Seattle University coach Joan Bonvicini expects her team to be above .500 in its third season transitioning back to Division I next season. She took huge strides toward that goal, signing five players on Thursday, although the Redhawks will again have to build chemistry with the new faces and seven returnees. Here’s the list of incoming recruits, joining transfers Talisa Rhea (Oregon State) and Nichole Jackson (Portland State), who’ll be eligible in 2011-2012.
Point Guard * 5-6 * Phoenix, Ariz./Moon Valley High School
Phoenix, Ariz. native Monique Abbs brings athleticism and speed to the Redhawks. A three-sport athlete at Moon Valley High School, she had a standout junior season where she averaged 18.2 points, 2.4 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 2.0 steals per game. She capped off the season by being named to the Arizona Republic All-State Second Team. With Seattle U, Abbs will be looked to become an offensive leader at point guard.
Coach Bonvicini on Abbs: “Monique had an outstanding senior year. She is a quick point guard with excellent athletic ability to shoot the jumper or take someone to the hole. She was also a very good track athlete and we think she is going to create a new dimension for us as a point guard with her athleticism and versatility.”
Forward * 6-0 * Mombasa, Kenya/Lon Morris Junior College
A junior college transfer, Brenda Adhiambo is coming off a standout 2010-11 season at Lon Morris Junior College. She was named to the NJCAA All-America Third Team, in addition to being selected to the all-conference and all-tournament teams. The 6-0 forward also earned the all-region award, was named LMJC’s team MVP and player of the week once as a sophomore. A skilled ball handler, she was named to the NJACC All-Conference Team and was named her team’s Freshman of the Year in 2009-10. She will add depth to the post position and physicality to a building Redhawk squad.
Coach Bonvicini on Adhiambo: “Brenda is the first All-American we have signed here at Seattle U, as she was named a Junior College Third Team All-American. She is an outstanding high post player. Brenda’s versatility in taking the ball to the basket, being physical and hitting the three will add a lot to our game next year.”
Forward * 6-1 * Seattle, Wash./Garfield
Renee Dillard-Brown, a local Seattle product, adds size and skill to the post position for the Redhawks. The 6-1 forward helped guide nearby Garfield High School to a 17-win season, behind 7.3 points and 6.3 boards per game, and a state tournament appearance. She will add depth to the SU lineup with her quickness, height and solid defensive game.
Coach Bonvicini on Dillard-Brown: “Renee is a local player from Garfield High School. She is another lefty and at 6-1, she can play the high post or take it to the hole. She is someone with a lot of potential. Renee is going to add a lot of athleticism, all-around skill and size to our program.”
Guard * 5-9 * San Diego, Calif./Horizon Christian High School
Guard Kim Flournoy will add speed and quickness to the Redhawk lineup. She is coming off a standout four-year varsity career, where she averaged 16.7 points, 8.6 rebounds and 2.9 assists per game. Flournoy was an all-league selection throughout her career, including being named to the first team three times. As a senior, she was named the Division 5 Player of the Year, to the All-San Diego Section Second Team and was a McDonalds All-America nominee. Flournoy will provide a strong presence on the court and will be looked to be a top scorer for Seattle U. She is also a decorated track athlete, earning multiple honors, including team MVP.
Coach Bonvicini on Flournoy: “Kim had a fabulous senior year. She won CIF her senior year and led her team to the state championships. I think her scoring ability improved this year and she is a phenomenal athlete. Kim has good size and really developed the three-point shot. She is also an excellent track athlete and will add quickness on the court.”
Forward/Center * 6-7 * Tacoma, Wash./Mount Tahoma
A three-year varsity letterwinner at Mount Tahoma High School, Jessi Williamson adds new a dimension to the Redhawk women’s basketball team. One of the tallest players to ever put on the SU uniform at 6-7, she will add size, and a great rebounding and shot blocking ability. With the Thunderbirds, she recorded a state of Washington record 19 blocked shots in a single game as a junior in 2009-10. That same season she was selected to the all-league second team. As a senior in 2010-11, she was named to the all-league first team and was ranked No. 4 in the nation in shots blocked. Williamson helped guide MTHS to the playoffs three consecutive seasons.
Coach Bonvicini on Williamson: “The tallest player we have signed here at Seattle U, Jessi is an outstanding shot blocker. She has an unbelievable upside, as a great rebounder, a lefty and shot blocker. She has the shot blocking record for the state of Washington and was fourth in the nation this year with her shot blocking. We think she is going to create a dimension for our team and our program.”