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Aztec Women Kickoff Spring Signing Period With Two Commitments

Barb Smith announced the signing of two California products to national letters of intent Monday.
Barb Smith announced the signing of two California products to national letters of intent Monday.

April 16, 2001

SAN DIEGO - The San Diego State women's basketball program opened the spring signing period in strong fashion Monday, receiving national letters of intent from two of the state's top junior college players.

Aztec head coach Barb Smith announced that Ashonda Williams and Valencia Howard, both of Contra Costa College in Richmond, Calif., have returned signed letters and will be eligible to play for SDSU in the fall.

"We are extremely excited to add both Ashonda and Valencia to our lineup," said Smith. "They have played with each other the past two years and as a pair have really dominated California junior college basketball."

Williams, a 6-0 forward, hails from Crockett, Calif., and averaged 18.0 points as a senior in 1999 at John Swett High School prior to enrolling at Contra Costa. A two-time first team all-Bay Valley Conference choice while at Contra Costa, Williams scored 1,218 points during her junior college career and ranks third all-time on the Comets' scoring list.

"Ashonda is an offensive specialist who can hit the three pointer and attack off the drive," Smith said. "She does so many things offensively that we have not yet seen on our team. Ashonda also commands respect on the basketball court. She is going to be fun to work with and fun to watch."

As a sophomore, Williams averaged 16.8 points, 6.7 rebounds, 2.4 steals and 2.0 assists per game. However, she took her game to the next level during the recently-completed state community college tournament, averaging 24.0 points and receiving all-tournament honors as Contra Costa advanced to the championship game.

An excellent three-point shooter, many of those points came from beyond the arc. Williams led the state in three-point field goals made during 2000-01, canning 104-of-268 (38.8 percent) attempts.

Though only an inch taller than Williams, Howard is expected to provide the Aztecs with additional help in the post.

A first-team all-Bay Valley Conference selection in 2000-01, Howard averaged a double-double per game with 13.6 points and 11.0 rebounds last season.

"Valencia adds another strong post presence to the team," Smith said of the 6-1 junior to be. "She is not afraid to be physical inside and is a great rebounder. I expect Valencia to help our post game tremendously. She never backs down from a challenge."

A 1999 graduate of De Anza High School in Richmond, Calif., Howard was a first team all-league pick as a junior after averaging 14.0 points.

Spring 2001 San Diego State Women's Basketball Signees

Player            Pos.  Ht.  Yr.   Hometown (Previous School)
Ashonda Williams   F    6-0  Jr.   Crockett, Calif. (Contra Costa CC/Swett HS)
Valencia Howard    F    6-1  Jr.   Richmond, Calif. (Contra Costa CC/De Anza HS)