The BYU women’s basketball team adds three new players to the squad for the 2013-2014 season: Amy Harris, Cassie Broadhead and Kalani Purcell.
The three recruits were announced in December. The three women are from diverse locations: Utah, New York and Australia.
“We feel very fortunate to have these three great players join our program,” BYU coach Jeff Judkins said in a press release. “All three are good scorers, athletic and they were heavily recruited by other schools. We worked hard on recruiting them, and it was a long process, so we are glad they will be a part of our future.”
The recruit closest to home is Harris. The 5-foot-9-inch guard from Santa Clara attended Snow Canyon High School, where she lettered for three seasons. She was named an Adidas All-American, an award that only 100 girls receive in a year. She led her team to a win in the Class 3A girl’s basketball 2012 state championship, where she was named tournament MVP. Harris credits a lot of her success to her older brother.
“My brother actually taught me everything I know,” Harris said. “Ever since we were kids, I’d just be outside watching him play with his friends. He always let me come play with him.”
That love for basketball planted by her brother grew over time. When she was 9 years old, Harris went to her first BYU basketball camp. She has gone every year since then. At Harris’ first camp, senior Haley Steed was a freshman. Each year, Judkins took notice of the high school student.
“I got pretty close with (Coach Judkins) through all of the camps I went to,” Harris said. “He was so encouraging toward me. He told me at a young age that I had a pretty good chance of playing there. That was really inspiring for me. That was always in the back of my mind whenever I was playing or practicing that one day, I could fulfill my dream of playing at BYU.”
Another recruit looking to fulfill her dreams at BYU is Broadhead. This 5-foot-9-inch guard is from Glenville, NY, and attended Scotia Glenville High School. She started on the varsity team for all four years and led the team in scoring. Ever since eighth grade, she has averaged double figures in scoring. Her love for basketball came from playing with her family.
“I was about 2, and I just picked up the basketball,” Broadhead said. “My sisters all played. It was a family activity to just go outside and play. I tried all different sports, but basketball was the one.”
Aside from playing basketball, Broadhead is excited to come to BYU for other reasons. Her older sisters attend BYU, and her parents are BYU alumni, so BYU has always been on her mind. The environment will be different for her.
“Being out here in New York, there aren’t a lot of LDS members,” Broadhead said. “It’s very different … being around people with your same standards all of the time. … It will be cool to have (the spiritual aspect) and incorporate the Spirit as you learn.”
The last recruit comes to BYU all the way from Brisbane, Australia. Purcell, a New Zealand native, is a 6-foot-2-inch forward. She has had a lot of international basketball experience. Purcell played on the Queensland U18 team that has won three straight Australian State Championship silver medals. She won back-to-back national championships at John Paul College High School.
“Kalani is a versatile player that can play at both the four and five position,” Judkins said in a press release. “She is a great passer (and) is an excellent rebounder who will bring us an inside presence. Her international playing experience will be an added plus.”