HOUSTON- Texas Southern University Head Women’s Basketball Coach Cynthia Cooper-Dyke has announced that Keiana Vines (Oxnard, California), Victoria Wells (Los Angeles, California), Tashara Jones (Douglasville, Georgia), Ashley Ferguson (Arlington, Texas) and Jazzmin Parker (Houston, Texas) have each signed a National Letter of Intent (NLI) Wednesday during the early signing period to continue their education and basketball careers at the Texas Southern University.
“With four talented seniors in our program and a couple of extra scholarships that were available, we are excited about the (class of) five,” Cooper-Dyke said. “It needed to be a bigger class. It needed to be a class that could come in and contribute right away and we feel like we have five players who feel like they can come in and make a difference and are talented enough to come in and make a difference.”
Keiana Vines was the 2009 Pacific View League girls’ basketball Co-Player of the Year. At Pacific, the 6-4 Vines averaged 15.6 points, 8.0 rebounds and 4.1 blocks per game. She then transferred to Santa Clara High School, where she averaged 16.1 points, 10.8 rebounds, and 5.1 blocks per game. Despite her imposing size she has a soft touch around the basket, good hands, and is a left-handed post. In 2011, Vines was named the CIF Southern Section Division 5AA Player of the Year. She also led her team to a CIF Championship that season. Vines was ranked #8 by ESPN Hoopgurlz. Vines originally signed with UC-Santa Barbara out of high school before enrolling at Trinity Valley CC.
“Vines has been coached well and has won a JUCO National Championship, so she knows what it takes to be a winner,” Cooper-Dyke said. “Another plus for Vines is how hard she competes and her competitive drive.
Attended Sierra Canyon High School and was named Athlete of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year. Wells garnered first team All-CIF Southern Section honors and led her team to a CIF Southern Section championship title, as well as a league championship title. She was voted team MVP by her team and also earned league MVP honors. During her junior year, Wells averaged 12 points, 4 assists, 2 blocks, 7 rebounds, and 5 steals per game. She was named War of the Floor MVP after finishing with 12 points, 10 rebounds, 5 assists, and 4 steals during the California All-Star game. Victoria was selected to her school’s dean’s list during her high school career and was selected as student-athlete of the year. She signed with Marshall University out of High School before transferring to Trinity Valley CC.
“Victoria is tough and very competitive. She loves to guard defensively and that is important to her. She can also put it on the floor and create opportunities for herself and her teammates, Cooper-Dyke said. She takes a lot of pride that offensively and she can put it on the floor and can space the defense.” She is surrounded by talented players so she understands what it is like to be on the court with other talented players.”
Tashara Jones attends Lithia Springs High School. She was named 2011-12 Douglas County Sentinel Girls’ Co-Player of the Year. Jones, who served as a team captain, was the shining star for Lithia Springs. Her individual accolades include leading the county in scoring with 18.8 points per game and dropping a career-high 42 points versus Kell. She finished her junior campaign as the team’s leading scorer and third leading rebounder. A native of Pensacola, Florida, Jones’ athletic talents have also been on display playing with the AAU Atlanta Celtics. Tashara chose Texas Southern over Miami, Clemson, Auburn, and Prairie View A&M.
“Tashara is a very competitive and tough kid, who loves to guard,” Cooper-Dyke said. “She loves to get up and guard you. She is a young lady who understands how to win and what it takes to compete every day for championships. She is a kid who can score in multiple ways, which makes her tough to defend”
Jazzmin Parker played at Mayde Creek High School. She was named team MVP in 2009, 2010 and 2011. Parker was also named all-state in 2010 and 2011 by the TABC. She was named 3-Time 1st All-District honoree, 2-Time TABC All-Region, District MVP and Houston Girls Coaches Association All-Star Selection in 2011. Parker was ranked the 34th best guard in the nation by ESPN HoopGurlz, 7th best guard in Texas by Premier Basketball Report, and the No. 18 ranked player in Texas. Parker was also ranked as the No. 96th ranked player in the country by Dan Olson of the Collegiate Girls Report. Parker averaged 23 pts, 8 rebounds, and 4 assists in her senior campaign. She closed her school career owning a total of six school records, including career points (1,892), most points in a single season (750), and best career average (19.5). Jazzmin signed with TCU in 2011 before transferring to Blinn JC.
“Jazz Parker is the best one-on-one players of our signing group, she can go get her own shot in a variety of situations,” Cooper-Dyke said. “Her three-point is shot nice, but it is her pull up jumper that has me excited.” She is a strong on-ball defender.” “Her leadership skills and her competitive drive will make an immediate impact on our younger players.”
Ashley Ferguson will arrive on the Texas Southern campus after an impressive career at Arlington Bowie High School. She was named District Newcomer of the Year her sophomore season. She was named 1st Team All-District as a junior. Ferguson averaged 13 points, 11 rebounds, 1 block, and 1 steal per game as a junior. She was also named to the All-District team. Ferguson chose Texas Southern over Southern Mississippi and University of Alabama-Birmingham.
“Ashley is very athletic for her size,” Cooper-Dyke said. “She is very skilled and has a good face-up game. She will play both positions in the post. She’s got good range, she can put it on the floor and she can score with her back to the basket over the right shoulder and the left shoulder.”