Marion's Kayba Laube commits to UNI

Girls' basketball: Freshman helped Marion to 4A state finals

Marion's Kayba Laube (second from left) hugs Sophie Willette (left) as they and teammates celebrate their Class 4A quarterfinal win over Boone at the girls state basketball tournament March 1. Laube, a freshman, committed to Northern Iowa on Saturday. (Jim Slosiarek/The Gazette)
Marion's Kayba Laube (second from left) hugs Sophie Willette (left) as they and teammates celebrate their Class 4A quarterfinal win over Boone at the girls state basketball tournament March 1. Laube, a freshman, committed to Northern Iowa on Saturday. (Jim Slosiarek/The Gazette)

MARION — Kayba Laube’s first college scholarship offer came before her first varsity game.

She couldn’t imagine a better fit coming along.

A freshman who helped lead Marion to the Class 4A final at the girls’ state basketball tournament, Laube gave an oral commitment Saturday to the University of Northern Iowa women’s program.

“From the first time I visited there, it seemed like the perfect place for me,” Laube said Saturday night. “It’s the perfect size, and it’s in a good location.”

A 5-foot-9 guard, Laube was offered by the Panthers last fall, then splashed onto the high-school scene as one of the best outside shooters in the area.

She averaged 13.8 points per game, shooting 51.5 percent from the field (including 43.7 percent from 3-point range) and 83.3 percent from the free-throw line as the Indians went 24-2.

Marion reached the 4A championship game before falling to North Scott in overtime.

Laube was a 4A second-team all-stater in her rookie campaign.

All five starters return for 2017-18, including Laube and junior Chloe Rice, a first-team all-stater and a Saint Louis University commit.

UNI went 24-9 and reached the NCAA tournament last season. Laube will join the Panthers for the 2020-21 season.

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