April 28, 2009
TUCSON, Ariz. - The University of Arizona women’s basketball team has announced the signing of University of Arkansas transfer Shanita Arnold, a sophomore who will sit out the 2009-10 season with two years of eligibility remaining with the Wildcats.
Arnold played her first two collegiate seasons for the Razorbacks, starting all 32 games this past season after coming off the bench in 28 games as a freshman. She averaged 5.7 points and 2.3 rebounds in almost 26 minutes per game in 2008-09. She tallied a career-high 22 points against Southern Methodist back in November, connecting on 6-of-11 three-point attempts. Her five first-half connections were one shy of a school record.
A native of Fort Smith, Arkansas, Arnold was ranked the 24th-best player coming out of Northside High School by Mike White’s Recruiting Report. She was also a preseason honorable mention All-American selection by Street and Smith’s Magazine prior to her senior prep season after being named the Player of the Year by the Fort Smith Times-Record as a junior.
Arnold led the Lady Bears to three-straight league titles under the guidance of head coach Rickey Smith that included a 28-2 mark as a senior. She was named the 7A tournament MVP that year as she scored 34 points in the title game against Conway after averaging 15 points, 5 assists and 4 rebounds during the regular season. Arnold also led Northside to a state runner-up finish as a junior and final four appearance as a sophomore.
“Shanita is a great addition to our team and family,” said head coach Niya Butts, whose team was 12-19 in her first season. “She will have an opportunity to learn our system during her first year here, which will no doubt help her transition into the Pac-10. She is an up-tempo point guard who can shoot the deep three-pointer, which is exactly what we were looking for. Shanita was a starter this season in the SEC, so she knows what it’s going to take to compete at this level.”
Arizona has now added five players for the 2009-10 season, including three junior college transfers and one high school standout. Arnold will join Arizona high school Player of the Year Davellyn Whyte, NJCAA All-Americans Brooke Jackson and Jennifer Kioa as well as Amanda Pierson, an all-region pick at Seward County CC in Liberal, Kansas.