Nov. 12, 2009
TUCSON, Ariz. - The University of Arizona women's basketball team has announced the signing of three players to a National Letter of Intent and each will join the Wildcat program for the 2010-11 season.
Head coach Niya Butts and her staff have secured the services of Erica Barnes of Sacramento, Calif., Candice Warthen of Warrenton, Ga., and Kiante Ageous from San Antonio, Tex.
Barnes is a 6'2" forward who will play her senior season at Sacramento High School for head coach Michele Massari. Barnes, who is rated the #23 forward by the Girls Basketball Report and #34 by Hoopgurlz.com, was a 1st-team all-Metro and all-City pick as a junior. She averaged 14.9 points and 10.3 rebounds per game while leading the Dragons to the CIF Division III Section Final. Over the last two seasons, the Dragons are 49-13.
Coming the furthest to Tucson next summer will be Warthen, a 5'5" guard who plays her prep basketball at Warren County High School. Warthen led the Screaming Devils to a 19-10 mark last season, averaging 25.6 points, 8.1 rebounds, 5.7 steals and 4.0 assists per game. She was a 1st-team all-state and all-CSRA pick as she tallied a school-record 743 points and led the Devils to back-to-back state tournament appearances after a five-year drought. Warthen is also a standout track and field athlete, winning the state title in the high jump as a junior.
Rounding out the class is Ageous, a former Louisiana native displaced by Hurricane Katrina to Houston High School in San Antonio. She is a 5'9" guard who was a Class 3A all-Region 4 pick last season by the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches. She averaged 21.2 points and 11.2 rebounds. Rated among the top 100 guards by Hoopgurlz.com, Ageous was a ESPN/RISE 3rd-team all-area pick for the Hurricanes.
"I am very excited about the three young ladies that we are adding to an already good core group of girls," said Butts. "Not only is each one of these ladies extremely talented and athletic, they are also great kids and possess the kind of personalities we are looking for in our program. We are looking forward to adding them to the Arizona family and we can't wait for them to get here."
"Erica runs the floor well and will fit in well with our transition offense as well as adding depth to our frontcourt. Candice is going to bring an outstanding ability to score as well as athleticism and quickness to our perimeter and will step in as a point guard at a good time in our program. Kiante is going to be a player who adds toughness to our group. She doesn't care where she plays on the floor - she just wants to contribute in any way she can."
Arizona opens the 2009-10 regular season this Saturday, November 14 against Iona at the Iona College Tip-Off Tournament in New Rochelle, N.Y. Tip-off for that game is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. (ET)