RICHMOND, Ky. – New EKU women’s basketball head coach Samantha Williams announced the addition of five new players to the team for the 2019-20 season.
Menifee County High School all-state forward Emma Hacker was the first recruit under Williams to sign a National Letter of Intent (NLI) with EKU. She is joined by Kynnedy Azubike who will transfer to Eastern after spending the past two seasons at the University of Akron; Qaylia Stanton, a 5-foot-6 guard transferring from Ranger College; I’Liyah Green, a 6-foot-2 center transferring from the University of Cincinnati; and Samari Mowbray, a 6-foot-1 guard transferring from Northern Kentucky University.
Hacker averaged 21 points, 10 rebounds, three assists, two blocks and two steals per game during her senior season. She was chosen second team all-state by the Courier Journal and USA Today, and third team all-state by the Lexington Herald-Leader.
The 6-foot-3 Hacker shot 56 percent from the field, 34 percent from three-point range and knocked down 81 percent of her free throws while leading the Wildcats to a district tournament championship during the 2018-19 season. She was chosen as the 61st District MVP and played in the Kentucky-Ohio All-Star Game.
Hacker carries a 4.0 grade-point-average, is MCHS’s valedictorian and a Kentucky Governor’s Scholar.
As a sophomore, Azubike played in 29 games for the Zips in 2018-19. She averaged two points and 1.5 rebounds per game. As a freshman in 2017-18, the 5-foot-10 guard/forward played in all 30 games and started six times. She contributed 3.8 points and 3.0 rebounds per game.
Azubike, a Columbus, Ohio native, earned four varsity letters at Columbus Africentric High School and helped the team win two Division III state championships (2014 and 2016). She was also a four-year letter winner on the volleyball team and the school’s salutatorian.
Stanton earned all-conference, all-region and honorable mention All-America recognition after averaging 15 points, six assists and three rebounds per game as a sophomore at Ranger College in 2018-19. She shot 43 percent from the field and 35 percent from three-point range. The Clio, South Carolina native led Region V in assists (160), was third in steals (83) and 10th in scoring. Stanton was a four-time all-conference selection at Sandy Creek High School in Fayetteville, Georgia.
Green played in 21 games and started once as a redshirt sophomore at Cincinnati this past season. She averaged 0.8 points and 1.0 rebounds while playing five minutes per game. Green made 50 percent of her shots.
The Louisville, Kentucky native was the leading scorer, rebounder, and shot blocker at Male High School and helped the team reach the final four of the Sweet 16 as a junior in 2015. She ranked as a three-star recruit and graded as an 89 by ESPN.
Mowbray played in 15 games and averaged 1.2 points and 1.3 rebounds last season at NKU. The Mason, Ohio native appeared in all 31 games, making 16 starts, as a freshman in 2017-18. She averaged 6.6 points and 2.8 rebounds per game and was a key part of NKU’s defense with 33 steals. She had a career-high 19 points against Murray State and East Tennessee, both on the road.
Mowbray was chosen as the District 15 Player of the Year, Greater Miami Conference Defensive Player of the Year and an Ohio All-Star after averaging 14.2 points, four rebounds and 1.4 steals per game as a senior at Mason High School.
Fans can get a head start on the 2019-20 season by placing a non-refundable $40 deposit on season tickets that will be included in the overall price of the package. For questions or to place your deposit, call Alex Harrison at (859) 358-9272 or the EKUSports ticket office at 844-3-GOBIGE.