CLINTON, S.C. – The Presbyterian College women’s basketball team announced Wednesday the signing of six players that will join the Blue Hose in the fall of 2017.
Mattie Kennedy, a guard from Hillsville, Va., was the Conference Player of the Year, earned First Team All-Region and First Team All-State honors, and played in the Virginia High School League All-Star Game this past season. She played multiple positions while at Carroll County High School, with her team posting a 22-4 record, winning the Conference Championship, and making it to the State Quarterfinals in 2016-17. Kennedy averaged 12.7 points, 7.9 rebounds, 4.7 assists, and 2.1 steals per game her senior season and scored a game high 33 points in the Conference Championship. She received academic recognition in several disciplines, earned the William and Mary Leadership Award, and volunteered with the Special Olympics and youth basketball camps.
“Mattie brings a passion for competition that is a perfect fit for our program,” said head coach Todd Steelman. “She is a winner, and her work ethic will allow her to have a successful career here at PC, both on and off the court. I can’t wait to see the impact she will have on our team.”
Tess Santos, a forward from Lisbon, Portugal, attended the German School of Lisbon and played club basketball at Benfica and Sport Alges Dafundo. She played on Portugal’s U18 team that competed in the European Championships in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina this year. Through seven games, she averaged 1.3 points, 1.4 rebounds, and 1.4 steals.
“Tess is a gifted athlete, who will bring a different dimension to our team. Her versatility will allow her to play multiple positions, and she will help us with her quickness, size, and length. We are thrilled she made the decision to join us here at PC.”
Briley Buckner, a forward from Maynardville, Tenn., scored over 1,300 points in her four-year career at Union County High School. She earned All-District honors three times and won a District Championship her junior year. This past season, she averaged 18 points, six rebounds, and two assists per game while shooting 57 percent from the field, 41 percent from beyond the arc, and 79 percent from the free-throw line. An honor roll student, Buckner is a member of the Beta Club and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and volunteers at Toys for Tots.
“Briley is a skilled player, an excellent perimeter shooter, and will battle on the perimeter and around the hoop,” added Steelman. “She has a hunger to be coached, and she is an outstanding teammate. We’re excited to integrate her into our system, so she can maximize her potential as a player.”
Nicole Hofmann, a guard from Chorley, England, attended Charnwood College and played in the Women’s Elite Academy Basketball League. In 2015-16, her team won the North League and was runner up for Division II Women, placed third at the World Schools 3x3 Championship, won the U17 National School Championship, and she was the U19 National School Champions MVP. In 2016-17, she averaged 9.8 points while shooting 53 percent from the field and 35 percent from long range.
“Nicole is going to be a tremendous addition to our team. Her shooting ability will make a big difference for us, and she has a high basketball IQ that will help her adjust quickly to the collegiate game. We are so pleased she chose to be a part of the Blue Hose program.”
Josie Tarlton, a forward from Apex, N.C., played three years of varsity basketball at Apex High School. She averaged 7.9 points, 4.7 rebounds, 1.6 assists, and 1.3 steals her senior year. Tarlton is a member of both the National Honor Society and National Technical Honors Society.
On Tarlton, Steelman commented, “Josie is just beginning to scratch the surface of her ability as a player. She has a knowledge of PC, its academic reputation, and the opportunity she has to be a part of our team. We’re looking forward to her making her mark here as a Blue Hose.”
Kiara Jackson, a guard from North Augusta, S.C., earned All-State honors and was a CSRA All-Area Honorable Mention this past season at North Augusta High School. Her team went undefeated in 2016-17 with a 28-0 record and was the 4A Region Champion, Savannah River Classic Champion, and 4A State Champion. In her years of varsity basketball, she averaged 14 points, 10 rebounds, three steals, and two assists per game. Jackson played club ball for the Harundale Hornets, Severn Lady Lightning, and North Augusta Lady Lightning. A National Honor Society and AVID student, she is a member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Interact Club, French Club, and her church group, Element. Jackson volunteers with Helping Hands, Toys for Tots, Rotary Bowl, and Night to Shine.
“We are so excited to have an athlete of Kiara’s caliber join our program. She has an enthusiasm for competing and a desire to contribute at the Division One level. Her hunger, drive, and passion will carry her as she makes her way to PC.”Today’s signees, along with incoming freshman Macee Tamminen, join a Blue Hose squad that finished the 2016-17 season with a 13-18 record. PC reached the Big South Conference Tournament semifinals, falling by one point to eventual champion UNC Asheville.