Palmer signs six for 2012-13 women's basketball campaign
GREENSBORO, N.C. – UNCG's women's basketball team has signed six student-athletes to National Letters of Intent, Spartans coach Wendy Palmer announced Tuesday.
Sarafina Arthur-Williams, Diamond Cooper, Ebona Goins, Lucy Mason, Jazmine Missouri and Ciara Morris will join the Spartans as freshmen for the 2012-13 campaign. Arthur-Williams, Cooper, Goins, Mason and Missouri signed in the early period in the fall, while Morris signed during the most recent signing period.
A 6-1 center, Arthur-Williams was a four-year player for Winston Churchill Hill School in Potomac, Md., earning team MVP and Best Rebounder honors. She played in the Roundball Classic Mid-Atlantic Premier game on March 18, helping the National All-Stars to an 85-70 win, and was named the MVP of the Bobby Miller Memorial Tournament after helping the Bulldogs to the tournament title. Arthur-Williams earned All-Gazette honorable mention from The (Gaithersburg, Md.) Gazette in 2011-12 after taking second-team honors in 2010-11, when she averaged a double-double with 12 points and 14 rebounds. She also played lacrosse and junior varsity volleyball for the Bulldogs.
She helped her club team, the Germantown (Md.) Lady Panthers, to first place at the Penn State tournament and a fifth-place finish nationally.
"Sarafina Arthur-Williams is physical post that enjoys contact," Palmer said. "She has the ability to run the floor and alter shots in the paint. She will be a great addition for us in the post."
Another 6-1 post player, Cooper was a four-year letterwinner for West Orange (Fla.) High School, helping the Warriors to an undefeated Class 8A District 3 record and to the regional semifinals, where they fell to eventual state champion Dr. Phillips. West Orange finished the season ranked No. 8 in the state of Florida. Cooper earned all-tournament honors in helping West Orange win the Arthur Jackson Midnight Basketball Invitational. After the squad won the Blue Division of the Florida Prospects Christmas Tournament, the Warriors earned Orlando Sentinel girls team of the week honors.
West Orange's school-record holder for blocked shots in a game with 16, Cooper is an Honor Roll student and member of the National Honor Society. She played for club team Florida Girls Basketball, earning team most outstanding player honors and helping the squad win the Deep South Classic championship.
"Diamond Cooper is an athletic forward who excels in an up-tempo game," Palmer said. "She has the ability to step outside and hit shots as well as finish around the rim. Defensively, she has great timing and is an excellent shot-blocker. She will add a new dimension for us in the post."
Goins is a local talent out of Dudley High School and will be reunited with prep teammate Breonna Patterson at UNCG. A 5-8 guard, Goins was named the Panthers' varsity rookie of the year and most improved player in 2008-09, when she helped Dudley to a 30-3 record and a 3A state title. The following year, she helped the Panthers to a 4A Metro Conference championship. Goins was named All-4A Metro Conference in 2010-11 and won the team's Outstanding Leadership award. She was also a member of the Panthers' cross country team.
An Honor Roll student and member of the National Honor Society, Goins played AAU ball for the Lady NightHawks and the Lady Phoenix Elite.
"Ebona is an athletic shooting guard who has the ability to play both the point guard and shooting guard positions," Palmer said. "A local talent, Ebona will give us a boost in the scoring department. She has proven she can knock down shots when needed and defend on the perimeter. It's always great to add one of the best local talents. We look forward to Ebona carrying her success over to the college level."
Three-sport standout Mason was an all-county performer in basketball and softball in addition to turning in a top-10 finish in the 100-meter hurdles at the state track meet for Chamblee (Ga.) Charter High School. On the basketball court, the 5-7 guard helped the Bulldogs to region runner-up finishes in 2009-10 and 2011-12 and an undefeated regular season and No. 1 state ranking in 2010-11. She was the Atlanta Journal-Constitution's AAAA Girls Basketball Player of the Year as a senior. Mason also earned all-region honors in softball and started for the North squad in the DeKalb County All-Star game.
Mason, also an Honor Roll and National Honor Society student, played club basketball for the Atlanta Celtics.
"Lucy Mason is an aggressive point guard who is an excellent leader and floor general," Palmer said. "In addition to running the team, she also takes high-percentage shots and is a capable scorer. She will bring an energetic presence to our team next year."
Missouri played two years for Academy of the Holy Cross in Kensington, Md., after two years at Elizabeth Seton (Md.) High School. As a senior, the 5-9 guard helped Holy Cross to a 22-7 record and a No. 4 ranking in state of Maryland and a No. 34 ranking nationally. She earned All-Washington Catholic Athletic Conference honorable mention in 2011-12.
At Seton, Missouri played in the DCSportsFan Future Stars sophomore all-star game. She was an Honor Roll student all four years of her prep career.
"Jazmine is a prolific scorer who excels on both the defensive and offensive sides," Palmer said. "She will provide an immediate impact with her ability to slash to the basket and create easy opportunities to score. Her energy on the defensive end to rebound and create steals will also be evident early on. Jazmine will be a great addition to the future of UNCG."
Morris, a 5-10 guard, was a four-sport athlete for South View High School in Hope Mills, N.C., earning all-region honors in basketball, volleyball and track in addition to playing softball. The Mid-South Conference Player of the Year and District 4 Co-Player of the Year in basketball as a senior, Morris helped South View win its first 29 games before falling in the 4-A East Regional final. Morris was a three-year all-conference performer and two-year all-district and all-region selection, and earned all-state honors as a senior. She helped the Tigers to three conference titles, one region title and two region runner-up finishes and went 103-14 in her career. In volleyball, Morris was also the MVP of the district and a two-year all-region performer.
A member of the National Honor Society, she played club basketball for the Fayetteville Warriors for four years. Her parents, Timothy and Odessa Morris, both played basketball at St. Andrews.
"We are thrilled that Ciara is going to be a Spartan," Palmer said. "She is a talented young lady that will bring a lot of energy to our program. Ciara is a very skilled athlete and is also a young woman of great character. She will be a huge boost to UNCG on and off the court."
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