CR women add several local standouts in basketball


Submitted photo – The new recruits at the recent letter signing ceremony

By Ray Hamill — College of the Redwoods women’s basketball head coach Jain Tuey recently announced the addition of several new recruits, including a number of local players and one with a big connection to the North Coast.

The talented Fortuna trio of Kendall Stewart, Gracie Betts and Lilly Shelton have all committed their immediate future to the team, along with Hoopa’s Nas-Che-Wen Hunsucker and former St. Bernard’s and Hoopa player Verissa Moon.

Betts, Shelton and Stewart all played a big part in the Huskies’ Big 5 championship in 2019/20, the program’s first in almost 40 years, with Stewart also committing to play volleyball at CR.

Tuey also announced the addition of former Hawaii Pacific player, Rachel Valdez, who is the daughter of Hoopa legend and current St. Bernard’s girls varsity coach, Augie Valez.

“She’s going to be an all-around player for us at this level,” Tuey said of Rachel, who will play the three guard. “She’s extremely smart and she’s quick.

“She sees the court well and I’m really excited to see what she can do for us.”

Shelton, meanwhile, did not play in her senior season in high school, but was a major contributor as a junior and will give Tuey some quality depth at the post position.

Likewise, both Hunsucker and Moon will add quality depth to the roster.

“I’m excited to see where she can get to,” Tuey said of Moon, who graduated St. Bernard’s in 2020.

Hunsucker is a talented all-around athlete who also plays softball for the Corsairs.

Two out-of-area recruits will also join the team, including Addi Slaybaugh from Nevada, who will play both basketball and volleyball for the Corsairs, and Kathryce Bunzuca from Medord, Oregon.

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