One of the best girls' basketball players to ever put on a LaFayette High School uniform will take her considerable talents to the Scenic City next season as senior LaTyah Barber signed paperwork to continue her hoops career at Chattanooga State this past Friday.
"It means a lot," she said of Signing Day. "I've been working for it and I'm glad I finally got something that I've really worked hard for. I can't wait to get started at Chatt. State."
Chattanooga State was one of five offers the three-time All-Region first team selection and the three-time Walker County Girls' Player of the Year received. Barber said she visited all five schools and did her due diligence before making her choice, but that it didn't take her long to decide to be a Lady Tiger.
"When I went to Chattanooga State, everything just felt right there," she explained. "I felt like I could see myself there and I just love the coaching staff and the environment up there."
Barber closed out a stellar four-year career by averaging a career-high 16.7 points a game as a senior to go with 6.8 rebounds, 4.8 steals and 3.1 assists per night.
She also helped get the Lady Ramblers' program on track and was a key player in LaFayette's first-ever state playoff appearance her junior season.
Barber was also one of the Lady Ramblers' top tennis players this past season and teamed with fellow senior and recent volleyball signee Kloe Ludy (Savannah State) to play No. 1 doubles for a LaFayette team that made the state tournament after finishing as the 6-AAA runner-up in 2021.
"She's a tremendous ball player," LaFayette head coach Holly Rhudy said. "I think she's one of the most talented female athletes that's ever come through LaFayette and it's not just a matter of how great a ball player she is. She's an even better person and I think that's what's helped contribute to her being so successful.
"The character that she shows is who she is. She's a hard worker and she definitely persevered through a tough freshman year to where we are now. She's helped grow the program to where it is today and helped it become a success."
Rhudy said Barber has been a team leader ever since she took the floor from Day 1 her freshman year.
"Leaders can come in any grade," the coach added. "She was a freshman that not only started on the varsity, but started at point guard. Point guards have to be leaders on the floor, so I think it's just the fact that she filled that leadership role from her freshman through her senior year, and she was a constant for the other girls, from one season to the next. I think that's really helped us have a solid foundation."
Barber said she planned to bring to Chattanooga State what she always brought to LaFayette.
"Just hard work and dedication," she added. "I'm just going to work as hard as I can and stay in the gym as much as I can."
Barber plans to study exercise science and would one day like to become an athletic trainer.