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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Women’s basketball signs impressive recruiting class

Arizona women’s basketball signed a highly touted 2014 freshmen class, inspiring optimism for the future.

On Wednesday, the UA announced that it signed five players for the 2014-15 season. Headlining the class of four incoming freshmen and one transfer is four-star guard Taryn Griffey from Dr. Phillips High School in Florida.

According to the ESPNW 2014 HoopGurlz Recruiting Rankings, Griffey is the 88th best high school senior in the nation. Taryn Griffey, daughter of former MLB star Ken Griffey Jr., also has UA ties as her brother, Trey Griffey, is currently a redshirt freshman wide receiver for the Arizona football team.

“I don’t want to be known as Ken Griffey Jr’s daughter,” Taryn Griffey said in a press release. “I want to be known as Taryn Griffey because I am my own person I want to make a name for myself and put my school on the map and I feel like Arizona is where I can do that! Bear Down.”

Arizona head coach Niya Butts said she thinks Griffey will be a significant threat for the Wildcats next season.

“Her quickness, athleticism and ability to shoot the long-range shot is going to be much-needed for us,” Butts said about Griffey in a press release.

Joining Griffey is three-star guard JaLea Bennett from Mansfield Timberview High School in Texas. Bennett said the UA was persistent in her recruitment.

“I chose Arizona because they were very committed during my recruiting process,” Bennett said in a press release. “When they said they wanted me, they meant it.”

Rounding out the incoming freshmen are a pair of three-star guards from California: Cherice Harris from Etiwanda High School and Charise Holloway from Saint Mary’s High School.

Bennett, Harris and Holloway are guards under six feet and figure to play considerable minutes next season as the Wildcats have four senior wing players on the 2013-14 roster.

Junior college transfer Chy Cunningham, 5-foot-10 guard, said she chose Arizona for both academics and athletics. The said attending Arizona was an opportunity she could not pass up.

“A door was opened for me and this is what I’ve always dreamed of … and I couldn’t let this opportunity slip away…” Cunningham said in a press release.

The UA said in a press release that the class was top 25 in the country and third-best in the Pac-12.

“Overall, we think this class has been pretty good,” Butts said. “We are bringing in some talented young ladies and they are going to be ready to play immediately. They have been working hard, they know the value of good work ethic and I think that’s the thing that is going to set them apart from the other freshmen in the country.”

— Follow Roberto Payne @RPsportreporter

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