FLORENCE, S.C. – Francis Marion University women’s basketball coach Valecia Tedder has announced that Shonelle Downer and Vanessa Goff, both of Columbia, and Renee Guilliams of Troutville, Va., inked with the Patriots during the recent early signing period. The trio will suit up for the Patriots during the 2004-05 season.
Downer, a 5-11 forward-center, is a senior at Ridge View High School, where she plays for coach James Libby.
As a junior, she averaged 7.0 points, 6.3 rebounds, 4.0 blocks and 1.0 steals per game, as Ridge View posted a 13-13 mark and earned a spot in the AAAA state playoffs. A left-hander, she already owns the school record for blocks in a career (159).
She is also a member of the school’s marching band.
Goff, a 5-11 center, is a senior at Columbia High School, where she plays under the direction of head coach Bobby Young.
Last season, she averaged 13.3 points, 9.6 rebounds, 3.3 assists, and 1.4 steals per game as Columbia reached the AA state title game.
She also lettered in volleyball.
Guilliams, a 5-10 guard, is a senior at Lord Botetourt High School, where she plays for coach Chuck Pound.
As a junior, she averaged 7.0 points and 3.0 rebounds per game for the Cavaliers. She also connected on 32 percent of her three-point field goal attempts.
“I am very excited about these three signees,” said Tedder. “Downer and Goff are both back-to-the-basket post players, who are very athletic and can run the floor well. Downer is a lefty and has great court presence. Goff owns several good offensive moves, can handle and pass the ball well, and is a court leader. Guilliams is a perfect compliment to the other two. She is a pure shooter, who works hard on the offensive end to get in good shooting position. She is a hustler and a very intense player with a shooter’s mentality.”
Francis Marion will lose two of its four post players to graduation at the end of the 2003-04 campaign. FMU opens its season Nov. 22 with a home game against North Carolina Central University.