UC Santa Cruz has reloaded its roster for 2019 with the signing of three heralded recruits. Coach Todd Kent is confident that their acumen as athletes and scholars will only make the team better.
Maddy Miller 6'0" Junior Forward transfer from Cabrillo College, Santa Cruz HS
Maddy comes to UCSC from down the road, after helping to lead the Cabrillo Women's Basketball team to two 20-win seasons and a pair of conference titles. The 6'0" forward was a major contributor in the paint averaging just under 9 rebounds and 2.6 blocks per game. She was fifth in the state in blocks and finished her Cabrillo career with 128 blocks.
"We are really excited about having Maddy in our program. She is a hardworking and competitive student-athlete who brings size and athleticism to our Forward position," stated Coach Kent.
She finished her sophomore season scoring in double figures in four of her last five games and a pair of double-doubles, including a 14 point, 13 rebound game against Siskiyous helping to lead Cabrillo College to their first NorCal playoff win in 40 years. "Maddy has developed a winner's attitude during her time at Cabrillo. She has had a great two years and Coach Wilson has done a tremendous job developing her game. She knows what it takes to compete in college basketball, and we can't wait to have her on the court for us this next season." Coach Kent added.
Zion Gabriel 5'4" Freshman Guard from East Side Prep HS
Zion comes to Santa Cruz after a very successful four years at East Side Prep in Palo Alto CA. Zion provides depth to an already talented group of guards the Slugs return next season. She averaged 14 points, 2.6 rebounds, and 1.4 assists per game during her senior season while shooting 34% from the 3-point line.
"Zion is a tremendous basketball player and even better shooter. Even more important is her focus on defensive intensity. She fits perfectly into our program's style of play with her ability to stretch the defense with her shooting range and team-first attitude." stated Coach Kent. During her high school career she helped lead her team to two D5 State titles (2016, 2017), was named First Team All League WBAL three times (2017, 2018, 2019), Honorable mention All-League her freshman year, and set a state record hitting 8 threes in one game during the 2017 season.
"I am going to love coaching Zion as she is the type of player who will do whatever the team needs to win," added Coach Kent.
Lilli Hammons 6'0" Freshman Forward Pioneer HS Woodland, CA
Lilli joins the Banana Slug program after leading her Pioneer High School girls basketball team to their first-ever Girls Basketball League Title her senior year.
"Lilli is exactly the type of student-athlete we want in our program. She has worked hard to earn success not only on the basketball court but also in the classroom," stated Coach Kent.
Lilli averaged a double-double scoring 13.7 points and 13.7 rebounds per game during a season in which she was Team Captain and a unanimous decision as league MVP.
Her hard work was recognized as she was also selected as the Golden Empire League Women's Scholar Athlete of the Year, picked to play in the Sac Joaquin Optimist All-Star game, and was selected as an all-tournament player for the Warren Meyer Lady Wolves Classic. Lilli's height, length and aggressive style of play will make an immediate impact on the Slugs' team.
"We needed to find some depth in the post, and Lilli fits the role,"added Coach Kent. "She is a hard worker who runs the floor well, which is perfect for our style of play."