AAC Preview: Get to Know the Players and Coaches Who Will Lead the League This Season

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Hurricane Harvey Created a Strong Bond Among the Houston Cougars

While many women’s college basketball teams went to Europe to scrimmage during the off-season, players from the University of Houston stayed home to help their community recover from the effects of hurricane Harvey.  They worked at relief centers, churches and helped distribute clothing sent in by other teams to residents in need.

“It was the ultimate bonding effort,” said Houston Head Coach Ronald Hughey.  “It was a tremendous experience for our young ladies just to get outside of themselves.  They saw how impactful they could be outside of basketball.”

 Team Leaders
“Jasmyne Harris is the ultimate competitor and an assassin on the basketball court,” said Hugley.  “She is a person who can rally the team together through her fight and grit.  She has the best heart.”  Hughley added that he is proud of the tremendous growth Harris has made on and off the court this past year and expects great things from her.

Angela Harris (no relation) is another leader who Hughley says has many of the same competitive traits as Jasmyne. “She is humble and has a good heart,” said Hugley. She is the kind of person who knows a lot of things.  Her teammates affectionately call her Jimmy Neutron after a cartoon genius who always finds a way to solve a problem.

Serithia  Hawkins “is our rock, our foundation,” said Hugley. “She is a kid we lean on and has become a great leader by example.”

Freshman Julia Blackshell-Fair is already making a tremendous impact in practice because of her athleticism and quickness, according to the head coach.  She has a high motor and plays really hard.

Octavia Barnes, a junior transfer, is displaying lots of versatility and dependability.  At six feet, she can play any position on the floor, and she is an ultimate defender on the ball who can “rebound with the best of them.”

Myyah West, another junior transfer, will provide the Cougars “versatility in the post, who is a rim runner, that can make a high-post shot and stretch the defense with a three, but loves to drive into contact.”

Players to Watch
Jasmyne Harris — Guard, Sophomore, Appeared in all 31 games while making starts in the last 12, named to the 2016-17 American Athletic Conference All-Freshman Team, finished her rookie season ranked among the top-10 all time in Houston history for freshmen in 16 different categories

Angela Harris —Guard, Sophomore, appeared in all 31 games while making 15 starts during her freshman season, finished her rookie campaign ranked among the top-10 in freshman history in 12 statistical categories

Serithia Hawkins — Guard, Junior, started all 30 games that she appeared in during her sophomore season, finished her second year at Houston inside the top-30 in six different statistical categories

First Regular Season Game: November 10 at Texas A&M