Nov. 15, 2013
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -
Head Coach Kristy Curry
announced the signing of three future Crimson Tiders on Friday during the first week of the early signing period. Kuaneshia "Coco" Baker, Quanetria "NeNe" Bolton and Hannah Cook all signed National Letters of Intent and will join the Alabama roster in 2014.
Baker, from Gretna, La., is ranked the No. 4 junior college player in the nation as she gears up for her sophomore season at Trinity Valley Community College in Athens, Texas.
"Coco is someone we recruited hard out of high school, and we are excited to finally have the chance to coach her," said Curry. "She is a scorer who can play both guard positions and impact our full court game.
The 5-9 guard had a standout high school career at Helen Cox High School where she scored a school-record 2,695 points en route to being named the 2012 Louisiana Gatorade Player of the Year. Baker, a two-time district player of the year and two-time Class 4A all-state selection, averaged 25.0 points, 9.7 rebounds, 4.5 assists, 1.1 blocks and 3.0 steals per game as a senior. She spent her freshman year at LSU where she played in 13 games, averaging 11.2 minutes per outing.
"I chose Alabama because of their great staff and Head Coach Kristy Curry," said Baker. "It felt like a hand in glove fit when they were recruiting me and when I took my visit to the school this past October. I believe in what they, as a staff, are doing at Alabama, and I absolutely can't wait to get to go to school in Tuscaloosa."
Bolton, a 6-0 forward from Anniston, Ala., was recently named to the AL.com A-List of top 10 seniors in the state after leading Anniston High School to a 23-5 record in 2012-13.
"NeNe brings size, versatility and the ability to really shoot the basketball to the power forward position," explained Curry. "Her character in being the first Alabama kid to join our program in the 2014 class says volumes about where the program is headed."
As a junior, Bolton averaged 23.0 points and 13.0 rebounds per game and was named area MVP and county 1A-3A Player of the Year. She is a two-time all-area and two-time all-county selection and earned Class 4A All-State honors by the Alabama Sports Writers Association in 2013. Bolton also flourishes in the classroom, holding a 4.0 GPA and is in the running to be her class' valedictorian.
"I chose Alabama because I really love the campus atmosphere," said Bolton. "It felt like home away from home. I had an automatic bond with the team, and I wanted to take the first step in building the legacy that Coach Curry has for the future of Alabama women's basketball."
Cook, a 6-0 guard/forward from Ozark, Mo., started every game for Ozark High School since her freshman year and has been named conference player of the year and first team all-state twice.
"Hannah is just a pure shooter," added Curry. "Couple that with her size and court smarts, and she will really impact our team on the perimeter."
Cook averaged 15.6 points, 5.0 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 3.7 steals per game as a junior and is 145 points and 10 steals away from setting the school record in both categories. Following both her sophomore and junior seasons, she was named first team all-conference and first team all-district and was a First Team News-Ledger All-Ozarks Team selection in 2013. Cook also made the Fort Smith Tournament of Champions and Pink & White All-Tournament Teams as a freshman and junior and was named MVP of the Prepcast Shootout in both of those seasons as well.
"I couldn't say no to such a family-oriented coaching staff," said Cook. "The experience and leadership qualities of the coaching staff, the atmosphere of the campus and the players (are all reason I chose Alabama). It's a dream come true to play in the SEC, and I love the South."