NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Belmont women's basketball head coach Brittney Ezell recently announced the addition of another experienced forward to the 2012-13 edition of the Bruins in sophomore transfer Katherine Zander (Jacksonville, Fla.).
Zander will join the Bruins in the fall after she spent her freshman season at the University of Oklahoma. A standout at Orange Park High, the 6-4 forward was a four-year starter who averaged a double-double her final two seasons. Her OPHS team won four state tournament games, more than the program had won in the previous three decades. Zander, who was ranked the No. 22 center in ESPNU's HoopGurlz 100, earned numerous accolades during her high school career including being named First Team All-State and All-First Coast Basketball Player of the Year by the Florida Times-Union.
"I am thrilled to have the opportunity to attend school at Belmont University. Belmont has the right balance between academics and athletics in a great Christian environment," Zander said. "My experiences at the University of Oklahoma this past year have made me a better and stronger person. I am confident that Belmont will be a great environment for me to continue to grow into the person that God intends for me to be.
"Coach Ezell and the rest of the coaching staff have done an amazing job with the women's basketball program just in the past two years and I look forward to contributing to the success of this program in the near future. I am so excited to start this new adventure."
Due to NCAA Transfer Regulations, Zander will sit out the upcoming season and will don the Red and Blue for the first time in 2013-14.
Zander will add depth at the forward position as the program gears up for its third campaign under Ezell and its first in the Ohio Valley Conference. Belmont earned the No. 3 seed heading into the 2012 Atlantic Sun Tournament after compiling an 11-7 league mark after the previous season finishing sixth in the conference race.
"We are excited to announce the addition of Katherine Zander to the Belmont Women's Basketball family. We first targeted Katherine when I arrived at Belmont in April 2010 and unfortunately, lost an intense recruiting battle to the University of Oklahoma," Ezell said. "However, the time she spent with our players, staff and on our campus made a lasting impression on her. So much so that when she made the decision to transfer from OU, Katherine reached out to us. It was like we never missed a beat as she reconnected with our staff and players. It was a welcomed surprise to hear from her after two years."
"Katherine's work ethic is unparalleled and her intrinsic drive to excel in all facets of life is something uncommon for a 19-year-old kid. She is extremely athletic, versatile and skilled at a physically imposing, 6-4. I believe now, like I did in April 2010, that Katherine will be a great fit in our program and an incredible addition to the Belmont University community as a whole. We are thrilled to welcome her "home" to Nashville."
Zander joins fellow newcomers freshman Natalie Cohlmeyer (Evansville, Ind.), fifth-year senior transfer Jordan Coleman (Orlando, Fla.), freshman Frankie Joubran (Detroit, Mich.), redshirt sophomore Jordyn Luffman (Lawrenceburg, Tenn.), and freshman Cheyenne North (Madison, Tenn.) as the newest Bruins.