship with High Point University. 

During his tenure as a football coach and boys and girls basketball coach, Steven Cole has had his share of players sign college scholarships.

But Tuesday’s midday signing ceremony in the Forest Park High media center was a special moment for Cole and his wife, Natalie.

The couple stood by as their daughter, Ashlee, a senior guard on the Lady Panthers basketball team, signed a scholarship with Div. I High Point University in North Carolina. Several of her teammates and former coaches were on hand to witness the ceremony.

“I don’t really have words to describe this,” Steven Cole said. “She has been working since she was six years old to get to this point. I can’t tell you how happy I am right now.”

The younger Cole, who was the Clayton News Daily Clayton County Player of the Year last season, has been a four-year starter for the Lady Panthers, who reached the Class AAAA title game last season. She averaged 18 points last season for the Region 4-AAAA champions.

“You couldn’t ask for a better gift in raising your child, and also having the opportunity to coach your child,” Steven Cole said.

Ashlee had several offers, but decided on High Point, which is a member of the Big South Conference, because of its proximity.

“It is far enough to be away from home, but also close enough for my parents to come see me play,” she said. “I’m very excited about my opportunity at High Point. First, I’m looking forward to this season.”