Techsters Sign Pair of Junior College Standouts
Posted Apr 12, 2006 17:25:22
RUSTON – Louisiana Tech head coach Chris Long announced the signing of a pair of junior college standouts Wednesday on the first day of the late signing period.
Long’s two newest Lady Techster signees are 6-foot-3-inch forward Sierra Nixon of Trinity Valley Community College and 5-foot-5-inch point guard April Williams of Arkansas-Ft. Smith Community College.
Nixon, who will have three years of eligibility left, played one year for Michael Landers at Trinity Valley where she averaged 11.8 points and 7.4 rebounds per game for the Lady Cardinals while hitting 54 percent of her field goals and 63 percent of her free throws in 2004-05.
However, prior to the start of the 2005-06 season, Nixon underwent season-ending knee surgery. The Houma, La., native then decided to transfer to Pearl River Community College in Mississippi to complete her academic work while being closer to home.
“Sierra Nixon is an extremely talented basketball player,” Long said. “I can’t tell you how excited I am to have her suit up as a Lady Techster. We recruited Sierra out of high school. She has the rare combination of guard-like skills in a 6-foot-3 frame. She can score inside and outside. One of the great thing about Sierra is she has three years to play at Tech due to her injury.”
Nixon lettered at Ellender Memorial High School in Houma as a prep star while helping lead coach Kenneth Dixon and Co. to the state playoffs all four years. After missing the majority of her junior season due to injury, Nixon averaged 11.9 points and 6.5 rebounds as a senior and earned all-district and second team all-state accolades.
“Sierra has a great basketball IQ,” Dixon said. “She is extremely quick for her size, and she handles the ball well for a player her size. She is a great defensive player. She has the ability to score inside and outside. She could have played on the perimeter for us, but we needed her inside with her size. Sierra can do anything she wants to. She’s always wanted to go to Louisiana Tech.”
Williams, who has local ties after prepping for coach Donnie Quinn at West Monroe High School, has spent the last two years playing for coach Louis Whorton at Arkansas-Ft. Smith starting at point guard.
She earned All-Bi-State Conference East Division second team honors and was a member of the Region II All-Tournament team this year after leading Arkansas-Ft. Smith to a 3-1 mark in the National Junior College Athletic Association national tournament and a semifinal appearance.
“April is a fire-plug of a point guard,” Long said. “She has tremendous leadership qualities. She is someone I consider a true point guard as she understands her job is to run the team offensively and defensively. She has good ball-handling skills and can score when needed. Defensively, she will get after whoever she is guarding. She is a player I look forward to coaching.”
During her high school days at West Monroe, Williams started her final three years while leading the Lady Rebels to a 39-1 record and the 2004 Louisiana Class 5A state title. She earned co-MVP honors for District 2-5A that season after averaging 12.1 points, 8.2 assists and 4.8 steals per game.
“I’ve been watching them since they had Tamicha Jackson and Betty Lennox at Tech,’’ Williams said. “(Playing at Tech) is every little girl’s dream growing up in Louisiana.’’
The signing of the pair brings Long’s first recruiting class total to four with the early signing of forward Shanavia Dowdell (Calera (Ala.) High School), the 2006 Alabama High School Player of the Year, and guard Tiawanna Pringle (Southeast Lauderdale (Miss.) High School), the 2006 Miss Basketball in the state of Mississippi.
Long said there is a possibility of signing additional players over the next few weeks.
Louisiana Tech returns eight letter winners from last year’s 26-5 team that captured both the Western Athletic Conference regular season and tournament titles and participated in the program’s record 25th straight NCAA Tournament.