Women’s Basketball Signs Three, With More to Follow

Women’s Basketball Signs Three, With More to Follow


April 26, 2011 Contact: Scott Jamison 352.395.5616



Gainesville, FL – Santa Fe Head Coach Chanda Stebbins recently announced the signing of three high school student athletes for the 2011-12 season.

Local standout Lonna Turner (pictured top) join’s the Saints via Eastside High School. Turner averaged 8.0 points and 8.0 rebounds per game for the Rams her senior year. EHS, led by head coach and former Florida Gator Ash’lea Moore Jackson, advanced to the FHSAA Sweet 16 in 2011 where they were knocked off by Leesburg High School.

“Lonna really brings a lot of rebounding potential to our team,” said Stebbins. “I love how she reads the ball off the rim and how hard she plays. I am excited to have a Gainesville native on the team.”

Former Gainesville Sun All-Area player, former Saint and current Assistant Coach Janay McCray will have the task of helping Turner transition from the center position to the small forward/big guard position. McCray came to Santa Fe and made the same transition as a player.

Turner’s list of accolades include: Gainesville Sun Big School All-Area Team, MVP of North Central Florida All-Star Game, FABC All-Star Game participant, and Florida Athletics Coaches Association 4-A All-State Team.

Fort Walton Beach High School senior Raquitta Gooden recently signed her LOI and joins a list of players in recent years from the panhandle that are making the move to Gainesville.

“Raquitta is a resilient worker both on and off the court,” said Stebbins. “She is a great student and a disciplined young lady. I really like how hard she plays and the winner’s mentality she displays.”

Gooden helped lead Fort Walton Beach High to a 22-4 season and a spot in the FHSAA Great 8. She was coached by Holly McDaniel, who has led FWB to the state playoffs each of her eight years at the helm and was named the 2010-2011 Coach of the Year by All-Sports Association/Daily News.

Gooden’s list of accolades include: MVP of News Herald Freedom All-Star game and Subway High School Series All-Star East Team.

Tiara Thompson (pictured bottom), a senior at Washington High School in Pensacola, also comes to the Saints via the Florida panhandle.

“Tiara is a great player,” said Stebbins. “We are excited to add her athleticism to our team. She loves to compete and hates to lose, something that will make her a great fit for our program. Her scoring ability is solid and she will be counted on for some instant offense.”

Thompson averaged a team high 16 points per game and seven rebounds per game in 2010-11, leading Washington High to a 21-6 season, including a trip to the FHSAA sweet 16. She was coached by Cara Ferris, former Pensacola Junior College (now Pensacola State College) and University of Maryland standout.

Her list of accolades includes: FACA (Florida Athletic Coaches Association) All-State Team 4-A, FABC (Florida Association of Basketball Coaches) All-State Team 4-A, and FABC All-Star Game MVP.

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