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Syerra Cunningham gets a hug from teammate Hailey Ruple as Syerra's mother Rayeanne Cunningham (left) and father Sam Cunningham clap after Syerra's signing day speech. | Michael Schmidt~Sun-Times Media
Zion-Benton senior Syerra Cunningham signed a letter of intent to play college basketball at Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville, and she did so at Zion-Benton High — a school for which, as of Wednesday, she had never played a game.
Cunningham spent her first three years playing at Waukegan High School.
She transferred to Zion-Benton for her senior season year to become a key piece on a team that could challenge for a state title this winter.
Zion-Benton will open its season in the Deerfield tournament on Monday against perennial power Evanston at 6 p.m.
SIU-E plays NCAA Division I basketball and competes in the Ohio Valley Conference.
Syerra honed her basketball skills playing for the Illinois Magic travel team and working with Tim Bowen, an area hoops-coaching guru who is now at the helm of Carmel's boys team.