California Inks Bay Area Standouts To NLIís
BERKELEY – Head Coach Lindsay Gottlieb’s second signing class at California will feature Bay Area teammates Mikayla Cowling and Gabby Green after the Saint Mary’s College High School teammates signed their National Letters of Intent to join the Golden Bears, Gottlieb announced Wednesday.
“Typically on signing day, it’s customary to welcome our new signees to the Golden Bear Family,” Gottlieb said. “However, these two young women have felt like family for a very long time. Today just makes it official.”
Cowling (Benecia, Calif. / winger) and Green (Oakland, Calif. / guard) will join California in the 2014-15 season as two players considered among the top 15 players in the country according to ESPN HoopGurlz rankings. The incoming group, ranked No. 13 by ESPN, gives California its fifth top 20 recruiting class in the last six years – the lone exception being the 2011-12 season when the Golden Bears did not sign any players.
“I’d like to thank my coaching staff – Charmin Smith, Kai Felton, and Katy Steding, for all of their hard work in making this day happen,” Gottlieb said. “The most gratifying thing is that their efforts on the recruiting trail simply shines a light on what they do everyday: mentor, coach and develop young people, with selflessness, integrity and aptitude.”
Cowling is a 6-2 winger rated No. 11 overall by ESPN HoopGurlz as the No. 2 winger in the country. Effective on both ends of the court, Cowling participated in the USA Basketball U16 National Team trials in 2011. Alongside Green, Cowling has led Saint Mary’s College High School to an 87-18 record the past three seasons and averaged 12.4 points, 7.8 rebounds, 3.4 assists, 2.0 blocks and 1.9 steals per game in 2012-13. With a prep average of 10.6 points and 6.7 rebounds per game over her career, Cowling was a Central Coast All-League selection last season and averaged 15 points per game at the 2012 Nike Tournament of Champions.
“I met Mikayla Cowling when she was a nine-year old, hanging around Haas Pavilion, watching her sister play,” Gottlieb said. “It was easy to see she would be something special. Her skill set developed over those years - and she just kept growing - and now she’s become one of the premier long wings in the country. She can shoot, get to the rim, and defend anyone on the floor. We cannot wait to have her in a Cal uniform.”
Green, a 6-2 guard heralded as a unanimous top 15 prospect by recruiting analysts, brings a wealth of international experience to Berkeley as a gold medalist with the USA Basketball U19 National Team. Green was a member of the 2013 FIBA U19 World Championship squad that posted a perfect 9-0 record in Lithuania to capture the gold. She also participated in the U17 World Championship Team trials and the U16 National Team trials and has earned a total of 11 appearances in international competition for USA Basketball.
As a prep, Green is a standout at Saint Mary’s College High School where she, along with Cowling, led her team to a 30-5 record last season, averaging 16.6 points, 6.9 rebounds, 3.9 assists and 4.2 steals per game. A multi-faceted player with the ability to use her height along the perimeter, was named to the Cal-Hi Sports All-State first team and All-Division IV first team, the Bay Area News Group All-East Bay first team and was a Max Preps All-American selection. She was also a Cal-Hi Sports third team selection as a sophomore and All-Freshman team selection in 2011.
“Gabby Green is simply one of the most unique and gifted players in the country,” Gottlieb said. “At 6’2, she poses problems for any type of defender because of her array of skills. A potent scorer from anywhere on the floor, she also has playmaking skills, and is a defensive weapon. Gabby is a player that Cal fans, and the whole nation, will love watching.”
The Golden Bears graduate four seniors – Gennifer Brandon, Avigiel Cohen, Afure Jemerigbe and Mikayla Lyles – from this year’s team that is currently 1-1 and ranked No. 10/11 in the AP and USA Today Coaches’ Polls.
“This 2014 signing class will keep Cal Basketball amongst the nation’s elite programs, and there’s no limit to how far these 2 student-athletes can help take us.”
Golden Bear Recruiting Rankings By Publication
ESPN HoopGurlz – Cowling (11), Green (13)
Blue Star Basketball – Cowling (20), Green (5)
JumpOffPlus – Cowling (25), Green (9)
All Star Girls Report – Cowling (30 overall / 8 winger), Green (5 overall / 1 shooting guard)
Full Court - Cowling (41), Green (8)
California Women's Basketball Signees
Mikayla Cowling (Benecia, CA / Saint Mary’s College HS) - W
Gabby Green (Oakland, CA / Saint Mary’s College HS) - G