EL PASO, Texas – UTEP women’s basketball announced the signing of three student-athletes to National Letters of Intent, head coach Kevin Baker announced on Tuesday.
Joining the Miners for the 2023-24 season will be a trio of junior college transfers in Ishuana Hunter (Labette CC), Mackenzie Thomas (Jones CC) and D’Arrah Allen (Seward County CC).
Brief profiles on each player along with quotes from Baker follow below.
Trenton, N.J. (Trenton Central HS)
Played in 27 games with 20 starts last season at Labette CC … averaged 10.4 points, 7.6 rebounds and 1.2 steals per game … connected on 51.7 percent of attempts from the floor … named to the NJCAA Division II All-Star game … appeared in 14 games with 13 starts during 2020-21 season at Labette, averaging 11.8 points, 8.7 rebounds and 1.5 steals per contest … shot 51 percent from the field … played at Trenton Central High School in New Jersey, scoring 1,296 points with 625 rebounds and 258 steals … averaged 19.3 points, 10.7 rebounds and 5.3 steals per game as a senior, leading her team to the second round of the NJSIAA Group IV Central Tournament.
“Ishuana is an absolutely amazing athlete that can do it all on the basketball court. She will list as a forward, but she can pretty much play any position on the floor. She will fit well in our positionless offense, and we think she can be an All-Conference kind of talent. She can defend and rebound at a high level. She will also have the ability to make plays inside our full-court press. Ishuana is the perfect fit for the UTEP Miners.” – Coach Baker
Laurel, Miss. (Laurel HS)
Saw action in 32 games last season at Jones CC, starting 21 of them … averaged 4.6 points and 5.9 rebounds in 22 minutes of action per contest … added 70 assists, 47 steals and 15 blocks … scored a season-high 16 points with 16 rebounds against Chipola (12/11/21) … posted four games with double-digit rebounds … dished out a season-high nine assists against Holmes (1/20/22) … helped lead team to NJCAA Final Four … prepped at Laurel High School in Mississippi … led Laurel to the first MHSAA title in program history with an 18-2 record as a senior … named the MVP of the state championship game … averaged 12.4 points, 8.7 rebounds, 4.1 assists and 3.5 steals per game as a senior … a Mississippi/Alabama All-Star … received All-District accolades … played her junior year at Petal High School, averaging 21 points and seven rebounds per game.
“Mackenzie is a very impressive guard that can also play the small forward position. We believe that she will be a fan favorite due to her ability to be a blue-collar worker on the floor and do all of the important things that do not show up in a box score. Mackenzie is also a fabulous vocal leader and will be a valuable teammate. She simply does all the things that great players do. We are very excited to bring her to the Sun City.” – Coach Baker
Seward County CC
Los Angeles, Calif. (Leuzinger HS)
5-8, Point Guard
Took the floor in 27 games with three starts last season at Seward County CC … averaged 10.1 points and a steal per game … helped lead team to Region VI Semifinals … quick point guard with the ability to score the basketball … averaged 22.9 points, 3.3 assists and 3.3 steals per game as a senior at Leuzinger High School in California …led the Olympians to a 13-3 record and a perfect 10-0 mark in league action during her final season … played all four years as a prep on the varsity team, averaging double figures each season.
“D’Arrah is a solid point guard that can really shoot the ball. She has the ability to light the scoreboard up with everything that she can do offensively, but we believe that most fans will be impressed with what she does on the defensive end of the floor. She will be amazing in our press. She has the ability to guard the ball handler and control the ball from getting to the rim. She has the speed and intelligence of a quality point guard. She will do very well in Conference USA and will be a Miner we can all be proud of.” – Coach Baker