By RICK PETERSON
Zoe Canfield and Jada Ingram have been side by side for the bulk of their sports careers, so it really wasn't a surprise that the two Washburn Rural stars were together for one of the biggest days of their lives Thursday at Rural.
With a large group of friends and family on hand, Canfield signed her ceremonial letter of intent with the University of Kansas women's basketball program while Ingram signed to play volleyball at the University of Nevada Las Vegas after the duo helped Washburn Rural win Class 6A state championships in basketball and volleyball during their prep careers.
Canfield said that she had decided long ago that she wanted to share her signing with Ingram.
"We've been friends for like eight years and we played sports together that whole time, so this was definitely something we always dreamed of doing together and it's awesome that if finally happened,'' Canfield said.
"It's so cool,'' Ingram said. "That's my best friend for life and I'm so proud of her and all of her accomplishments. Going to KU, that's amazing. I know we're going to stay best friends.''
Washburn Rural coach Kevin Bordewick, who coached Canfield and Ingram in both sports, said the two athletes have set a high standard for current and future Junior Blue athletes.
"It's been a privelege and an honor to coach these kids and they're not only just phenomenal athletes, they're phenomenal kids with high character,'' Bordewick said. "I don't ever have to worry about their grades, I never had to worry about them being in trouble, even just the slightest.
"They're both very respectful, which says a lot about how they were brought up. They're just phenomenal people.''
With Thursday's signing out of the way Canfield said she wants to turn her focus on a strong senior basketball season before launching her college career for the Jayhawks.
"It definitely feels great,'' Canfield said. "A lot of hard work and dedication was put into this and I'm just really happy that I got this opportunity and to be starting the next chapter soon.''
Ingram, who committed to UNLV last November, said that she was also glad to get the long recruiting process completed so she can look forward to the future.
"It's so exciting,'' Ingram said. "There's never been a time when I wanted to change to a different school. We had a whole new coaching change and the coaches were so welcoming and it just made me want to go there even more. I'm so, so excited to go there. There's no other place I'd want to be.''