Cougars men/women each sign new player

by Adam Burns

Daily Cougar Staff

The Houston Cougars men's and women's basketball teams have each signed a junior college prospect to add to their teams for next season.

The men's team has a new addition to the squad in JC-transfer point guard Shamahn McBride out of Wyoming's Casper College, Houston coach Alvin Brooks confirmed Wednesday.

McBride helped to lead Casper to a 30-6 record and a seventh-place finish in the national junior college tournament.

"(McBride) brings a lot of quickness and athletic ability," Brooks said. "He's a good ball handler and a good defensive player."

McBride is a needed improvement to the guard rotation, considering the turnover problems the Cougars have had in the past, Brooks said.

The Lady Cougars basketball team received a national letter of intent from LaRonda Walker, a 6-foot forward from Kansas' Independence Community College, according to Houston coach Jessie Kenlaw.

Walker, known for her defensive stopping capabilities, was named "Best Defensive Player" for the Lady Pirates last season and also made the first-team All-Jayhawk Conference.

"There are several things I like about LaRonda," Kenlaw said. "She brings some much-needed depth to our front line.

"She's an outstanding defender."

Walker helped lead the Pirates to a 27-3 conference record and a 60-14 mark overall during her two years there.

Independence finished ranked sixth nationally Walker's freshman year and finished as the national runner-up in the 1995-96 season.

Walker finished in the top 10 in free-throw shooting last year and hit all 18 of her freebies in the national tournament and set the school record for free-throw shooting in 1994-95.

"She's an excellent shooter," Kenlaw said. "She's a great addition to our team -- not just as an athlete, but she's a great student and a great person."

Walker had a 3.8 grade point average at Independence.

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