Ameshya Williams found a place last year that felt like it could be her home away from home.
The West Harrison basketball standout took the next step to solidifying her place in Starkville on Tuesday when she verbally committed to the No. 16 Bulldogs.
Williams ultimately decided between MSU or Southern Miss. Virginia Tech, Florida State, Tulane and LSU were among other suitors who lost out on the talented forward.
"(At Mississippi State) it was like they already knew me," Williams said of her visit. "It felt like home."
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Williams can make her pact official in April.
The decision has been weighing on Williams for a while and with the Lady Hurricanes (23-2) set to play Ridgeland in the Class 5A quarterfinals Friday she wanted to clear her mind and make her decision official.
"It was fun in the beginning and then it started overwhelming her," WHHS coach Otis Gates said. "I'm excited for her that she can relax finally. It's been a hectic couple of months."
Throughout the recruiting process, MSU has been a consistent recruiter of Williams.
Gates said just last Friday, MSU coach Vic Schaefer was in attendance West Harrison eliminate South Jones 65-46. Williams treated her future coach to a 32-point performance. She also recorded 17 rebounds, four steals and 10 blocks in the game.
That's been a typical game for the forward, who is among the state's leaders, averaging 24.8 points, 14.2 rebounds and 3.4 blocks per game.
"She's definitely a difference maker. I think her best basketball is ahead of her," Gates said. "Once she moves to the next level she'll be able to show more of her talent. She doesn't have to handle the ball for us as much as she will at that level.
"She'll be able to show more of her shooting range which she hasn't had to show with us."
Even at 6-foot-3, it's not uncommon to see Williams go end to end, shake a guard and drive to the basket for two points.
"She has done that quite a bit," Gates laughed. "Defensively, she could guard a guard if she needed to. She doesn't have to for us, but she's capable. She can slide and move her feet and keep up with people. She's athletic like that.
"She also throws a mean pass. It's a bullet most of the time."
Gates thinks Williams will mesh well with what Mississippi State (24-6) is currently doing.
"They have been constantly progressing and their program is on the rise. The last couple of years they've got two of the best in the state in Victoria Vivians and Harrison Central's Jazzmun Holmes -- and they're definitely getting one of the best in the state with her."
Williams is the second Coast senior to go D1 this year, joining St. Martin's Savannah Jones, who signed with South Alabama.