Nov. 15, 2000
UCLA head women's basketball coach Kathy Olivier announced today the signing of two student-athletes to national letters-of-intent -- Krystle Johnson of Hoover (Alabama) High School and Paula "Sissy" Pickett of Martin High School in Coushatta, LA.
The new Bruins will enter UCLA in the Fall of 2001 as freshmen. UCLA finished the 1999-2000 season with an 18-11 record and placed fourth in the Pac-10 conference while making a third-straight appearance in the NCAA tournament.
"We are very excited to add these two players who are both outstanding students and athletes," said Olivier. "We had to address a need for inside players with good size, and both Krystle and Paula do that, and then some."
Johnson, who is 6-4, averaged 15 points and 10 rebounds last season for Coach Lori Elgin at Hoover High School. Last season, the all-state performer helped lead the Lady Buccaneers to a 31-2 record and an appearance in the state championship game, while being named to the 2000 state championship all-tournament team. She is a three-time gold medalist at the Alabama Sports Festival and holds career-highs of 25 points, 19 rebounds and 10 blocked shots.
Pickett, who stands 6-7, averaged 25 points and 12 rebounds while shooting 67% from the field last season for Coach Ginger Craig at Martin High. She helped her team to a 34-9 record a year ago while being named to the USA Today honorable mention All-America list. A three-time all-state selection, Pickett broke the school record for single-season scoring as a freshman and then again as a sophomore. She also holds the school records for blocked shots and rebounds. As a sophomore, she averaged 29 points a game. She was ranked among the top 30 players in the nation by women's basketball recruiting services Full Court Press and Fox Student Sports.