Two guards and a center have signed National Letters of Intent and will join The University of Akron women's basketball team this fall, head coach Jodi Kest announced Thursday.
Northeast Ohio high school products Anita Brown and Megan Barilla, and Akron native Cari Guyton are set to become the newest members of the UA program.
"These three young ladies will be excellent additions to our basketball team," Kest remarked. "They will contribute to our team tremendously as we continue to build a championship program."
Brown (Warren, Ohio/Warren Harding), a 5-9 guard, averaged 27 points and 13 rebounds per game last season on her way to an OHSAA Division I Third-Team All-Ohio selection. She is the only player in Harding history to score over 1,000 points and grab over 1,000 rebounds. Brown also holds the school record for points in a game (45). In addition to her all-state honors, Brown was named first-team all-district and was the Most Valuable Player of the North-South All-Star Game.
"Anita is a great addition to our program," Kest said. "She has the ability to put up big numbers on the offensive end, but is also a good defender. She will bring added athleticism and a competitive spirit to our team."
Barilla (Fairview Park, Ohio/Magnificat) was a four-year varsity letter winner and a three-time captain at Magnificat High School. A 5-10 guard, Barilla averaged 10.4 points, 3.5 rebounds, 4.5 assists, and 3.7 steals as a senior and led the Blue Streaks to a 70-23 record during her four seasons. She was also named to the Adidas Hoosier Hardwood Championship All-Tournament Team.
Megan is a winner both on and off the court," Kest said. "She comes from a great high school program in Magnificat, which is rich in girl's basketball tradition. Megan will provide us with depth at the guard position."
Guyton (Akron, Ohio/Pratt JC (Kan.)) will be returning home after playing the last two seasons at Pratt Junior College in Kansas. The 6-2 center averaged 12 points and 8.6 boards per game last season and led the Jayhawk Conference in rebounding. Guyton also ranked second in the conference in field goal percentage at 54-percent. Guyton prepped at Firestone High School and led the Falcons to a 20-2 record in her senior year.
"Cari is a true center. She has great hands and the ability to finish around the basket," Kest commented "She is a big body who takes up a lot of space in the paint, and she rebounds the basketball very well. We are excited to welcome Cari back home to Akron."