MEN'S BASKETBALL

RAMS ADD ALABAMA GUARD DURING SPRING SIGNING PERIOD
Courtesy: VCUAthletics.com
Release: 06/05/2008
Courtesy: VCUAthletics.com

RICHMOND, Va.—Coming off a monumental season, the Virginia Commonwealth University women’s basketball team has added another recruit during the spring signing period. The Rams’ latest signing will team with three recruits inked in the fall signing period and a roster returning four starters from last year’s team that finished 26-8 and advanced to the second round of the WNIT. VCU head coach Beth Cunningham announced the addition of 5-8 guard Rhonda Watts (Birmingham, Ala.) Thursday morning.

Watts scored a school-record 1,757 career points during her four years at Thompson High School in Birmingham. She averaged 17.4 points per game during her final season with the Lady Warriors. She shot 94 percent from the free throw line during her final two seasons, helping Thompson make back-to-back appearances in the area championship. Watts was named All-State in Alabama during her final two campaigns at Thompson.

“We really feel that the addition of Rhonda will give us another guard who will leave a lasting impact on this program,” Cunningham said. “She is a tough, hard-nosed kid.”

The Rams’ latest addition joins a trio of recruits who signed with VCU in November. Courtney Hurt (Conyers, Ga.), a 6-1 power forward, averaged 27.3 points, 12.5 rebounds and 3.0 blocks per game for Salem High School. She was nominated for Georgia Player of the Year and was named All-State. Chelsea Snyder (Grendall, N.J.), a 6-6 center, led Newton High School with 19 points, 15 rebounds and eight blocks per contest. She was named All-Conference and was twice named a Daily Record All-Star. Jennifer Lane (Wichita, Kan.) led Wichita Heights High School to a national ranking this season. She finished with a 91-9 record during her four seasons, leading the Falcons to two state titles. The 5-9 point guard averaged 15.1 points, 7.1 assists, 6.3 steals and 4.8 rebounds per game during her senior season. She finished her career with 1,219 points and 635 assists.

The Rams established numerous school records during the 2007-08 season, including wins (26), home wins (12), road wins (12), conference wins (13), and winning percentage (.765). VCU advanced to its first CAA Championship and earned the second post-season berth in program history. VCU will open the 2008-09 campaign in the Preseason Women’s National Invitation Tournament.

“We’re really excited about the addition of these kids,” Cunningham said. “We feel like have addressed some needs and really strengthened our team. We have a lot of quality kids returning who were critical pieces to our success this past season. Between this group of kids and the talent we have returning, we fully expect to build on our success and keep moving forward as a program.”

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