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Coach Adia Barnes & Women's Basketball Team Releases Signing Cla - KVOA | KVOA.com | Tucson, Arizona

Coach Adia Barnes & Women's Basketball Team Releases Signing Class

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Adia Barnes and the Arizona women’s basketball staff inked five signees on Wednesday morning to complete the 2017 recruiting class. The newest Wildcats are Kiana Chew, Sam Fatkin, Marlee Kyles, Sam Thomas and Mallory Vaughn.

“I’m excited to coach these future Wildcats,” Barnes said. “It means a lot when you want to come to a program and be a part of a legacy. They believe in our vision and they want to build something great. They want to go to war with us, and those are the kind of kids I want to coach. This group reminds me of my class when I came to Arizona as a player, but I think they are better, and that group went to the postseason three times. I can’t wait to coach this group.”

Chew is rated as a three-star forward by ESPN.com out of Palm Harbor, Fla. and is rated as the 59th-best forward in the country. She plays her high school basketball at Palm Harbor, where she helped her team achieve a 24-8 record last season by scoring 9.8 points per game, grabbing 7.5 rebounds per game and blocking 5.9 shots per game. Standing at 6-3, she was an absolute force around the rim as she blocked at least six shots in 15 games last season, which included a 15 block game and a 10 block game. She also posted double-digit rebound performances 14 times last season. Chew played her club ball for DJK Würzburg, which is run by NBA star Dirk Nowitzki.

“Kiana can play with anybody at the rim,” Barnes said. “She brings us that shot blocker who is incredibly long and athletic, so she will give us an inside presence. I love her passion for the game and that she wants to be the best. She can run the floor and I think she will be a great Pac-12 player. I will coach a player like her any time because she gives 110% every time she steps on the floor. I also love the fact that she is excited to be a Wildcat and that means a lot to me.”

“I am excited to finally be a Wildcat,” Chew said. “I know we can do big things together and I can’t wait to Bear Down.”

Fatkin is a guard out of Snohomish, Wash., who is rated as a three-star guard by ESPN.com and rated the 30th-best guard in the country. As a junior last season, Fatkin scored 13.1 points per game, dished out 4.3 assists per game and averaged 2.1 steals per game for her high school Glacier Peak. The Grizzlies finished with a record of 15-7 overall in the 2015-16 season. Fatkin eclipsed the 15 point mark seven times last season and scored a season high 21 points in Dec. 14, 2015 against Arlington.

“She does things that you can’t teach,” Barnes said. “Her vision and senses are great on the court. She brings three-point shooting to the table, is very versatile and has good size at the one, two or three positions. I love the way she plays with a chip on her shoulder and I think she is going to be a sleeper because she is very athletic and can play multiple positions. Samantha is also a great teammate and is the total package student-athlete.”

“I am extremely excited to start this next chapter in my life and there is no better place to do that than with the Wildcats,” Fatkin said. “It already feels like a family with my incoming teammates and the coaching staff has set the bar. I can’t wait to get there and be a part of the culture.”

Kyles is rated as a three-star point guard by ESPN.com and was also rated as the 23rd-best guard in the country. The Elgin, Ill. native was named an IBCA 3A/4A Special-Mention All-State selection in 2016 after scoring 19.9 points per game and grabbing 6.5 rebounds per game during her junior season. She set Larkin High School’s single-game scoring record when she scored 36 points last season. Coming into her senior year, she has scored 1,317 points and is 89 away from breaking the all-time school record.

“Marlee is a dynamic point guard that can do a little bit of everything,” Barnes said. “She can score, she can pass and she can defend. She is ultra-competitive and she has a lot of swagger, which I love. Every time I watch her I appreciate her game even more. She has an incredibly bright future. I love her family and everything that she brings on and off the court. I had an immediate bond with her from the minute I met her because she reminds me a lot of me when I was her age. We connected from the get go.”

“We believe in each other as much as the coaches believe in us,” Kyles said. “We are excited to build on this year and help make Arizona women’s basketball a national contender.”

Thomas is the highest rated recruit in this class as ESPN.com rated her as a four-star wing. She is ranked as the 95th-best player in the country and the 18th-best wing nationally. Thomas is also the highest rated player out of the state of Nevada. She plays her high school ball for Centennial High School in Las Vegas where she was named the USA Today Player of the Year in 2016. In her previous two seasons, she was named to the Michigan Class A All-State First Team in 2015 and was named to the second team in 2014. During her junior season, Thomas averaged 15 points and eight rebounds per game as she led Centennial to a 33-1 record and a Division I State Championship.

“Sam brings us size on the perimeter,” Barnes said. “She is a lefty scorer that is athletic and can get to the rim. Not only can she get to the rim, she can shoot the ball. I love her instincts for the game, her basketball IQ and she is very versatile. She brings us a different kind of player that can score in all types of ways. Most importantly, she is an amazing person and is an outstanding addition to our culture. I love that she is a part of our family.”

“I am excited to be a part of this recruiting class at Arizona,” Thomas said. “Coach Barnes and her staff are going to create something special and I am glad I get to be a part of it.”

Vaughn is the tallest player in the class coming in at 6-4. The Owasso, Okla. native is rated three stars by ESPN.com and is ranked as the 14th-best forward in the country and the highest rated post player in the state of Oklahoma. Vaughn was named an Adidas Uprising All-American for her efforts during her junior season in 2015-16 and she was named the Metro Lakes Conference Most Valuable Player for the third-straight season. Vaughn scored 17 points per game, cleaned the glass for 10.3 rebounds per game and blocked six shots per game last season.

“Mallory is a strong, physical post player with a great outside shot and an amazing passing ability,” Barnes said. “She can shoot the ball at the high post and can play inside and out. There aren’t a lot of players nowadays that like to get physical on the low block, but she does. She will bring an inside presence and can finish with both her right and left hand. She will have an immediate impact on our offense because she will be difficult to guard and can also pass with the best of them. She has a great family behind her and she is one of the best students off the court. Mallory is the complete package and is the kind of player I am proud to have representing our program and university.”

“I know that this is going to be something special,” Vaughn said. “I’m so excited to be a part of this class at the University of Arizona.

The Wildcats are set to open up the regular season on Sunday, Nov. 13 as they take on Alcorn State in McKale Center at 2 p.m. MST.

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