Arkansas women’s basketball coach Jimmy Dykes had a need for a post player and went out and got a junior college All-American to fit that spot.
Sedalia, Mo., State Fair Community College star Alecia Cooley (6-3) – who was just named a first-team National Junior College Athletic Association All-American – signed with the Lady Razorbacks on Tuesday.
Cooley averaged 17.3 points, 11.7 rebounds and two blocks per game this past season while shooting 55 percent from the field and 70.3 percent from the free throw line.
She chose Arkansas over USC and Florida among others.
“This is great news for the Razorback Nation as we welcome Alecia Cooley into our family,” Dykes said. “Alecia is a legit SEC post player and gives us size on the inside. She is a great person, great teammate, and has a great desire to work and get better. We feel very fortunate to sign a player and person of her caliber in our first recruiting class."
State Fair head coach Kevin Bucher raves praised Cooley, who averaged 11.4 points and 7.0 rebounds as a freshman and leaves the school as its all-time leading rebounder.
“Alecia is an outstanding player,” Bucher said. “She was the leading scorer and rebounder in most of our games this season. She really improved her game this year; she was probably the best post player on all the teams I saw play because of her ability to run up and down the floor and to post up. She had a great career here at SFCC; this is a wonderful honor and accomplishment for her.”
Cooley becomes the sixth signee for Arkansas in the 2015 class.
Dykes signed 5-7 point guard Jordan Danberry of Conway, 5-5 guard Malika Monk of North Little Rock, 6-1 forward Bailey Zimmerman, 6-1 forward Keiryn Swenson of Maize, Kan., and 5-9 guard Briunna Freeman of Pellham, Ga., in the early signing period.
Arkansas is also known to be recruiting two other junior college All-Americans in New Mexico Junior College power forward Angelica de Paulo (6-1) and 5-10 Coffeyville, Kan. Community College shooting guard Devin Cosper.
They are also recruiting Arkansas Baptist forward Tatiyana Smith (6-3).
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