The Cal State East Bay women's basketball team and Head Coach Suzy Barcomb announced the signing of three talented high school seniors to Letters of Intent for the 2011-12 season on Thursday. The three signees – Carly Bettencourt, Nyaa Davis and Micah Walker – will join the Pioneers for Barcomb's second season at the helm next year.
"These three student-athletes are a great starting point for our recruiting class this season," Barcomb said. "[Assistant] Coach [Holli] Howard and I have been diligent in our efforts to recruit the building blocks for this basketball program and our work is not complete. We knew we were missing key pieces and Carly, Micah and Nyaa help fill part of the void."
Carly Bettencourt is a senior and three-year starter at point guard at Oak Ridge High School in El Dorado Hills, Calif. In four seasons at Oak Ridge, Bettencourt has played in three sectional finals, two regional finals and one state title game. As a senior, Bettencourt helped guide the Trojans to the Sac-Joaquin Section Division I semifinals and a NorCal playoff appearance and was a 2011 Sacramento Bee Player of the Year nominee. During her junior season, Bettencourt led Oak Ridge to both the Sac-Joaquin Section and NorCal titles and the Division I state championship.
A highly decorated prep athlete, Bettencourt was named to the Optimist All-Star Team and the Sacramento Bee All-Metro Team and collected first-team All-Delta River League honors as a senior. Bettencourt also earned the Sportsmanship Award at both the NorCal and State Championship games as a junior, when she was also named All-NorCal and first-team all-league. A two-sport athlete, Bettencourt also lettered in soccer at Oak Ridge, playing in the sectional finals with the Trojans. Bettencourt plays her club basketball for Nor Cal Elite Black and earned All-Tournament honors at the End of the Trail Tournament in Oregon.
"Carly has many of the key characteristics that Coach Howard and I thought of the utmost importance for our basketball program," Barcomb said. "Carly has a solid understanding of the game and is a vocal leader. She understands what is expected from the point guard position and knows how critical the relationship between coach and point guard must be.
"We were thrilled to have Carly be our first signee this year and her willingness to accept the challenge of helping us build our women's basketball program into a championship-caliber team is a testament to her resolve. It's not just about the stats. It is about Carly the person and what she can bring day in and day out to this program in terms of positive attitude, ownership, work ethic and academic success."
A 5-9 wing player from Sparks, Nev., Micah Walker prepped at Reed High School where she collected second-team all-state honors after guiding her team to a 23-1 overall record and an undefeated league record as a senior. Walker led the Raiders to the Nevada Northern Region 4A title and a Nevada State 4A playoff appearance this season, earning High Desert League Player of the Year honors after averaging seven points and nine boards per game. Walker is a three-time All-North Region First Team selection and collected all-academic honors three times.
"Micah is a gifted student-athlete," Barcomb said. "We love her versatility on the court. She is long, athletic and competes at both ends of the floor.
"We believe Micah's basketball skills, her leadership abilities, and her competitive spirit are all key characteristics we are looking for in our women's basketball program. Micah is another piece to our puzzle in an effort to build CSUEB women's basketball program to a championship level."
A Georgia native, Nyaa Davis comes to Cal State East Bay from Deer Valley High School in Antioch, Calif. A 5-9 wing player, Davis was named first-team All-Bay Valley League after guiding the Wolverines to a 10-0 record in league play as a senior. Davis helped lead Deer Valley to the North Coast Section and State quarterfinals averaging seven points and three rebounds per game this season.
Prior to joining the Wolverines, Davis played at Wesleyan School in Norcross, Ga., and averaged nine points and five rebounds as a freshman at Woodland High School in Stockbridge, Ga. Davis was also the recipient of Deer Valley's Gold Renaissance Award after posting a 3.67 grade point average and is interested in majoring in nursing or psychology at East Bay.
"Nyaa is very athletic, long and quick," Barcomb said. "She brings tremendous energy to the floor. She had to play inside in high school and we are very excited to begin working with her outside game next season.
"Nyaa can run the floor, rebound and defend – all three skills that I love in a player. Nyaa will bring a great attitude, dedication and team play to our program."
Bettencourt, Davis and Walker will join a Pioneer team that loses three seniors to graduation and is coming off a season that saw it finish 4-22 overall and 4-18 in CCAA play. Barcomb and Howard are in the process of adding several more players to the 2011-12 team, which is set to be eligible for conference and national championships after completing its probation period in the transition to NCAA Division II.