RENO, Nev. – The University of Nevada women’s basketball team has singed three student-athletes who will study and play for the Pack starting in the fall of 2010, second-year head coach Jane Albright announced Thursday.
“We are elated to sign three players from our top list of recruits. Ari, Amber and Danika all have different strengths on the basketball floor but are all great student-athletes and people off the court,” Albright said. “Their blend of athleticism, talent, skill and heart are just what we need to get us where we want to go. I expect all of these young ladies to have awesome senior years and to contribute to the success of our program when they arrive next year as freshmen.”
Danika Sharp is a 5-9 guard who attends West Wendover High School in Elko, Nev. Through three seasons she has averaged 25.8 points per game, 5.0 steals per game, 6.1 rebounds per game and 4.0 assists per game. As a junior, she averaged a career-best 29.7 points per game, 6.6 steals per game while shooting 50 percent (204-of-404) from the floor, 42 percent (73-of-172) from three-point range and 82 percent (205-of-249).
Sharp was named the Nevada Freshman Player of the Year in 2006-07 as well as team MVP and to the first-team all-state as a freshman. As a sophomore, she was named the 2A Southern League Player of the Year, to the All-State first team, to the Elko County first-team and team MVP. As a junior, she again was named the 2A Southern League Player of the Year, to the All-State first team, to the Elko County first-team and team MVP. She also led the State of Nevada in scoring and steals last season with 29.7 points per game and 185 steals.
“Danika is one of the top scorers in the country,” Albright said. “As a junior, she has already scored almost 1900 points and is an in-state player who has established herself as a dominant guard. She has a great competitive nature, is a top notch student, and will play shooting guard for us.”
Amber Smith is a 6-0 guard/forward who attends Canyon Springs High School in Moreno Valley, Calif., the same high school former Nevada standout Brandi Jones attended. Smith helped her high school team to a 25-8 record last season and an appearance in the CIF D1A championship game. As a junior, Smith averaged 14.7 points per game, 7.4 rebounds per game and 1.4 steals per game. She was named to the All-Inland Valley first team as well as to the All-CIF first team.
Through her three years, Smith has scored 1089 career points and has helped her high school team to a 67-21 record. As a sophomore she helped her team to a 21-6 record and an appearance in the quarterfinals of CIF while averaging 15.4 points per game. She also earned first team All-Inland Valley honors and All-CIF second team honors.
“Amber came to our Nugget Classic last year as we were playing Louisville, a team that was recruiting her,” Albright said. “I believe she decided she liked what she saw in our team. She is a big guard and small forward who can rebound, score and defend. Amber is a great team player and has had lots of success at Canyon Springs, the home of former Nevada guard Brandi Jones.”
Arielle Wideman is a 5-9 guard who attends Bishop Amat High School in La Puente, Calif. As a junior, she averaged 11.3 points per game and 9.0 rebounds per game. She was named to the all-area first team, the all-league first team and the All-San Gabriel Valley first team. She earned several MVP honors including the Arroyo Tournament MVP and the Silverado Tournament MVP.
“Arielle is an athletic combo guard who can defend anyone,” Albright said. “She is a slasher who can get to the basket and quickly change a game. Ari is a great passer and leader who excels in the classroom as well. Fans will love her intense personality.”