Hurricanes Sign Duo For Upcoming Season

Hurricanes Sign Duo For Upcoming Season

May 1, 2008

CORAL GABLESThe <?xml:namespace prefix=”st1″ ns=”urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags”?>University of Miami women’s head basketball coach Katie Meier has announced that Ashley Sours and Rikiah Gatlin have signed National Letters of Intent, and will be eligible to play for the Hurricanes during the upcoming 2008-09 season.  They will be joining a signing class that has already been ranked as high as No. 25 by some media outlets.<?xml:namespace prefix=”o” ns=”urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office”?>


Both student-athletes fill a low-post void left by departed senior Carla Williams.  Sours a junior college transfer from CentralArizonaCollege is a native of Glendale, Ariz.  Last season at Central Arizona the 6-5 center averaged 14 points and nine rebounds per game, earning third-team Junior College All-American honors.  For her efforts on the court she also received first-team all-Region One and second-team all-ACCAC.


“Not only will Ashley add much needed size, but she will also bring a winners mentality and a tremendous work ethic to our program.  Ashley does a great job catching and finishing in traffic, and with her ability to run and finish in the open court she is a perfect fit to our up-tempo and slashing style of play, “said Meier.


Coming to the Hurricanes from high school will be the 6-2 Gatlin.  During her senior season at ChristianCountyHigh School in Hopkinsville, Ky. the Fort Campbell, Ky. native averaged a double-double with 19 points and 10 rebounds per contest.  She is a four-time Kentucky All-Star (2005-08) and has been a member of the all-district or all district tournament team every season since 2004. 


 Meier added, “Rikiah has unbelievable hands and can run with the best of them.  Gatlin will have an opportunity to step in and add much needed size and depth in the post.”


In addition to the new signees, previously signed high school seniors have been acknowledged with state and national accolades. 


Shenise Johnson, a 5-11 forward from Henrietta, N.Y. scored 24 points per game for Rush-HenriettaHigh School, while pulling down 17 rebounds and dishing out seven assists per contest.  She is the Hurricanes second ever McDonald’s All-American (Tamara James, 2002-06), she was also named a WBCA All-American.  She has been named to the Class AA first-team all-New YorkState and been voted New York State Miss Basketball.  In addition to all of her accomplishments, Johnson has recently been invited to the 2008 U-18 USA Olympic Trials.


“Shenise (Moe Moe) is one of the highest rated recruits to ever sign at Miami,” Meier said. “She is a multi-dimensional player with the size and skills to be threatening at every spot on the floor. Her scoring numbers are impressive, but her rebounding is what really makes her special. She is smooth, versatile and determined, and will have an immediate impact on this program. She is a “gamer” who has proven to play big in crucial games, and she will be a huge part of this program’s future success.”


Sylvia Bullock out of SouthAnchorageHigh School in Alaska had 22 points, 13 rebounds, three blocks and two steals per game in her senior season.  She was named the Alaska Gatorade Player of the Year, and earned a spot on the 4A all-state tournament team, as well as being named first-team all-state.


“Sylvia brings that versatility and athleticism that we love in our forwards,” Meier said. “She has tremendous balance and leaping ability, and is very hard-nosed around the basket. Her length and speed in the open court make her quite dynamic. We particularly like her explosiveness to the ball, which makes her the resilient rebounder that we were looking for.”


With 29 points and nine rebounds per game, PahokeeHigh School’s Riquna Williams was awarded the South Florida Sun-Sentinel’s 3A Player of the Year and the Small Schools Player of the Year.  The Florida Sports Writers voted her first-team all-state and she scored a season-high 55 points against Lake WorthChristianHigh School.


“Riquna (BayBay) is one of those electrifying players who is threatening on both ends of the court,” Meier said. “She makes an impact on almost every play and has an intensity and drive to be great that transcends her game. We truly feel like she is one of the top players in the country and are very fortunate to keep her home.”


Jazmond Stringer, a 6-foot-4 post player from MiamiSouthridgeHigh School, has been playing basketball for only three years. She averaged 12.6 points and 8.0 rebounds as a junior.


“Jazzie gives us the size and speed we need on the inside,” Meier said. “She is an impressive athlete whose best basketball is definitely ahead of her. I have no doubt that she will emerge as an impact player, and a force to be reckoned with.”


With these six recruits the Hurricanes have not only filled the void left by the departed Carla Williams, Maurita Reid and Kathryn Hester, but the staff has added much needed depth to all areas of the team.