SAMOHI — Family ties run deep in the Feder family.
Santa Monica High School senior small forward Lilly Feder has verbally committed to play basketball at UC San Diego, joining older sister and Samohi grad Daisy Feder.
Playing with her sister certainly weighed heavily on the decision, but it was academics that ultimately swayed her San Diego’s way.
“I only considered really strong academic schools,” Lilly Feder said. “My mom was pushing for this school.”
Schools pursuing her included Harvard, University of Pennsylvania and Fresno State.
In the end, she wanted to stay close to home.
“I’ve always wanted to go to college in California,” she said.
Her commitment is the second one made by a member of this year’s team. Earlier this summer, senior guard Thea Lemberger committed to UCLA.
For Head Coach Marty Verdugo, the news bolsters a program that is quickly becoming one of the more successful teams on campus.
He said that the next player on the squad likely to garner attention from college scouts is junior guard Kristina Johnson. He said that she has already received letters from colleges and expects that to continue once the season begins this winter.
As for Lilly Feder, he said he couldn’t be happier for a player he expects to be one of the Vikings’ top weapons next season. He hopes she continues to develop her outside game and sees her as a defensive stopper who can cover both post and perimeter players.
Her offensive game is certainly going to be a part of the Vikings’ attack this season, but she sees herself primarily as a defensive player who has the skills to put points on the scoreboard.
“I try to start on defense and let the offense just come,” she said.
Once she steps foot on UCSD’s campus, Lilly Feder said she is unsure of what role she’ll play for her college team, but she certainly knows it will be a family reunion of sorts. Joining her sister Daisy, who will be in her junior season, Lilly at first had concerns that the siblings may not mesh on and off the court.
She looked back to her sophomore season when she and Daisy both played varsity for Samohi fondly, erasing any concern that the two would have chemistry issues.
With two college recruits to the team’s credit, it appears the Vikings are poised to make another appearance in the California Interscholastic Federation playoffs. Samohi finished 23-8 last season and made it to the semifinals.
“Hopefully we can keep the varsity strong for at least three more years to come,” Verdugo said.