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OJC Press Release ID: 2548

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

OJC Women’s Basketball 2016 recruiting class

After finishing the 2015-2016 season with a 3rd place finish in Region IX South and a first round victory in the Region Tournament, new Head Coach Taylor Shaffer is excited to announce the new signees that are looking to make their mark on the program. This recruiting class, along with potential walk-ons, will join returning sophomores Heather Estrada, Fatima Davis (RS), and Savannah Madrid-Andrews (RS) to make up the 2016-2017 Rattler Women’s Basketball team.
(Signees in alphabetical Order)

Thabitha Dwumfour
Scotch Plains, New Jersey

Thabitha is joining Otero after playing her first year of college basketball at Midland College last season. The 6’2 post played at Scotch Plains Fanwood High School, before heading to Midland, where she received an Honorable Mention for the competitive Union County All-Conference Team. Shaffer remarked, “We are very excited to add Thabitha to our team for this coming year. Not only does Thabitha bring much needed size and toughness, but we will be looking for her to join our other sophomores in bringing leadership and guidance to what will be a young team. We are very excited that Thabitha decided to transfer to Otero.”

Danielle (Nellie) Freeman
Cedaredge, Colorado

After leading Cedaredge High School to a 24-3 record and a 3rd place finish for 2A Colorado, Nellie looks to continue her success at Otero. In her senior year of high school, Nellie 16.5 points per game, 5 rebounds, 4 assists, and 4 steals on her way to earning First Team All-State honors.  Shaffer added, “Nellie is a proven winner, and an athletic guard that has the potential to impact the game on both sides of the floor. She has shown great improvement this summer, and she is somebody who we think fits what we are trying to achieve both on and off of the court.”

Cydney Kreutzer
Hoehne, Colorado

Cydney is a girl who grew up around the Arkansas Valley, and is transferring to Otero Junior College after spending her first year at Benedictine College where she helped lead them to a Final Four appearance in the NAIA National Tournament. A 5’6 Point Guard, Cydney averaged 15 points per game, 5 assists, and 5 steals during her senior year of high school. Shaffer commented, “Cydney was a 4 year starter in high school, and has won everywhere she has played. She uses her body as well as anyone I have ever seen play the point guard position, and she has a great feel for the game. She is a proven leader both on and off the floor, she was the student council president at Hoehne, and we are excited to have her leadership to help guide our young team.

Alyssa Lovato
La Junta, Colorado

Alyssa is a local guard who spent her first three years of high school at Cheraw and her last year at La Junta. As a senior, Alyssa averaged 10 points per game, and showed an impressive set of skills as she helped lead La Junta to an 18-6 overall record. Shaffer had this to say about Alyssa, “Alyssa is a local girl who has strong family ties to Otero Junior College and has grown up watching Otero basketball. Although she is a little undersized, she has a high skillset level that will translate to the college level well. Alyssa is a girl who has a quick release and will be able to stretch the defense as they will have to guard her behind the arc. She grew up around the game and has a high basketball IQ that will be valuable to our program this year.”

Taylor Nittler
Kim, Colorado

Taylor is a 5’3 guard who played her high school career a few miles down the road at Kim High School. During her four years of varsity basketball, Taylor averaged 14 points per game, 3 assists per game, and 3 steals per game. During her senior year, Taylor stood out around her competition, and was able to earn 2nd team All-State honors for the 1A classification in Colorado. Shaffer added, “the first thing that stood out to me when watching Taylor play, this past year, was her competitive spirit and the level of toughness that she brought on every single play; I’ve never seen somebody dive on the floor for a loose ball as much as Taylor did when she came down on her recruiting visit. We are very excited to get the opportunity to coach Taylor as she contains all of the intangibles that we look for in a player; we believe that she fits the mold for the type of players that make up what Otero basketball is about.”

Adrianna Rios
Kersey, Colorado

Adrianna is a 5’8 combo guard who will bring length and athleticism to our roster. She possesses the ability to score in a number of different ways, and during her senior year at Platte Valley, Adrianna averaged 17 points per game, 6 rebounds, and 3 steals per game on her way to earning Honorable Mention All-State honors. Shaffer commented, “Adrianna is a girl that we had our eyes on from the moment we got the job. She comes from a school that has a great reputation for producing girls that produce at the college level. She can score in a variety of ways, and with her athleticism and length she will be able to change a game, on the defensive end, without ever touching the ball. Adrianna is a great athlete, and an even better person that we are excited to have joining us this year.”

Lucia Serrano Ranz
Argentona, Spain

Lucia is a 5’9 combo guard who is transferring to Otero after spending her first year of college at Texas A&M-Kingsville. During her time in Spain, Lucia played her club ball for Arenys de Mar, and helped lead the team to a regional championship. Lucia is a guard with great size and she plays with a speed that is going to create problems for other teams. Shaffer added, “We were lucky to get Lucia, as a number of schools were pursuing her as she decided to transfer. Lucia plays with great energy and pace, and she is going to be a player that creates match-up issues for other teams. Lucia is coming to Otero with a year of experience of playing college basketball in one of the most competitive conferences in NCAA Division II basketball, and we hope that with that experience under her belt she will be able to show our younger girls what it takes to play at a high level.”

Sahara Snead
Las Animas, Colorado

Sahara is a 6’2 post who grew up right down the road where she attended Las Animas High School. Sahara brings some much needed size to Otero, and she has proven that she can score in the post; during her senior season, Sahara averaged 13 points per game and 7 rebounds. While she attends Otero, Sahara is also going to participate for Otero on the volleyball team. Shaffer had this to say about Sahara, “Sahara is a girl that is coming in a little raw as far as her game goes, but she is the type of person we look for when recruiting post; she works hard, and she has good footwork and hands that will allow her to grow as she spends more time in the gym. Sahara is a very hard worker, and I look forward to working on her game in the post as she is extremely coachable. Her size and athleticism will be a nice addition to our program.”

Alba Vera Ponte
Vilassar de Mar, Spain

Alba is a 5’11 post who will be joining Otero straight from graduating from her high school in Spain. Alba is a very mobile post that will bring energy and create matchup problems for other teams. During her time in Spain, Alba played club basketball for UE Mataro, and was described as the unsung hero of her team due to her energy and work ethic on the court. Shaffer added, “Alba was a great pickup for our program; we have had great success with international players in the past, and I believe Alba will be able to continue that trend. The first time I saw her film, it was impossible to ignore the effort and energy that she played with. Alba is physical enough to play in the post, but she is skilled and athletic enough to play the power forward position and I believe that her combination of size and athleticism will cause problems for other teams.”

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