Paul VI Catholic’s Ariana Freeman (no. 12) blocks a shot against Good Counsel last season. (Ricky Carioti/WASHINGTON POST)

The 5-foot-10 Freeman soon learned that many of those coaches were there to see her, as well. The rising junior has drawn offers from West Virginia and Louisville and strong interest from Florida, Virginia Tech, Syracuse, Kentucky and Colorado, said her father, Desmond Freeman.

Freeman plans to major in communications and has begun to research those programs at the various colleges. Her mother, Veronique, and father met as students at Colorado, and Ariana was born in Boulder and has family in that area.

“When you see big-name schools at your game, I thought they were looking at [Belton],” Freeman said last month between games at the D.C. Metro College Showcase at Paul VI. “But just talking to the schools over the summer [they said] they were recruiting me. I knew they were bound to offer sooner or later.”

Freeman, a first-team all-Washington Catholic Athletic Conference pick last season, led Paul VI in scoring with18.6 points per game. The Panthers (23-10), who finished No. 16 in the rankings after winning their sixth consecutive Virginia Independent School championship, had no seniors on the team that tied for the most wins in school history. Freeman was named the state tournament’s most valuable player.