Winthrop University

Four commit to Cook’s team

Winthrop University

Winthrop women’s basketball coach Kevin Cook announced on Saturday that four prospects signed National Letters of Intent to play for the Eagles in 2016-17.

The four signees include two 6-4 post players, Amari Grevious (Orangeburg) and Uche Ufochukwu (Washington, D.C.), 5-9 guard Marissa Cantrell (Atlanta, Ga.), and 5-7 guard Noelle Kellers (Scottsdale, Ariz.).

With the additions, Winthrop now has seven new players in the fold for next season. Cook says he still has two scholarships to fill. This newest quartet will join Miquela Santoro (Clarksville, Ohio), Zaria McBride (Whitehall, Ohio) and Danyeal Goodhope (Virginia Beach, Va.) who signed with the Eagles during the NCAA early signing period last Novemeber.

Grevious played at Orangeburg-Wilkinson H.S. where she averaged 9.9 points, 6.5 rebounds and 3.1 blocked shots during her senior year as she battled a rare disease that affected her performance, but according to Cook, “she is a big presence inside.” She earned All-Region and All-Area during her high school career.

Ufochukwu played at Archbishop Carroll in DC where she averaged 8.5 points and 11.3 rebounds per game. She was named MVP of her team and earned All-WCAC 3rd Team selection. She was also a WCAC All-Academic Team selection.

“Uche has a tremendous upside,” said Cook. “Uche, who came to the United States from Nigeria, is still learning the game, yet can be a dominating force for the Eagles next year. Uche does things on the basketball court that you just can’t teach.”

Cantrell is perhaps the most accomplished player of the group. Cantrell was an Atlanta Tip-Off Club All-Metro 3rd Team selection in 2015-16 and was an Atlanta Journal Constitution 1st Team selection as a senior and a 2nd Team pick as a junior. She averaged 15 points, five rebounds, three assists, and three steals as she helped lead Westlake H.S. to Georgia High School State Tournament Elite 8 appearance in both 2015 and 2016.

“Marissa can shoot the basketball,” says Cook. “She definitely has three-point range and played some of her best basketball in the big games.”

Kellers had a stellar high school career at Desert Mountain in Scottsdale where she racked up numerous awards and records as a sophomore and junior. Among them were team MVP and selection as the All-City Player of the Year in 2013 and 2014. In her sophomore year of 2012-13, Kellers ranked 5th in the state in scoring with a 16.6 average. She averaged 11.8 points and 2.8 assists in her junior year.

Due to Arizona transfer rules, she did not play in her senior season after switching to Horizon H.S. After going 31-4 this past season at Trinity Community College in Athens, Texas, she will have three years of eligibility remaining.

“Noell comes from tradition-rich Trinity Community College where she was challenged every day in practice,” said Cook. “She will add shooting and the ability to make plays to our team. I like that she will come in as a sophomore and have three years left.”