Keitha Adams announced the signing of three new basketball players for the 2011-2012 season. Point guard Ryah Lacy, who led Grayson County College to a fifth-place finish nationally, guard Melisa Mendes, who secured all-conference honors for Northwest Florida State College, and Jenzel Nash, who paced the nation in scoring at the prep level for Worthing High School, have signed national letters of intent to attend UTEP and join the women’s basketball team for the 2011-12 campaign.

Lacy, who will have three years of eligibility at UTEP, was a key to GCC (31-3) earning a bid to 2011 National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Division I national championship.  The 5-6 PG registered 9.6 points per game, 6.1 assists per game, 3.9 rebounds per game and 2.3 steals per contest to secure second-team all-conference accolades. She finished sixth in the country in assists.

“Melisa is an upsize guard who has the ability to shoot the basketball extremely well,” Adams said. “She is very coachable and brings a great demeanor to our program.”

She helped guide NWF State to a record of 24-7 overall, including a 7-5 mark in league play that propelled the squad to a second-place finish in both the conference and state. The Lady Pirates, who are led by head coach Patrick Harrington, were ranked for most of the year and finished eighth in the final NJCAA Coaches’ top-25 poll.

Nash poured in 37.7 ppg to lead the nation in scoring for the high school girls’ regular season in 2010-11, which was aided by a campaign-high 64 points against Booker T. Washington. The 5-7 guard also posted game averages of 8.7 rebounds, 5.4 steals and 4.4 assists, and was voted as VYPE Magazine’s Girls’ Basketball Player of the Year.

“Jenzel is a great competitor who plays extremely hard,” Adams said. “Obviously her ability to score is a great strength. We look forward to her being a part of our team.”

We hope these three young ladies bring great success to the Miners in the years to come.