UTEP Adds Junior-College Post Player To 2014 Recruiting Class
April 17, 2014
EL PASO, Texas - The UTEP women's basketball team has capitalized on its magical run to the WNIT finals by signing junior-college standout Lawna Kennedy to a national letter of intent to attend school and compete with the Miners for the 2014-15 season, head coach Keitha Adams revealed Thursday afternoon.
Kennedy, who earned Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association First-Team All-Region honors during two years of competition with Atlanta Metropolitan College, will have two seasons of eligibility for UTEP. Kennedy averaged a double-double both years and looks to be an impactful player.
The Miners' recruiting class now stands at five, with four individuals inking during the early signing period in the fall.
Four of the five players are taller than 6-0.
A brief profile, along with a quote from Adams and a prominent coach in the student-athlete's life on each signee, is below.
Northwest Florida State College
Played in the 2013 NJCAA All-Star Women's Basketball Tournament ... also heavily recruited by Southeastern Conference member schools ... voted to the 2013 All-Panhandle Conference Second Team ... started 28 of 32 games as a freshman ... logged 8.3 minutes per game, contributing 6.6 points per game, 3.6 rebounds per contest and 2.1 assists per game on a squad that ... also added 44 steals and 10 blocked shots ...secured almost as many offensive rebounds (54) as defensive (62) during the season ... reached double figures in scoring in seven games, while pitching in at least seven points in nine other tilts ... has emerged as a leader for the squad as a sophomore ... currently Northwest Florida State College is ranked seventh in the country ... member of the French All-Star team in high school.
Coach Adams on Eduardo
She's a great athlete and plays an athletic forward. She really can defend, score off the bounce. She comes from a winning program and has a lot of experience. We're excited about her edition.
Coach Harrington on Eduardo (Northwest Florida State College Head Coach)
Rudiane Eduardo is just a beautiful person. She's vibrant, bubbly and enthusiastic. She's the kind of person who puts a smile on your face whenever she walks into a room. On the basketball court, she's versatile, athletic. She's really fun to watch.
Atlanta Metropolitan College
Averaged a double-double in two years of competition with Atlanta Metropolitan College ... earned Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association First-Team All-Region honors as both a freshman and a sophomore ... was on the cusp of being an All-American ... voted team MVP in both seasons and will be recognized with the prestigious coaches' award for being a humble and teachable player ... contributed 21.6 points per game and 11.2 rebounds per contest in 2013-14 ... reached double figures in scoring in 25 of 26 contests and recorded 19 double-doubles ... drilled 46.7 percent of her attempts (189-of-405) from the floor ... got to the free-throw line early and often (183-283, 64.7%) ... effective rebounder at both ends of the court (108 offensive & 182 defensive) ... burst onto the scene by compiling 18.0 points per game, 11.5 rebounds per contest during her freshman campaign ... pulled down 109 offensive boards and 167 on the defensive end ... also pitched in 38 steals ... hit double figures in scoring in 21 of her 24 games played, including back-to-back 30+ point showings in the first month of the campaign ... recognized as a three-star recruit and awarded a scouts' rating of 85 by ESPN HoopGurlz
Coach Adams on Kennedy
Lawna is a tremendous student-athlete. We're very excited about her becoming a member of our basketball program at UTEP. She's very athletic, rebounds it well and can score around the basket. I look forward to coaching her!
Coach Anderson on Kennedy (Atlanta Metropolitan Head Coach)
She's been the backbone of our team. She has been very humble in the process of getting better which I love about her. She has tremendous upside and is going to blossom at an environment like UTEP and just get so much better.
Mayfield High School
Las Cruces, N.M.
The six-foot-one wing-post helped guide Mayfield High School (Las Cruces, N.M.) to a 28-3 record her junior season ... put up 14 points, ripped down 10 boards and dished out three assists in the semifinals of the New Mexico state tournament ... went on to score 22 points and grabbed seven rebounds in the state championship game ... was named player of the game in a 57-50 victory over Chapin High School (El Paso, Texas) after a 23-point performance, along with six rebounds, three assists and five steals (11/3/12) ... notched 11 boards and six steals in a 50-31 win over Roswell High School (11/24/12) ... Mayfield HS was named part of the MaxPreps 2013-14 New Mexico Girls' Basketball Preseason Fab 5 presented by the Army National Guard for McCants' senior season ... she is serving as a captain for the squad ... averaged 19.4 points per game & 9.2 rebounds per contest during her junior season ... also led the team in blocks & steals ... part of the 2011 State Championship team while helping the team advance to the quarterfinals in 2012 & earn runner-up status in 2013.
Coach Adams on McCants
She is an athletic forward who can rebound it well & run the floor. She can score around the basket. I had an opportunity to watch her play a lot this summer. We are excited about signing her. She is a good athlete, good forward and has good basketball IQ.
Coach Maya on McCants (Mayfield High School Head Coach)
She is an exciting player. She is a great kid, who comes from a great family, and will help UTEP a lot. She can pretty much do everything on the court we need her to do. She can shoot the ball from the outside, and I think she will hopefully be an overall inside & outside player for UTEP. She is very athletic and is a hard worker so I think she'll help UTEP quite a bit.
Texas A&M Consolidated
Played her first three years of high school basketball with Bellaire HS (Houston, Texas), earning All-District 20-5A honors each season ... was a second-team member as a freshman (2011) while securing first-team all-league status in both 2012 & 2013 ... also selected to VYPE's All-Greater Houston Girls' Basketball Third Team in 2013 ... transferred to Texas A&M Consolidated HS (South College Station, Texas) for her senior season... made the move because her father, Clarence McKinney, is the offensive coordinator for Texas A&M's football team ... helped guide Bellaire to a 33-4 mark during the 2012-13 season ... ranked as a three star player by Premiere Basketball Report ... touted as a smart point guard who can score and assist and thrives in the role as a leader on the court ... has been mentored by former NBA player & coach John Lucas since the sixth grade.
Coach Adams on McKinney
She is a point guard, and we are excited about signing her. She is a very competitive young lady and is a very good defender. She has that mentality about wanting to stop people. She can score, hit that mid-range jumper. She has a very good basketball IQ and understands what it takes to win. She has a great work ethic and is very competitive.
Former NBA player & coach John Lucas on McKinney
Lulu's been with me since the sixth grade. She has a chance to be very good. She can shoot the ball well & move it well. I'm really ecstatic for Coach Adams to work with Lulu. I believe she can help her with her game. UTEP is a great school for her basketball skill set.
Northwood Temple Academy
Standout for Northwood Temple Academy (Fayetteville, N.C.) who originally hails from Riga, Latvia ... named to the North Carolina Independent Schools All-State team as a junior in 2013, her first season of competition in the United States ... also selected to the Carolina Christian Conference All-Conference first team and the Carolina Christina Conference All Star Team ... was chosen as her team's Most Valuable Player & is anticipated to be the squad's catalyst during her senior season ... also competed in tournaments in Latvia against high-caliber competition & was a member of the junior national team in Latvia.
Coach Adams on Miscenko
Marta is a center, who gives us great size in the middle. She gives us good post presence. She can score around the basket and will be a good player in the post for us. We are excited about signing her.
Coach Jenkins on Miscenko (Northwood Temple Academy Head Coach)
Marta demands respect around the basket and dominates on the boards. Her ability to score and control the boards should make her a great edition for the Miners. She is a fierce competitor and her ability to block shots and or change shots sets her apart from other post players in her league. Marta is a true leader and a student of the game.