Nov. 14, 2013
HOUSTON, Texas - Rice women's basketball head coach Greg Williams announced the signing of three student-athletes to National Letters of Intent on Wednesday. Courtney Brown, Wendy Knight and Shani Rainey are set to enroll in school and join the Owls in 2014-15.
"We are very pleased and excited to have Courtney, Wendy and Shani join our program to complete our 2014 recruiting class," William said. "They are all outstanding students and will fit in well on campus as student-athletes. We feel we addressed needs at the perimeter positions and in the post to complement our returning players for the 2014-15 season. Courtney, Wendy and Shani all have been well-coached, both in high school and on their club teams, which will make them more ready to step in and contribute as freshman next season."
Brown, a 6-2 forward from Cedar Ridge HS, is rated as a three-star recruit and ranked as the No. 50 post player according to ESPN's HoopGurlz. Brown was named a District 16 4A first-teamer in 2012. Brown played club ball for Austin Elite.
"Courtney is a versatile post player that will both the power forward and center position here at Rice," Williams said. "She has three-point range already so she will be able to stretch the defense as well as play with her back to the basket. We saw her improve from April to July and feel she has a lot of potential to continue to improve because of her strong work ethic and coachability. She runs the floor very well and will fit in nicely with our up-tempo style. Courtney has a soft-shooting touch and is a good shot blocker and rebounder."
Knight, a 5-9 shooting guard from Reagan HS, averaged 13.3 points, 4.1 rebounds and 2.1 assists as a junior for the Rattlers. She is ranked No. 31 in Texas in the 2014 class, according to Premier Basketball Report. Knight is part of a Reagan squad that has won three district championships over her first three seasons. Knight's team was a state semi-finalist in 2012 and was named to the San Antonio Express All-Area Team and Super Team. She was also named a TexasBasketballMagazine Third-Team All-State selection. Knight played club ball for San Antonio's Finest.
"Wendy is a natural shooting guard with excellent touch and deep three-point range to help stretch the defense," said Williams. "She has worked hard to develop her mid-range game and getting to the basket to compliment her three-point ability. Wendy is a smart player and also works hard on the defensive end of the floor. She has a solid all-around game that should translate nicely at the next level of competition."
Rainey, a 5-10 guard from Lovejoy HS, helped guide the Lady Leopards to the 2011 UIL 3A state championship in a season in which she was named the 3A Region 2 District 11 Freshman of the Year and a First-Team All-District selection. She is ranked No. 24 in Texas in the 2014 class, according to Premier Basketball Report. In her junior campaign Rainey was tabbed an All-District First-Team selection for the third time in her career as well as Academic All-District for a second time. Rainey was also a member of the 4x400 relay team that won a 3A bronze medal at State her freshman season. She played club ball for the North Texas Shockers 2014 national team.
"Shani is a big perimeter player with the versatility to play both the two and three positions," said Williams. "She is an aggressive offensive player and finds a way to the basket with her excellent slashing and driving skills. Shani had numerous games with 10-plus free throw attempts, which is rare in summer games but shows her aggressive mindset. She can shoot the three-ball to keep the defense honest and is a relentless offensive rebounder. On the other end of the floor Shani is an outstanding defender with the ability to defend all three perimeter positions. Overall, she is a competitor."