One area athlete is coming back from LSU-Eunice while two more are on the way after a busy 24 hours in women's basketball recruiting.
Sulphur alum Claralee Richard committed to play at McNeese after spending the past two seasons at LSU-Eunice. High school seniors Alona Gray of LaGrange and Anaiya Turner of St. Louis both committed to play at LSU-Eunice on Sunday night.
Richard, a 5-9 forward, averaged 13.3 points, 6.6 rebounds and 1.5 steals per game for LSU-E this season, helping the Bengals to a 21-7 season. She had season highs of 24 points and 7 3-pointers made in a win over Delgado Commonuty College on Feb. 8.
Richard helped the Bengals go a perfect 9-0 in the Louisiana Community Colleges Athletic Conference.
"The thing I like about McNeese is that I know I'll be comfortable there because it's home for me and I'll be surrounded by familiar faces," Richard said. ‘But also the new arena won my heart as well."
Former LSU-E head coach Amanda Clemons, who coached Richard as a freshman, is currently an assistant coach at McNeese. Richard averaged 9.9 points as a freshman.
"I really enjoyed playing for Coach Clemons because she loved the game just as much as we did and she brings all the excitement and energy during games and at practice," Richard said. "She makes sure we have fun but when it's business time she's strictly business."
Richard said her time at LSU-Eunice was beneficial.
"I feel I improved most with my confidence, in being the shooter that my high school coaches always told me I was," she said.
At Sulphur, she was a four-year starter and scored more than 1,200 career points while helping the Tors to an 82-41 record.
Gray averaged 7 points 8 rebounds and 2 steals per game as a senior for LaGrange, which finished 32-4 and won the Class 4A state tournament. Gray had 15 points, 11 rebounds and 4 steals in LaGrange's semifinal win over Ellender and scored 13 in the championship game against Warren Easton.
Turner averaged 14.6 points, 5.6 rebounds and 3.5 steals per game for St. Louis, which reached the Division II state championship game for the second straight season.