Jesse Hankins/Special to The Daily Times  Piedra Vista senior Kaleigh Graham signs her National Letter of Intent with her mother Kristy Graham (lower
Jesse Hankins/Special to The Daily Times Piedra Vista senior Kaleigh Graham signs her National Letter of Intent with her mother Kristy Graham (lower left), father Jeff Graham (lower right), head coach Joe Ree (top left) and athletic director Kelly Thur (top right) on Wednesday at the Jerry A. Conner Fieldhouse in Farmington.

FARMINGTON — After a stellar career at Piedra Vista High School, Kaleigh Graham will continue playing basketball at the college level.

Graham signed her National Letter of Intent to play for Metropolitan State University in Denver on Wednesday at the Jerry A. Conner Fieldhouse.

"Ever since I was a little girl, I've always wanted to play in college," said Graham, who was the District 1-4A Player of the Year this past season. "Finally, it's all paying off."

Graham averaged 14 points and 14 rebounds per game during her senior season for the Lady Panthers and helped lead PV to the 4A state playoffs. PV lost in the first round of the playoffs, finishing with an 18-10 record.

Graham said she received a Division I offer from South Alabama, but chose Division II Metro State in large part because of its proximity to Farmington.

"Metro State was just the best fit," she said. "South Alabama was 22 hours away, but Denver's just six, so my parents can come up and watch me play."

PV head coach Joe Reed said Metro State will get a tough post player in Graham and her work ethic will have her competing for playing time early in her college career.

"She works harder than any kid we've had at this school," Reed said of Graham. "It paid off for her. I know her competitive spirit, and she won't hold back or be intimidated by anybody. She's going to be ready to go and out work anybody they have up there."

Metro State finished the past season with a 13-14 record overall and tied for sixth place in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference standings.

Under head coach Tanya Haave, the Roadrunners made three straight Division II NCAA tournaments from 2011 to 2013.

Having a coach who with postseason success in college was also a plus for Graham.

"Coach Haave was an All-American in volleyball, as well as basketball," Graham said. "She played for (former Tennessee head coach) Pat Summitt. She's the real deal."

Graham said the different style of the college game is what she's looking forward to the most.

"The pace will be a lot quicker, and it will be a lot more aggressive," she said.

Joshua Perry covers sports for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4577 and jperry@daily-times.com. Follow him @jperrysuu on Twitter.