HOUSTON, Texas (Nov. 10) - University of Houston women's basketball head coach Joe Curl and his staff announced that they have signed four players for next season during the NCAA early signing period, with each being listed among the top 200 high school players in the nation in women's hoops.
"We're very excited about this very athletic, very talented and versatile group," said head coach Joe Curl. "Their biggest asset together is their ability to defend all over the court."
Heading the list of recruits includes guard Shondra Bush from Crosby High School in Crosby, Texas, who is considered one of the top 25 high school basketball players in the country. Bush averaged 19.1 points and 3.8 rebounds per contest during her junior year last season en route to being named as an All-District Selection and All-State. Among the many awards she has won during her high school career include Disctirct MVP, Top Offensive Player for the District, All-Region and All-State.
"Shondra is very versatile and could play three different positions," said Curl. "Athletically there is no better athlete in the state of Texas other than Shondra Bush."
Sara Hinkley, a 5-8 senior from Winnsboro, Texas, has led the two-time Texas 3A Champion Lady Raiders of Winnsboro High School to a 116-7 record during her first three years and was named MVP of the 3A State tournament. She was named District Co-MVP for the 1999-00 campaign, as well as First Team All-east Texas, First Team All-Region and First Team All-State. In addition to her leadership on the court, Hinkley is heavily involved in Winnsboro High as a member of the Beta Club, FCCLA, Spanish Club and Student Leaders on Campus, and she was also named a football sweetheart her sophomore year.
"Competitor, competitor, competitor," Curl said of Hinkley. "She has averaged over 20 point per game in her career and her best trait characteristic would be her competitive spirit."
Going into her senior season this fall at Thomas Jefferson High in Port Arthur, Texas, Kiemona Harris, the tallest new Lady Cougar at 6-5, is ranked among the country's top 100 players, even as high as No. 38, by all major national recruiting services. She 15 points and 12 rebounds per game in 1999-00. In each of her three years at TJHS she has been named to the First or Second Teams for All-District 4A in 1997-98, and 4A in both 1998-99 and 1999-00.
"Along with her 6'5" frame, she is an unbelievable athlete," Curl said of Harris. "She will obviously be an imp-act player from the inside, and she has the ability to change the game defensively by blocking and changing shots."
Harris' teammate at Thomas Jefferson, senior Ashley Cotton was a two-time All-District 20-4A selection and averaged 11 points and seven rebounds per contest during the 1999-00 season. She is also ranked among the top 100 players in the nation.
"Ashley can play three different positions as well-small forward or either of the post positions," Curl said. "Her biggest asset is her ability to defend 94 by 50 and running the court. She is so fast and quick."
Roster of New Signees
1. Sara Hinkley, G, 5-8, Winnsboro HS/Winnsboro, Texas
2. Ashley Cotton, F, 6-4, Thomas Jefferson HS/Port Arthur, Texas
3. Kiemona Harris, C, 6-5, Thomas Jefferson HS/Port Arthur, Texas
4. Shondra Bush, G, 5-11, Crosby HS/Crosby, Texas