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PROVO — A year after committing to Oregon, Amari Whiting is changing her mind.
The senior-to-be point guard at Timpview, whose mother Amber just took the head coaching job at BYU, announced her commitment to the Cougars on Tuesday, stunning the women's basketball landscape with her decommitment from Oregon.
It won't be the first time Whiting has played for her mother. The duo spent the past few seasons at Burley High School in Idaho, where the 5-foot-10 point guard averaged 26.9 points, 10.5 rebounds and 3.6 assists and 5.7 steals per game in leading the Bobcats to a 25-1 record and the Idaho 4A state title.
Now she wants to do the same thing as BYU prepares to jump to the Big 12.
"A little over a year ago, I was invited by Kelly to come to Eugene, Oregon, to get to know their program and was offered a scholarship. I quickly fell in love with the beauty of Eugene, the basketball culture they have there and most importantly the entire staff," Whiting wrote on social media. "Over the past year of getting to know each other, we have become family. I love spending time on the phone or in person with each of them.
"Recently my mom was named the new head coach at BYU, which has been amazing but also brought on a lot of change. We left behind all the great friends and memories we created in five years in Burley, Idaho. I have joined a new high school in Timpview and met a lot of great new friends and coaches. With all these changes, I've realized that the one consistent thing in my life has been my family. My mom has been my coach for 10 years. She knows my strengths, my weaknesses, and how to bring out the best in me. We have sweat, fought, cried, laughed, lost and won championships together.
"Eugene and all the Duck fans will always be family to me, but I have decided to join my mom at BYU as they enter the Big 12 basketball era. The Big 12 is a huge jump for BYU basketball and I have always loved challenges and I can't wait to fight for a championship with my mom as my coach. I am committed to BYU and my mom! Go Cougs!"
Super excited to be a coug 💙🤙🏼 LETSSS GOOOOOO!! pic.twitter.com/fGhD3ICjqA— Amari Whiting (@amari_whiting) July 26, 2022
In Timpview, Whiting will play for another former BYU standout in Haley Hall Steed, who led the Thunderbirds to a 19-5 record with a 10-2 mark in Region 8 play last year in her first season on the bench.
The four-star point guard, rated No. 31 nationally by ESPN, would be the third member of her family to play for BYU, joining her mother and father, Trent, who averaged 14.2 points for the Cougars in 2001-02 while his wife competed on the women's team. Older brother Jace Whiting recently returned home from a two-year mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and enrolled at Boise State.
The move also helps replace the departure of BYU star Shaylee Gonzales, who entered the transfer portal following the retirement of former coach Jeff Judkins and re-emerged at Texas for next year. The Longhorns will play at least one season in a 14-team Big 12 that includes BYU, Cincinnati, Houston and UCF before departing for the Southeaster Conference no later than 2025.
Gonzales is one of several key departures the Cougars suffered following the 2021-22 season, a list that includes seniors Paisley Harding, Maria Albiero, Sara Hamson and Tegan Graham following the most successful regular season in program history.
Whiting is still a year away from joining her mother at BYU, and it's impossible to know if she'll acclimate immediately to step in fill the big shoes left by the outgoing class. But there's little doubt that the Cougars got better with Tuesday's commitment.