Women's Basketball Newbies Ready To Make Their Mark

Aug. 25, 2010


Along with Danielle McCray and Sade Morris, who signed their first professional contracts last week, there were three other seniors who graduated this past May after leaving a pretty sizeable mark on Kansas Basketball. Now there are four incoming freshmen looking to start their careers off right and leave their own mark on the KU Women’s Basketball program.

“They (McCray and Morris) were a big part of this team scoring-wise.,” said freshman guard Diara Moore. “I feel like, as one of the guards, I will have to step up, to uphold the standard they set here.”

Moore, Charlicia “CeCe” Harper and Keena Mays, all Texas natives, along with Brooke Jelniker, from Highlands Ranch, Colo., are the quartet of freshmen guards expected to make an immediate impact this upcoming season. They already have their first week of college under their belts, they have gotten rid of the stress and nerves of living on their own for the first time and are ready to focus on basketball.

“We will all have to manage our time better now,” said Moore. “We have more homework and we do not have a lot of free time because of our commitments with basketball.”

Moore, like her three other classmates, was a McDonalds All-American nominee. As a senior, she was named First Team All-District, All-State, and won the Co-Offensive player of the year. She is also a two-time All-Region nominee.

Jelniker is a two-time First Team All-Conference selection, a 1,000 point scorer, a member of the Denver Post 2010 All-Colorado team and was also a McDonalds All-American nominee.

After winning the Texas 4A State Title for Mansfield Timberview High with a double-double, Mays was named to the 4A All-Tournament team. Mays, who was also a McDonald’s All-America nominee, is a three-time All-State selection, a two-time All-Region selection and arrives the highest rated Jayhawk in the incoming class as she was tabbed the second-rated point guard in the state of Texas, the 18th rated point guard in the country and the 61st overall player in the Class of 2010 by HoopGurlz.com.

Harper comes to Lawrence after leaving her mark on the Madison High School basketball court in San Antonio. The three-time team captain’s 2,353 points and 524 assists are the most in school history. Along with many other impressive prep honors, Harper was also a McDonald’s All-America nominee. Harper will have someone familiar in the locker room this year, as she will be joining her former high school teammate Monica Engelman in the backcourt.

Moore and her freshmen teammates have set some pretty lofty expectations for the Jayhawks year.

“We want people to respect us on the court,” said Moore. “We are all working really hard to achieve our ultimate goal of going to the NCAA Tournament.”