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UVU basketball: Women's team signs four to National Letters of Intent

By James Warnick

For the Deseret News

Published: Monday, Nov. 19 2012 10:57 p.m. MST

OREM, Utah – Utah Valley University head coach Cathy Nixon announced Monday that she signed four recruits to National Letters of Intent during the early signing period.

Ashley Baugh (American Fork, Utah/American Fork HS), Rebecca MaWhinney (Midway, Utah/Wasatch HS), Rhaiah Spooner-Knight (Hamilton, New Zealand/Sacred Heart Girls College) and Makaily Worthington (Queen Creek, Ariz./Queen Creek HS) will all play for Nixon at UVU.

"We're thrilled with the four kids that we signed," Nixon said. "We feel that they are four players that can help lift our program to the next level and that they're players that will represent us on and off the court in a first-class way. They'll all bring different abilities to the team that will be great for us."

Baugh, who is a 6-foot-1 guard/forward at American Fork High School, was a first team All-State player a year ago. She was also a first team All-Region player and a first team All-County selection. She averaged 12 points, eight rebounds, three steals and two blocked shots last season and also helped her team advance to the semifinals of the 5A State Tournament.

"Ashley's a player that we've watched for a long time and it will be great to have another player from American Fork High School," Nixon said. "She has a great upside to her. She's long and can play inside as well as outside. The thing that we like the most about her is her competiveness. She's a fighter and a hard worker and we think that she'll just get better and better for us over time."

MaWhinney is a 6-1 forward at Wasatch High School and a two-time All-State performer there. She was also named first team All-Region last season, as well as Wasatch High's Offensive Player of the Year in 2012 and its MVP in 2011. MaWhinney has also helped her team qualify for the State Tournament twice and place third in region twice.

"Rebecca is also a player that can play at least three positions. She's at a point where she is starting to come into her own and realize her potential. We feel that she is really a diamond in the rough. She's a 6-1 or 6-2 kid that has ball-handling skills, three-point shooting ability and athleticism. She'll really add to our team."

Spooner-Knight – who hails from New Zealand – will be the second New Zealander on UVU's roster, as she'll join fellow Hamilton native Georgia Agnew. Spooner-Knight is a 5-9 guard who has won two National Championships for the under 19 national team (Waikato). She was the team captain for the New Zealand Junior Tall Ferns this past year and was also recruited by BYU and Utah.

"Rhaiah is someone who has played at a high level of basketball with her international experience. She's a diverse player who can play a number of positions. Her athleticism and skillset will fit well into our system."

Worthington is a 6-0 forward at Queen Creek High School (Queen Creek, Ariz.), which is just outside of Phoenix. She was an honorable mention All-State player her sophomore year and is a two-time offensive MVP at QCHS. Worthington helped lead her team to the State Tournament last season as she led Queen Creek in scoring, rebounding and blocks.

"Makaily is a diverse post-player that has good range. She's a strong kid who is just a great worker. I think that she is going to develop into somebody that will really help us.

"These are four players that are all over six-feet tall that will give us size and length around the perimeter," added Nixon. "All of these players can face up to the basket. This is a class that has great upside to it and in addition to their basketball skills they are all really great people and students."

James Warnick is an assistant sports information director at Utah Valley University. For more information about Wolverine athletics, visit www.WolverineGreen.com.

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