Beatrice Mompremier, easily the greatest girls’ basketball player in Miami High history and now a member of the Baylor Bears’ fourth-ranked women’s squad, will be back in Florida on Dec. 19, taking on the local school that tried awfully hard to sign her.
Baylor will play the Miami Hurricanes in that game as part of the Florida Sunshine Classic in Winter Park. Miami was on Mompremier’s list of finalists along with Tennessee, North Carolina and Ohio State.
Bears coach Kim Mulkey, who won the recruiting battle, said Mompremier, a 6-4 freshman forward, fights homesickness, “but you don’t see that in her play.”
“Beatrice is doing outstanding,” said Mulkey of Mompremier, who is averaging 4.6 points and 4.3 rebounds in 11 minutes per game. “She’s long, athletic and versatile. You can put her in the front of the press to disrupt things or in the back to protect the basket.”
Mompremier is shooting 56 percent from the floor but just 33 percent from the foul line (4 of 12). She is third on the team with seven blocks and also has five assists, four steals and nine turnovers.
Mulkey said Mompremier was taught well by Miami High coach Sam Baumgarten and his staff.
“She’s a humble young lady — very pleasant and very proud,” Mulkey said. “She wants to do well.”
In high school, Mompremier did exceptionally well, leading Miami High to two state titles in a row, becoming Miss Florida Basketball and a McDonald’s All-American after averaging 25.2 points, 15.2 rebounds and 5.0 assists as a senior.
Mompremier is now a suitemate with 6-7 freshman Kalani Brown, the daughter of former Heat power forward P.J. Brown.
“Bea and Kalani wanted to play together,” Mulkey said. “They’re always together. These are two big girls who will be big-time players in their careers.”
Former NBA guard Raja Bell, who as a senior in 1999 led FIU to a Sun Belt title and the NCAA Tournament, received a huge compliment on national TV on Thursday night.
Lakers star Kobe Bryant, who is retiring after this season, said on TBS the 6-5 Bell was one of the toughest defenders he ever faced. Bryant mentioned Bell third, after Tony Allen and Bruce Bowen.
With 7-foot double-double machine Tonye Jekiri playing his final year at UM this season, the Hurricanes might have found their center of the future in 6-11, 245-pound Rodney Miller of Virginia prep power Oak Hill. Miller will likely compete for the job with current freshman Ebuka Izundu, who is listed at 6-10, 210 pounds.
The women’s basketball team, which is 7-1 and ranked eighth in the nation in Division II, is loading up on Wisconsin players.
The Sharks recently signed the Wisconsin duo of 5-8 Karis Keller and 5-10 Erin Powers (5-10). Sophomore Mary Hirt, a 5-9 guard from Wisconsin, is already on the roster. Outside of Florida, Wisconsin is set to have the biggest representation on the team.
The women’s soccer team ended its season at 15-3-1, losing 2-0 to third-ranked Columbus State in the NCAA Division II quarterfinals. The Bucs, who entered that match on an 11-game unbeaten streak, return seven starters and coach Denise Brolly. In three years at Barry, Brolly has won three conference titles and three Coach of the Year honors from the league.