Camara transferring to UConn
Batouly Camara, a former Blair Academy star who spent her freshman season at Kentucky, will be joining former Duke star Azura' Stevens as transfers joining the Huskies since the end of the season.
Camara is a versatile 6-foot-2 forward from New York who averaged a double-double as a senior. In her three seasons at Blair, she led the Buccaneers to a 62-8 record and three consecutive Mid-Atlantic Prep league titles.
Here's a video I shot when Camara took part in the USA Basketball U-18 national team trials back in 2014.
Camara averaged 5.1 points and 4.3 rebounds in 18.3 minutes per game as a freshman at Kentucky.
She had a career-high 11 rebounds against UNC-Asheville in the first round of the NCAA tournament. In a loss at South Carolina Camara had a career-high 14 points to go with nine rebounds, two assists and a blocked shot in 25 minutes before fouling out. She also had eight points, nine rebounds and two blocked shots in an overtime win against Tennessee.
Camara previously announced that she would be transferring out of Kentucky, one of six players to transfer, another was dismissed and multiple players who have committed to play for the Wildcats have backed out of those pledges.
This will mark the first time UConn has three transfers on its roster as Camara and Stevens joins Natalie Butler, who is set for her second season on the court at UConn after transferring from Georgetown.
On the 2004-05 season UConn's roster featured junior-college transfer Rashidit Sadiq and Brittany Hunter, who played at Duke as a freshman. Hunter had to sit out that season and by the time she played in a game with the Huskies, Sadiq was no longer a part of the program. Rita Williams also went the junior-college route, spending her freshman season at Mitchell Community College and teamed with former University of Arizona product Sarah Northway for two seasons. However, Mitchell was part of UConn's plans coming out of high school so including her in a list of transfers is kind of hard to do even though she officially would be included as a transfer.
Both Camara and Stevens would have to sit out the upcoming season. Stevens will have two years of eligibility remaining while Camara would have three.
UConn has 13 scholarship players for the upcoming season and with only Saniya Chong and Tierney Lawlor leaving at season's end. UConn has two commitments (Andra Espinoza-Hunter and Lexi Gordon) in the next class so there are two remaining scholarships in the Class of 2017.
The Hartford Courant was the first to report that Camara was likely to land at UConn.
NURSE TO MISS EARLY PORTION OF CANADA'S OLYMPIC PREPARATIONS
The Canadian women's national team is currently in Edmonton for the first stage of its Olympic preparations before leaving to play five international friendlies in Spain and France. However, UConn rising junior guard Kia Nurse is not currently with the team and according to a team spokesperson, neither Nurse nor any of the WNBA players in the player pool will be taking part in the European tour.
There's no cause for concern regarding Nurse as she is back at UConn to what was termed "school commitments" but is expected to join the team this summer. The move makes sense as Nurse looked like she was exhausted by the end of what was a hectic summer for her and the Canadian program which won the Pan Am Games and FIBA Americas title. As the team's leading scorer in both events, Nurse will obviously be a member of the squad and by remaining in Connecticut, she won't be overworked this summer. Canada still has two more training camps, a three-game set of exhibitions against China as well as more international friendlies being held in the U.S. and perhaps in Connecticut shortly before the team leaves for the Olympics.
FORMER HUSKIES MAKING NEWS
A couple of items to report regarding former UConn stars.
First, Tamika Williams was hired at Penn State after leaving her job as an assistant coach at Kentucky. Also, Jamelle Elliott will serve as an advanced scout for the U.S. team at the Olympics.
Cincinnati, where Elliott serves as the head women's basketball coach, announced the news earlier today. Ironically, she will join her former teammate and classmate in the court coach/advance scout as Jen Rizzotti will also handle those chores.
What's interesting with Williams' appointment is that she coached Camara in her final season at Kentucky and now one of the players she will get to coach at Penn State is UConn transfer De'Janae Boykin.
Also, former UConn star Carla Berube and former UConn assistant coach Tonya Cardoza were named court coaches at the upcoming U-17 and U-18 national team trials.
The U-17 trials run from Thursday-Monday with the U-18s running from Saturday-Monday.
UConn Class of 2017 commits Andra Espinoza-Hunter and Lexi Gordon are among 150 players competing for 12 spots on the U.S. taking part in the FIBA U-17 World Championships while 30 players including UConn incoming freshman Crystal Dangerfield and Class of 2017 recruiting target Megan Walker are taking part in the U18 camp. Walker is part of the U.S. squad playing in the FIBA Women's 3x3 U18 World Championships from June 1-5 in Kazakhstan so the four players on that squad will be leaving on Sunday and only take part in Saturday's sessions.