The Coastal Carolina women’s basketball team signed one of the top players in the state on Wednesday and coach Jaida Williams only furthered the hype that will accompany Kionna Jeter into her freshman season.
Jeter, a 5-foot-7 guard, scored more than 3,000 career points at Spartanburg High School and now becomes the cornerstone for Williams’ hopes to elevate the program heading into her fourth season.
In her senior year, she averaged 29.8 points per game while shooting just under 50 percent from the field. Jeter also averaged nearly nine rebounds and seven steals per game, along with 3.6 assists.
Such numbers were key in her being named to the Carolinas Classic All-Star Game, along with being an All-State selection.
Williams is currently away on a trip to South Africa, but she responded by e-mail to discuss the signing of Jeter.
“Kionna is expected to be a significant player in our upcoming CCU women’s basketball season. She is the most decorated player to sign with CCU ... EVER,” Williams wrote, using the caps for emphasis. “Kionna has tremendous ability on both sides of the ball (offensively and defensively). In high school I have watched her be a one-player press and a single-fast-break player and win games. Simply put, Kionna is not only gifted but she is a winner.”
The Chants are coming off a 12-18 season and looking to turn the corner after posting a 39-52 record over Williams’ first three seasons leading the program.
Jeter is a key addition as Coastal Carolina heads into its first season in the Sun Belt Conference while moving on from the Big South.
According to USA TODAY High School Sports, Jeter is the third highest-scoring girls basketball player in South Carolina state history behind Ivory Latta (4,319) and Allison Feaster (3,427).
“I think it's really huge,” said Chants assistant coach Latisha Luckett, who played a key role in Jeter’s recruitment. “First of all she’s a South Carolina kid. As of right now we only have one South Carolina kid so having an instate kid with the type of resume she has is very huge.
“... I would call her instant offense. I literally saw her drop 45 points to help her team win in overtime and carry her team on her back. You just don’t see that kind of will and manning-up to win a game out of every kid in this generation. She just has that, ‘Im going to get it because my team needs me [quality].’”
Initially committed to LIU-Brooklyn, she opened her recruitment back up and got on the Chants’ radar in the fall.
Luckett said not a lot of schools noticed when she reopened her commitment and the Chants made her a priority from that point forward.
“Freshmen always need periods of adjustment,” Williams wrote. “Although I expect Kionna to contribute right away because of her accomplishments as Gatorade Player of the Year in South Carolina, [a] 3,000-plus-point high school scorer, etc., it will be up to Kionna to determine how much she contributes to our program. The harder she works, the more I’m certain she will have a historical freshman year.”