Portland State’s new women’s basketball coach Charity Elliotthas been hard at work recruiting next season’s crew.
Since being introduced to the PSU community April 8, Elliott hashit the ground running, jumping right back on a plane the next dayto start recruiting. Her task was to fill the guard and postpositions, as the Vikings will return with only six letter winnersfrom last year’s squad.
Last week Elliott announced that three high school seniors havesigned letters of intent to attend Portland State and play for theVikings in the 2004-05 season. Joining the team next year will beswing player Audrey Grant, from Los Angeles, Calif., post playerKathryn Taylor from Portland, Ore., and guard Whitney Black fromCentral Point, Ore. Black signed with PSU last winter; Grant andTaylor were both recruited by Elliott shortly after her hiring.
Grant, a forward, attained four letters in basketball from oneof the top girls prep programs in the country and was coached bytwo-time USA Today National Coach of the Year James Anderson.Elliott raved about her pedigree saying, “Audrey comes from atremendous program, which has provided her with great basketballexperiences.
“Defensively, she completely understands what we want toaccomplish and has guarded some of the best players in the country.Above all else, she knows what it takes to win.”
Forward/Center Kathryn Taylor is a real diamond in the roughaccording to Elliott. Taylor was a third team all-league and firstteam all-academic at Saint Mary’s Academy. Taylor achieved fourletters in basketball, was a team leader in blocks and rebounds,and her team qualified for the state tournament all four years shewas there. Elliot commented on 6-2 1/2 forward, “Kathryn hasn’tgotten the exposure, but has a big solid body, is committed toworking hard and is excited to be a part of our program. As shebecomes stronger, I think she is going to really help us.”
Whitney Black, playing guard, will give the team a versatileguard who can shoot the ball and play the point. “We need someonewith scoring ability to emerge right away and she will have anopportunity to fill that roll,” said Elliott. In high school, Blackwas a four letter winner, an all-state honorable mention, earnedfirst team, second team, and honorable mention all-conferenceawards during her high school days, and in addition, was her team’smost valuable player.
In addition to these three, Monica Uhrig, a 6-foot-3-inchtransfer from Gonzaga, will be joining the team, but will redshirtdue to her status as a Division I transfer. Six-foot-three centerLisa Thomas from Palmer, Ark., is currently a member of the Vikingvolleyball team and will also be joining the basketball squad.
“On the court, our top priority is restoring the winningtradition of Portland State basketball and these players are goingto play a key role,” Elliott said.