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Schimmel remains unsigned at deadline

With the last signing period for the 2010 class ending without her signature on a National Letter of Intent, Shoni Schimmel, the magician-like point guard from Portland, Ore., continues to confound college recruiters as thoroughly as she has defenders on basketball courts around the country.

The No. 8 prospect in the class, per ESPN HoopGurlz, Schimmel has been considering Louisville, Oregon and UCLA, and probably two from among Baylor, Colorado, Rutgers, South Carolina and Washington. Those eight schools comprised a list communicated in April to ESPN HoopGurlz by Schimmel's father, Rick. Louisville, Oregon and UCLA are widely believed to be her front-runners.

Rick Schimmel also said in a recent e-mail message that his daughter hasn't yet decided on a school. Sources close to Schimmel's various suitors confirmed that she has indicated that a decision -- though no timeline -- still was forthcoming.

Recruits are not obligated to sign National Letters of Intent. An NLI simply obligates a student-athlete to an institution for one year, in exchange for athletic financial aid for that year. The document, once signed, also places into effect a recruiting ban for the student-athlete.

Sources squelched any talk of Schimmel's qualifying status for college, reinforcing the notion that she simply is undecided.

A major prospect ignoring the signing deadline is not without precedent. It happens with some regularity among men's basketball recruits, but is extremely rare among women's basketball prospects. In recent years, players like Ta'Shia Philllips, who committed to Xavier in 2007, have discussed the possibility of extending their recruitment past the signing deadline, but did not follow through.

Schimmel was raised in the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation (Cayuse, Umatilla, Walla Walla), on the eastern part of the Columbia River in Oregon. She is believed to be the highest-ranked Native American women's basketball prospect ever. Schimmel has been coached at various levels, including this past season at Portland's Franklin High School, by her mother, Ceci Moses, who has stressed cultural ties and symbolism.

Though she doesn't have eye-popping speed, Schimmel has attracted significant recruiting attention because of her size and strength at 5-foot-9, her uncanny ballhandling skills and long-range shooting ability. She is one of the craftiest and most entertaining passers ever to emerge from the girls' high-school basketball ranks.

Lindsay Schnell contributed to this report.

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Glenn Nelson is a senior writer at ESPN.com and the founder of HoopGurlz.com. A member of the Parade All-American Selection Committee, he formerly coached girl's club basketball, was the editor-in-chief of an online sports network, authored a basketball book for kids, and was a longtime, national-award-winning newspaper columnist and writer. He can be reached at glenn@hoopgurlz.com.