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Home | Sports | JUCO All-American highlights four member Signing Class for UTEP Women’s Basketball

JUCO All-American highlights four member Signing Class for UTEP Women’s Basketball

Junior-college All-American Destiny Thurman (Collin County Community College), Gabriela Sales (Northwest Florida State College), Brenda Fontana (U19 Argentina) and Dagne Apsite (U17 Latvia) will be donning the orange and blue starting next year.

All four have all signed national letters of intent to attend school and play with the UTEP women’s basketball team starting in the 2020-21 scholastic year, head coach Kevin Baker announced Monday.

“We are so excited about our recruiting class for this signing period,” UTEP head coach Kevin Baker said. “We believe we have ‘turned the corner’ with this group of highly-talented players. Not only are each of these young ladies very talented in their respective positions, but they are also outstanding student-athletes. These four signees will be a phenomenal addition to our Miner Women’s Basketball program and the El Paso community.”

A brief profile on each of the signees, along with a quote from Baker, is below.

Destiny Thurman  – Collin County Community College  |  Arlington, Texas

5-7, Guard

Named a National Junior College second-team All-American as a freshman with Collin County Community College … accounted for 16.1 points per game to go along with 3.7 rebounds and 4.1 assists per contest … reached double figures in scoring in 25 contests, including nine outbursts of at least 20 points … connected on 46.6 percent from the floor (174-373) … efforts helped team go 23-7 … previously starred at Lamar High School, where was a 2018 McDonald’s All-American Nominee … also a three-time All-Region (2016-18) and First-Team All-District honoree … tabbed the 2018 Offensive Player of the Year … voted to the Cowtown All-Tournament team (2015-18) on multiple occasions … four-year letter winner who averaged 12.8 points per game during her career, including a blistering 19.9 ppg as a senior.

“Destiny is an extremely gifted and highly recruited guard. She is, by far, one of the most talented guards in the country. She has the ability to see the floor and attack the rim well off the dribble. She is also an exceptional shooter that can score from mid-range or the three pointer. She simply can do it all. Our program will be heavily impacted when she puts on the Miner uniform next fall.” 

UTEP women’s basketball head coach, Kevin Baker

Gabriela Sales  – Northwest Florida State College  \   Sao Paulo, Brazil

6-0, Guard

 Helped Northwest Florida State College compile a record of 26-6 in her freshman year in 2018-19 … played in all 32 contests … as a sophomore is accounting for 7.7 points per game, in addition to 1.7 rebounds and 1.7 assists per contest … competed at the 2016 FIBA U17 Women’s World Championship with Brazil, averaging five points in the event.

“Gabriela is a very versatile guard that can play multiple positions on the floor. She has an outstanding ability to shoot the ball, which separates her from other guards and makes her valuable addition to our squad. She has great court vision and a very high basketball IQ. She is coming from one of the top junior colleges in the country and knows how to win.”

UTEP women’s basketball head coach, Kevin Baker

Brenda Fontana – U19Argentina/Club Atletico Velez Sarsfield   |  Moreno, Argentina

6-1, Forward

 Extensive international experience with Argentina at basketball tournaments, playing for the U17, U18 and U19 teams … has put up 7.3 points per game while grabbing 5.1 rebounds per contest across the board at the different events … erupted for 17 points to go along with six rebounds and five steals against Colombia while playing at the U19 FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup in 2019  … hit double figures in scoring in three different contests, including firing off 25 vs. Latvia at the U17 FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup in summer of 2018 … averaged 10 points and six boards in seven contests at the tournament … also competes with Club Atletico Velez Sarsfield.

“Brenda was a terrific find for us. She is a stretch four that will add some toughness and size to our program. Brenda is a good shooter, driver, and likes to post up. She is just what we were looking for in her position. She is a solid defender and rebounder. She has a lot of playing experience from her national team, and we know she will use that to her advantage as she joins the Miner family.”

UTEP women’s basketball head coach, Kevin Baker

Dagne Apsite – U17 Latvia /BK Saldus Sporta Skola  |  Saldus, Latvia

6-2, Forward

Gained experience on the international level while competing with the U16 and U17 Latvian National team … also has played with BK Saldus Sporta Skola

“Dagne is a solid forward with great athletic ability and a very high motor. She can handle the ball and shoot it like a guard, but also has the ability to post and score inside. She will be very difficult for other teams to guard. In addition, she is very active in the press and plays defense with great energy. Her versatility as a player is why she will have a great playing career at UTEP.”             

UTEP women’s basketball head coach, Kevin Baker

For complete coverage of UTEP women’s basketball, be sure to follow the Miners on social media at @UTEPWBB (Twitter)@utepwbb (Instagram) and on Facebook or visit the home of UTEP Athletics.

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