Forest Park's Cole chooses High Point



Saying it felt like ‘home’ when she made her official visit last week, Forest Park standout guard Ashlee Cole has committed to playing her college basketball at High Point next season.

The senior said she will sign with the Big South Conference school in November during the NCAA one-week early signing period.

“I chose High Point because I have a great relationship with all the coaches,” Cole said Tuesday evening. “I really like my future teammates, and plus they have an awesome campus.”

She said she had also considered Georgia State, Jacksonville, Jacksonville State, Kennesaw State and North Carolina-Greensboro, but liked her visit at High Point.

“I think she felt like it was home,” said her father Steven Cole, who also coaches the Forest Park girls’ basketball team. “We are expecting a big season from Ashlee this year. We want her to be more of a leader on the court.”

In leading the Lady Panthers to the Region 4-AAAA championship and to the state title game, Cole averaged 15 points, 2.6 rebounds and 2.5 steal as she was named the Clayton News Daily/Henry Daily Herald Clayton County Player of the Year.

She has been a three-year starter at Forest Park, which has made the state playoff each of those seasons.

In addition, Cole has been named to the all-region team all three seasons. Her best season was as a sophomore, where she averaged 18.5 points and three assists in leading the Lady Panther to the Final Four for the first time since the school won it all in 1970.

Cole said she will not be the only player from the metro area to sign with High Point in November. Miller Grove center Tabitha Fudge is expected to ink with the team. Cole and Fudge have played against each other on the summer AAU circuit.

“We didn’t plan it like that (signing with High Point), it just happened,” Cole said.

Now that she has chosen her future school, Cole said her full concentration this season will be to help the Lady Panthers will the state title. Last season, Forest Park lost in the title game to Fayette County.

“You can’t never relax, because someone is always looking to beat you,” Cole said. “I’ve still got to work hard, although I have this scholarship. I want to win region and state in my final season.”