The University of Arkansas at Little Rock's women's basketball team signed four forwards Wednesday, the first day of the early November signing period.
Kiana Anderson (6-1), Nicole Hemphill (6-0), Alayzha Knapp (6-2) and Angelique Francis (5-11) all filed their national letters of intent to the school and will be eligible next fall.
The Trojans will lose senior forwards Ronjanae DeGray -- the 2018-19 preseason Sun Belt Player of the Year -- Raeyana DeGray and Yanina Inkina, and 5-11 guard Kiara Scott after this season.
"All bigger kids," UALR Coach Joe Foley said about the class. "We're losing Ron and Rae and Yaya, three of our bigger kids. So, naturally, that's the class we're bringing in, all bigger kids, physical kids that can play inside and out."
The final day for schools to receive early letters of intent from players is Wednesday. The regular signing period for basketball begins April 17 and ends May 15.
Anderson is a three-time district champion at Warren Easton High School in New Orleans. She averaged 10.4 points and 10.2 rebounds while leading Warren Easton to the 2018 state championship game.
"Kiana has great leadership qualities, plays a physical game, is a good passer and has hands like a catcher's mitt [and also] a 6-foot-5-inch wingspan," Anderson's high school coach, Darius Mimms, said in a news release.
Hemphill, from O'Connor High School in San Antonio, averaged 14.1 points and shot 80 percent from the free-throw line last season.
Knapp -- who scored 11.4 points and 10.1 rebounds per game for the Oklahoma Swarm Blue Star, an AAU club, this summer -- also was recruited by Kansas State, Kansas and Tulsa.
Francis forecasts as a strong defender at UALR, Foley said. An Irving, Texas, native, she averaged eight points and seven rebounds while at MacArthur High School last season.
The UALR men's team expects a couple of signings before the Wednesday deadline.
The Arkansas State University men's basketball team received letters of intent from 6-0 guard Caleb Fields from Aspire Academy in Lewisburg, Tenn., 6-7 forward Antwon Jackson from Ed W. Clark High School in Las Vegas, and 6-4 guard Malcolm Farrington from West Palm Beach, Fla.
Jackson did not have any official offers until five months ago, when ASU Coach Mike Balado offered the 250-pound power forward after an AAU tournament in July.
"Yeah, I'm glad to get this part out of the way so I can focus on the high school season," Jackson said. "After that, it's graduate and then come down to Arkansas prepared to win."
Jackson's recruiting process was rough, he said Wednesday. He spoke to a handful of college coaches, who Jackson said liked him but did not offer.
After accepting ASU's offer, the Red Wolves put Jackson on a meal plan. A diet consisting of lean proteins such as chicken and salmon has helped bring Jackson from nearly 280 pounds to 250, which ASU listed as Jackson's weight Wednesday.
"It's helped a lot," he said. "Going into this year, I'm starting to notice a big difference with how I'm feeling. I'm not getting as tired anymore."
The ASU women's team expects to have one signee, Mya Love, a 5-8 guard from Nettleton High School in Jonesboro, as soon as Friday.
The University of Central Arkansas announced the signing of combo guard Collin Cooper, a 6-2, 175-pounder, from Fayetteville High School.
Cooper averaged 19 points per game at Fayetteville and is a former 7A-West Conference Player of the Year.
"He is a tremendous shooter, but also a great playmaker," UCA Coach Russ Pennell said. "He plays either guard spot and brings a toughness and intensity that every coach is looking for in a recruit."
Sports on 11/15/2018
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