Success on the basketball court is nothing new for Imani Tilford. The Woodlands High School senior has been one of the best players in Westchester since she was in eighth grade, when she was the leading scorer for the Falcons.
“Everybody looked up to me to do things that older kids should do,” Tilford says. “It was exciting, but I was a little nervous at the same time, because I was the youngest one on the court.”
The point guard, who was named Class B fifth-team all-state and a 2014 McDonald’s All American nominee, averaged 25.3 points, 8.1 rebounds, 3.8 assists, and 2.8 steals per game as a junior, according to high school sports website MaxPreps.
In November, she signed her letter of intent to attend Division 1 Georgia Tech, choosing the Yellow Jackets over Louisville, Boston College, and Providence, among other top colleges. Tilford was highly recruited in large part because of her success on the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) circuit with the Nike-sponsored New Jersey Sparks, a program that she has played in for three summers.
“Playing AAU was a lot harder, and there was more competition,” she says. “And actually ending this season, we were ranked seventh in the country and all my teammates went Division 1.”
Tilford spent the off-season improving her pull-up jump shot, as well as her awareness in transition down the court. The righty also wants to work on her left hand before playing in the ultra-competitive Atlantic Coast Conference next year.