Payton strikes deal with Thunder
ScoutU forward chooses Trine after earning a dozen offers
December 20, 2023
By Jon Feyen
While Emma Payton went through the competition of college recruiting, she treated it similar to a basketball game. Payton evaluated all of her options – like a guard breaking down the defense. Recently, the 2024 prospect found an opening and scored with her commitment to Trine University, an NCAA Division III program in Indiana.
“I’m extremely excited to be able to play basketball in college,” Payton said. “This has been my dream since I was 11 years old, and the fact that it’s coming true is amazing. The people at Trine were what stood out. I connected really well with the coaches and the team and knew that it was the right place for me.”
Trine has compiled a 51-11 record the past two years, reaching the Final Four during 2022 and the third round of the national tournament last season.
Payton had phone calls with 40 coaches – one for each minute in a college basketball game. By the time the buzzer sounded, she owned 12 offers to play at the next level.
“When I first started helping Emma in spring of her sophomore year, I was confident she would get plenty of college interest with the combination of her athleticism at her 6-foot size and near-4.0 GPA,” ScoutU’s Jason Lauren said. “I’m so happy she found not only a good athletic fit for her, but also a great academic fit! I’m sure she will have a great career at Trine!”
Last season with Burlington Central High School (Ill.), Payton averaged 9 points and 6 rebounds while knocking down 31 percent of her 3-pointers. She was named Hoopfest Player of the Game after a 19-point, 11-rebound effort against McHenry.
Payton’s talent speaks for itself, but talent alone isn’t enough to receive college offers. It helps to have a strong team around you working to achieve that goal, and ScoutU is proud to assist deserving student-athletes.
“We started looking at ScoutU after seeing what they were doing for other girls in our area,” said Jeff Payton, Emma’s dad. “Jason was able to not only explain the ScoutU program in detail, but also gave us tons of valuable information on the process that prospective college athletes go through.
“Our daughter was contacted by over 100 college coaches who showed interest in what she was able to bring to their teams. She ultimately chose a D3 program that she felt was not only the best fit for her from an educational, athletic and personal level, but gave her the chance to play basketball for a very good team and great coaches. During our final visit to the school, the coach specifically mentioned that the way they first saw our daughter was through the ScoutU email.”
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“Jason gave us tons of valuable information on the process that prospective college athletes go through. Our daughter was contacted by over 100 college coaches who showed interest in what she was able to bring to their teams. During our final visit to the school, the coach specifically mentioned that the way they first saw our daughter was through the ScoutU email.”