Nov. 19, 2008
UCLA head women's basketball coach Nikki Caldwell announced today the signing of high school standouts Markel Walker of Pittsburgh, PA Schenley High School and Mariah Williams of Aurora, CO Regis Jesuit High School to national letters-of-intent. The pair will enter UCLA in the fall of 2009 as freshmen and become members of the 2009-2010 Bruin women's basketball team.
Walker, a 6-1 forward / guard is rated the No. 4 high school player in the country on the ESPNU list of the nation's top 100 girls basketball players and No. 22 on the Blue Star list. She averaged 16.6 points, 7.5 rebounds and 6.6 assists per game last season for Schenley High School which posted a 24-5 record and was the runner-up in the City League. Walker was chosen the 2007-08 Gatorade Player of the Year for the state of Pennsylvania and to the 2007-08 4A All-State squad. She was also invited to participate in the trials for the USA Basketball under-18 team in the summer of 2008.
Williams, a 5-4 point guard has tremendous quickness and is explosive to the basket. She averaged 11.5 points, 4.2 assists and 3.3 steals per game last season while shooting 60% from the field and 43% from three-point range. Her team advanced to the State finals as a junior last season and has made three consecutive trips to the State semifinals. Williams was a first-team All-State selection by the Rocky Mountain News and a first-team All-Class 5A pick last season. She was named All-Tournament at the 2007 End of the Trail tournament.
"These two young ladies have given us a great start as the first recruiting class for our new coaching staff here at UCLA," said coach Caldwell. "They both bring quite a bit of ability and character with them, and we look forward to them joining the Bruin family and helping us to continue to build on the successes of the program."