Elaine Elliott recently completed her 24th season as the Utes' head coach.
April 12, 2007
SALT LAKE CITY - University of Utah head women's basketball coach Elaine Elliott has announced the signing of Katie King (Layton, Utah) to a national letter-of-intent. King is transferring to Utah from Salt Lake Community College.
King is a 6-foot 1-inch post player. In her two seasons at Salt Lake Community College, she helped guide the Bruins to back-to-back Region XVIII Championships. In 2006-07, she earned first-team NJCAA All-America honors. It was the first time a SLCC women's basketball player had earned that recognition. King was also named the Region XVIII Player of the Year and the Region XVIII Tournament Most Valuable Player.
"I am so excited to add Katie to our program," Elliott said. "She really lived the junior college dream - improve your game and end up at a Division I school. Katie has done that. It is a testament to her hard work and strong will. She will bring not only her talent, but her work ethic and strong competitive personal characteristics."
"Utah has always been my dream school," King said. "I've always wanted to go there. Playing at a junior college first has been great and has given me the chance to continue playing somewhere I want to really play. I am so happy to play on and to be going to a school that's close to home."
In addition to her individual accolades, King helped lead SLCC to its best finish ever in the NJCAA Tournament. The Bruins finished the season-ending tournament in seventh place. SLCC also compiled a school-record 28 victories last season under head coach Betsy Speckter.
"I couldn't be happier for Katie," Speckter said. "It's always been her dream to play at Utah and she's put in the work and commitment to realize that dream. In her two years at SLCC, she has helped our program to reach new heights. I'm anxious to watch her continue to grow."
Katie King is the second member of her family to play for Elliott at Utah. Her sister Hilary King-Noel was on the roster from 1993-97 and ranks No. 10 in the Ute career record book for field-goal percentage (.496).
In addition to Katie King, Utah will have three other players on the roster in 2007-08 who were not on the floor in 2006-07. Cydney Knight (Pasco, Wash.), Leilani Mitchell (Kenniwick, Wash.) and Deanne (Hanchett) Stevenson (Draper, Utah) will all be suiting up for the Utes this coming season.
The Utes signed Knight, a 6-1 guard/forward, during the early signing period. Knight was an All-Columbia Basin League selection and an All-CBL Defensive Team member during her senior season at Pasco (Wash.) High School.
"You can't measure the intensity and desire that Cydney brings to the court," Elliott said. "Those characteristics set Cydney apart."
Mitchell, a 5-5 point guard, transferred to Utah last season from the University of Idaho. She had to sit out last season, due to NCAA transfer rules. Mitchell was an honorable mention All-America selection by both the Women's Basketball Coaches Association and the Associated Press in 2005-06. She was also one of 11 finalists for the Nancy Lieberman Award, given to the nation's top point guard. Mitchell led Idaho and ranked second in the Western Athletic Conference in scoring as a junior, tallying 17.6 points per game. She was No. 2 in the nation and led the WAC in steals. Mitchell also led the WAC and was ranked No. 18 in the nation in assists. Her three-point field goal percentage (.380) and field goal percentage (.439) were Nos. 2 and 3 in the WAC, respectively. Mitchell played three seasons at Idaho and will play her senior year with the Utes.
"It will be great to have Leilani's experience in our program," Elliott said. "Obviously, her skills and abilities will blend in well with our team."
Stevenson played for the Utes in 2004-05 as a freshman, averaging 6.7 points and 4.1 rebounds per contest. She started 31 times and played in 33 of Utah's 34 games that season. In 2005-06, Stevenson played in two games before missing the remainder of the season with knee problems. She did not play in 2006-07, but remained with the team as a manager. Stevenson may be limited in the amount of time she can practice and play. But she is expected to give the Utes added presence on the block at 6-3.
"While she will still have training limitations, Deanne's presence in all other ways is an exciting addition," Elliott said.