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Forest Park’s Cole switches to Georgia State

Photo by Derrick Mahone
Former Forest Park standout Ashlee Cole signed with Georgia State afterbeing let out of her National Letter of Intent she signed with High Point in November.

Photo by Derrick Mahone Former Forest Park standout Ashlee Cole signed with Georgia State afterbeing let out of her National Letter of Intent she signed with High Point in November.

Former Forest Park girl’s basketball standout Ashlee Cole is staying in Georgia.

The two-time Clayton News Daily/Henry Daily Herald Clayton County Player of the Year is signing with Georgia State. She first announced the decision Sunday on Facebook. Georgia State officially announced Cole’s signing Wednesday on the team’s website.

“Ashlee can score in a variety of ways and as the daughter of a high school coach she has a great understanding of the game,” Georgia State coach Sharon Baldwin-Tener told the team’s official website. “She is a very aggressive competitor, a legitimate scoring threat and has been a winner throughout her high school career.”

Cole signed with High Point last November during the NCAA one-week early signing period, excited about the way the school “felt like home” and how she’d built a “great relationship with all the coaches.”

All that changed May 9. High Point announced first-year women’s basketball coach Jennifer Hoover accepted the same position at Wake Forest, her alma mater, where she still holds the all-time scoring and rebounding records.

High Point announced nine days later it had found a new head coach — the Panthers promoted Hoover’s assistant, DeUnna Hendrix, to head coach, ostensibly maintaining some stability in the program after a highly successful season.

High Point is coming off a 20-win season and its second-ever appearance in the Women’s NIT. The Panthers won a program-best 13 Big South Conference games. Hoover was named the Spalding Maggie Dixon Rookie Coach of the Year by the WBCA.

But Hoover’s departure seemed to throw Cole’s status with the program into flux. The NCAA allowed Cole’s National Letter of Intent to void, permitting her to sign elsewhere. Georgia State was one of a handful of schools Cole strongly considered before signing with High Point.

The 5-foot-9 guard became a standout performer virtually from the time she entered Forest Park. She was a four-year starter for the Lady Panthers, four-time all-region selection and three-time all-state selection. She led Forest Park to the Class AAAA semifinals as a sophomore, the finals as a junior and the quarterfinals last season.