Amiah Simmons, an Osawatomie senior, signs a national letter of intent to play basketball at Biola University in California, during a ceremony at Osawatomie High School on Friday, Nov. 13. Pictured with Amiah are (from left) her sister, Tiana, her parents Sunshine and Victor Simmons, and her sister, Evaya.

OSAWATOMIE — Amiah Simmons, an Osawatomie senior, was 3 years old when her father, Victor, started coaching the Spartans boys basketball team.

He also coached Amiah and her friends Avery Demsey, Madie Ballou and Allie Lagasse. They made it all the way to the Miola Basketball League championship game.

When Victor Simmons started the Spartans, it was about giving the youth a chance to hone their skills and start a resume of success to play at the collegiate level on scholarship.

Amiah made those dreams come true at Osawatomie High School on Friday, Nov. 13, signing a national letter of intent to play basketball at Biola University. She was recruited by Biola University, an NCAA Division II program, to play point guard.

Biola University is a private Christian university in La Mirada, Calif.

“I signed with Biola University because they were so interested in me and I was their number one recruit,” Amiah Simmons said. “I felt like it was the right decision.

“I am really excited for this opportunity,” she said. “I feel like I have worked hard for that. It has been my dream to go to California since I was really little. Now that it is here, it is pretty awesome. I didn’t know how it was all going to work out, but now I am going there and I couldn’t be happier.”

Lady Trojan basketball teammates Meadow Stull, Skyler Gravatt, Dempsey and Lagasse and other classmates came out to share in the moment with Amiah. Rodney Gilyard, a former AAU coach, was on hand for the signing.

“I really appreciate it from everyone,” she said. “I couldn’t have done it without all of them.”

With the signing decision behind her, Simmons can focus on her senior season with the Osawatomie Lady Trojans.

“It is definitely a relief,” she said. “I really wanted to sign before my senior season. That really helps. There is a not a lot of stress.”

Simmons attended Osawatomie schools through the fifth grade when the family moved to Stilwell. She was attending Blue Valley Southwest High School and transferred back to Osawatomie for her senior school year due to COVID-19.

Simmons helped lead the Blue Valley Southwest girls basketball team to the Class 5A state championship game last year, where they fell to St. Thomas Aquinas. She averaged 18.3 points per game, leading Class 5A in scoring.

As a second-team Class 5A all-state selection by Kansas Sports, a third-team Class 5A selection by the Topeka Capital-Journal and a third-team all-state, all-classification selection by MaxPreps High School Sports.

Simmons will major in health science with a minor Spanish. Tiana is the daughter of Victor and Sunshine Simmons of Osawatomie.

Sports Editor Gene Morris can be reached at (913) 294-2311 or gene.morris@miconews.com.

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