The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga women's basketball team has picked up commitments recently from two players with connections to current Lady Mocs.
Keiana Gilbert, a 5-foot-11 wing from Columbia (Tenn.) Central High School, is the sister of UTC freshman forward Aryanna Gilbert. A'Queen Hayes, a 5-8 guard, was a teammate at Southaven (Miss.) High School of another freshman, forward Jasmine Joyner.
Their commitments bring the Lady Mocs' total up to four, joining guard Anna Claire Noblit from Covenant Christian School in Alabama and Ashlyn Wert, a 6-5 center from Lancaster (Pa.) Country Day School). UTC will lose six seniors from this season's squad.
"I'm excited about the chance to play with my sister again," said Gilbert, who averaged about 12 points per game last season. "I like that it's close to home and my mom gets to come see us play together."
Hayes and Joyner helped lead Southaven to the Mississippi Class 6A state final last season -- a game they lost in four overtimes. According to MaxPreps.com, Hayes averaged 13.2 points, 4.9 rebounds, 2.3 steals and 2.2 assists per game last season.
"Me and Jasmine played together in high school and she helped a lot," said Hayes, who picked UTC over Troy. "When I came down there, she showed me around and showed me everything [from a student's perspective]."
Hayes said she expects to play both point and shooting guard -- "Coach [Jim] Foster said he wants guards that can move around," she said -- while Gilbert said she anticipates continuing to play wing.
Hayes said getting a scholarship offer from, and the chance to play for, a Hall of Fame coach means something special.
"It makes me feel kind of great," she said. "It means I'm getting better."
The early signing period for men's and women's basketball begins Nov. 13.
Contact John Frierson at email@example.com or 423-757-6268. Follow him at twitter.com/MocsBeat.
John Frierson is in his seventh year at the Times Free Press and seventh year covering University of Tennessee at Chattanooga athletics. The bulk of his time is spent covering Mocs football, but he also writes about women’s basketball and the big-picture issues and news involving the athletic department. A native of Athens, Ga., John grew up a few hundred yards from the University of Georgia campus. Instead of becoming a Bulldog he attended Ole ...