April 17, 2012
DALLAS - Korina Baker signed a National Letter of Intent to play women's basketball at SMU, strengthening a class head coach Rhonda Rompola has already described as one of the best she has ever signed during her 21-season career as head coach.
The point guard from Valleyford, Wash., led North Idaho College to the National Junior College Athletic Association National Championship as a freshman. The Cardinals finished the year with a 32-3 record in Baker's first season, and won the Scenic West Athletic Conference regular season championship with a 23-6 overall record during her second season.
As a sophomore, Baker averaged 12.1 points per game with 3.7 rebounds and 3.1 assists, earning second team All-America honors. She was also named first team All-Region and first team All-Conference.
In high school, the 5-foot-7 guard led Freeman High School to its first Washington State Championship during her senior year, earning the tournament's Most Valuable Player. Baker was also named MVP at all-star games in both Seattle and Spokane, Wash., and was named WIAA Player of the Year.
Baker joins four DFW-Metroplex high school stars, Farrin Bell, Nia Jackson, Gabrielle Wilkins and Lexus Williams, as newcomers for the upcoming season. Three of the four incoming freshmen were named to All-State teams, while Bell and Wilkins were named Most Valuable Players in their district.
"This is by far one of the strongest signing classes in the history of the program," Rompola explained. "I believe the players in this class have an opportunity to make an immediate impact on our program."
Williams led North Little Rock High School to the Arkansas State Championship semifinals and was named to the Arkansas All-State team for the fourth time after averaging 17 points and 10 rebounds per game. The 6-0 forward was also a Gatorade Player of the Year nominee, was named to All-Conference and All-State Tournament teams, and was rated as the No. 19 forward in the nation by ESPN.
Bell earned the first All-State selection of her career after averaging 17 points and seven rebounds at Richardson High School. She was named MVP of District 9-5A and was also tabbed to the All-Region Team. The 6-0 guard/forward was ranked 63rd in the country at the wing position by ESPN.
Wilkins earned a spot among ESPN's top-100 guard prospects, averaging a double-double with 15 points and 10 rebounds per game. The Garland High School graduate was named MVP of District 10-5A.
Jackson was named All-State and first team All-District 1-5A by the Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools. The 6-1 forward averaged 16 points and eight rebounds at Argyle Liberty Christian High School in Keller, Texas. She was also rated as the No. 34 forward in the nation by ESPN.
The five signees will join Big XII transfers Keena Mays and Brittney Hardy, who each enrolled at SMU in January. Hardy, who played in four games at Oklahoma State, played in 10 games for the Mustangs after being declared eligible to play immediately, averaging 5.4 points and 5.4 rebounds per game. As a freshman at Kansas, Mays was second on the team with 119 assists. She also averaged 7.1 points and 3.0 rebounds per game.