'Goddess of Victory' among 4 signing with WSU

SHE NOT ONLY dunks, but is named after the Greek goddess of victory. Nike McClure, a 6-3 senior forward from W.F. West High in Chehalis, has signed her letter of intent to play basketball at Washington State. She is one of four players – three prepsters and one overseas athlete – who today inked their allegiance to June Daugherty and WSU for the class of 2014.

"Well it's official! I'm a COUG!" McClure tweeted earlier today, adding a pair of Cougar claws and a basketball hoop icon on the end. The announcement wasn't a total surprise. The Chehalis Chronicle reported Nov. 2 that she had verbally committed to WSU.

Today marks the beginning of the early signing period for basketball letters of intent.

The Cougars have three seniors on the current team – Hana Potter, Sage Romberg and Brandi Thomas – plus three open slots. So Daugherty could take a class as large as six.

Whether WSU will fill the remaining two slots in this early signing period or in the regular signing period in April remains to be seen.

As for McClure, so much about her is unique. Foremost is the fact she can dunk a basketball, and is ranked the No. 22 forward prospect in the country by ESPN.com.

Then there's her first name. And no, she's not named after the shoe giant. In a published report last winter her dad said he was studying Greek mythology at Pierce Community College's Fort Lewis branch when the light bulb went on to name the soon-to-be-born daughter after the Greek goddess of victory.

Here's what else is unique about McClure. She played JV ball last season as a W.F. West junior. An agile, 6-3 forward who can dunk is playing JV ball at a Class 2A school?

True fact.

She transferred to W.F. West from Class 1A Tenino High, where as a sophomore she averaged 14 points and 12 rebounds per game. But because the family didn't move into the W.F. West district, the Washington Interscholastic Athletic Association ruled her ineligible for varsity action for one season.

"I chose WSU, because the team there is unlike any other. The girls are not only friends, but family!" McClure said in a WSU press release. "The coaching staff is absolutely phenomenal, and you can tell they're doing what they love. The support the girls receive from the coaches and community is extremely rare. I just felt right at home there!"

In addition to McClure, the Cougars received letters of intent today from:

  • Guard Caila Hailey, a first-team All-Area guard from Serra High in Gardena, Calif. She averaged 11.9 points, 8.9 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 2.2 steals per game in one of the toughest divisions in the West. She's also a standout defender. Named first-team All-Del Rey League, All-Area and All-CIF. Helped Serra make it its fifth straight CIF finals appearance. Rated the No. 18 guard prospect in the country by ESPN.com.

  • Guard/forward Ashley Bolston, the Southern Oregon Hybrid Conference Player of the Year last season and a first-team 6A All-State pick after averaging 15 points, 7 rebounds, 5 assists, 5 steals and 2 blocks per game for South Medford High. She is a McDonald's All-American nominee this season and ranked the No. 106 overall prospect in the country by girlsbasketballreport.com.

  • Point guard Pinelopi Pavlopoulou out of Athens, Greece. She was named her high school team's most valuable player as a sophomore and junior, leading the club points, assists and steals both seasons. She has been selected to play for the U16, U18 and U20 Greek National Teams, starting at point guard for the U16 and U18 teams and playing in four Division A tournaments. .
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