Sulphur's Cupit signs to play for McNeese

By Special to the American Press

McNeese State head women's basketball coach Brooks Donald Williams announced the signing of three players — Sulphur High’s Hannah Cupit, Crowley High’s Mercedes Rogers and Byrd High’s Diamond Willis — Wednesday on the first day of the Spring signing period.

Cupit, led the Lady Tors to the state semifinals before falling to state runner-up Natchitoches Central and one of the Cowgirls’ early signee Victoria Rachal.

Cupit, a 5-foot-7 guard, led Sulphur with 13.5 points, 5.8 rebounds and 4.9 assists per game during her senior season. Cupit was named the District 3-5A MVP, received All-State honors and participated in the LHSAA All Star Game this spring.

"We are thrilled about officially adding Hannah to our Cowgirl family," Williams said. "Hannah has McNeese in her blood. She comes from a long line of McNeese graduates and she has a lot of family loyalty for the blue and gold. Hannah has a passion and knowledge for the game that is rare and special. Besides her basketball talent and skill, her coaches rave about her leadership, which is something that is certainly rare with young kids today."

Crowley High’s rebounding machine, Mercedes Rogers averaged 17.0 ppg, 12.0 rpg, 6.0 steals and 3.0 blocks per game, will provide depth at the post position. Rogers, a 6-1 forward, was a first team all-district selection the past four seasons.

"I would like to thank Coach Williams for giving me this opportunity to further my education and to play for the Cowgirls," Rogers said. "I'm looking forward to playing for a winning and successful program."

"I really think McNeese is a real good fit for her," said Crowley head girls basketball coach, Alton Allen. "She can contribute to the success McNeese has had. With hard work, she, as well as McNeese, will be pleased by the time her playing career is over with."

Diamond Willis is a 6-0 forward from Byrd High School. The Shreveport native averaged 15.0 ppg, 6.0 rpg, 5.0 apg and 3.0 steals per game during her senior season. Willis was named first team all-district and first team all-city, as well as KSLA athlete of the week this season.

"As a coach, you always want your players to choose a place where they will grow as a player and a young lady," said Byrd head coach Toni Martinez. "I think McNeese is the perfect place for Diamond to do these things. I have the upmost respect for the coaching staff and the positive influence they have on their young ladies. I feel very confident that Diamond will reach her true basketball potential in the next four years as a McNeese Cowgirl."

"Diamond and Mercedes are both very versatile players. I am looking forward to adding their length defensively in the full court and in half. I am also excited about their force on the boards, which could help us right away. I love the potential these two girls have offensively. I truly believe, if they buy into our work ethic here at McNeese, they will be very special players for our program. Hannah is a no brainer. She lives it. She is a student-athlete who has a passion and a fight in her for everything she does. Hannah is a pure shooter and has a savvy about her game. We are thrilled about all three of these young ladies and the positives they are bringing to our program as we continue to move forward," said Williams.

The three players join early signees Victoria Rachal (Natchitoches Central High), Keanna Rainwater (Saline High), Amber Donnes (St. Thomas Aquinas) and Haily Jenkins (Martins Mill High).