Nov. 8, 2006
DeKALB, Ill. - A pair of players from state championship teams have signed letters of intent to play women's basketball for Northern Illinois beginning in 2007-08, Huskie head coach Carol Owens announced Wednesday, the first day of the November signing period.
The Huskies have added 6-0 forward Mauvolyene Adams of 2006 Class AA Illinois state champ Bolingbrook, and 5-9 guard Bianca Brown, whose Detroit Renaissance High School team won the Michigan Class B state championship a year ago, for the 2007-08 season.
"I'm truly excited," said Head Coach Carol Owens, who begins her second season at the helm of the Northern Illinois program in 2006-07. "This is the first year that I've had the opportunity to recruit and evaluate players over the course of the entire year and I think we signed two really good young ladies who will make a major impact on our program and who are excellent students. The fact that they both come from winning programs tells me they know how to win at a high level. They have been in the trenches and been under pressure. They are used to battling and being in intense situations"
Adams, who earned third team All-State honors from the Illinois Basketball Coaches Association as a junior, averaged 11.4 points, 9.1 rebounds and 1.8 assists in 31 games as a junior as Bolingbrook compiled a 31-2 record and claimed the state title. Sports Illustrated ranked the Raiders the No. 5 team in the nation at the conclusion of the season. Entering this year, she was an honorable mention selection on Street & Smith's Preseason High School All-America Team.
As a junior, she led Bolingbrook in boards, recording 11 double-figure rebounding games. In Bolingbrook's quarterfinal win over Buffalo Grove in overtime, she scored a team-leading 18 points, pulled down 13 rebounds and added four assists and three steals in 31 minutes of action. In the state championship game, she finished with a team-high 13 points to go with six rebounds and three steals.
Following the state tournament last year, Chicago Tribune prep basketball writer Alan Sutton called her "one of the most intense players in the Chicago area" and named her the "most quotable" player at the state tournament. Adams' father, Tyrone, played collegiately at Kansas State.
"I first saw `Mauvo' two days after I got here to NIU and I said `that's the kid we need,'" Owens said. "She's strong, she plays hard, she's intense and she plays with a lot of emotion. She is such a presence on the floor. She's a good defender, she can rebound and obviously can score. She plays with her back to the basket and has only just tapped into her potential."
As a senior, Brown is averaging 10 points, four rebounds, three steals and three assists per game for the 15-2 Phoenix. As a member of the 2006 state championship team, Brown played behind six seniors who each signed to play in college, but she has led the Detroit Renaissance team in 2007, said her high school coach, Diane Jones.
"Bianca is a complete player at both ends of the floor," Jones said. "She is an all-purpose, all-duty, all-around player who can play any one of three positions for us. She's a very good student who has become a `go-to' player for us this season."
Owens also sees the multi-talented Brown as a good fit for her young program.
"Bianca is a diamond in the rough," Owens said. "I saw her a year ago in July and I liked her because she's multi-purpose. She can defend, she loves to rebound and she's a great kid with a great attitude who is very mature for her age. I think she will come here and be an instant leader and help us in many areas."
Owens' 2006-07 Huskies open the regular season this Saturday at the NIU Convocation Center versus Illinois State in the first of three straight home games to start the season. Tickets for that 2 p.m. contest, as well as the entire 13-game season, are still available through the NIU Athletics Ticket Office in the Convocation Center, on-line at www.niuhuskies.com or by calling 815-753-6800.
-- NIU --