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Kentucky wildcat basketball

SAD NEWS: Justin Edwards was found wit a brutal injury return in doubt

The University of Kentucky women’s basketball program inked four players to its incoming class, head coach Kenny Brooks announced Thursday.Clara Silva, a 6-7 center, Lexi Blue, a 6-2 guard, and Tanah Becker, a 6-1 guard, will join the program as freshmen, while Amelia Hassett, a 6-3 forward from Eastern Florida State College, will be a junior in 2024-25.Clara Silva, a 6-7 center from Faro, Portugal, has played three seasons for Unicaja in the Spain-LF Challenge league. With the season still in progress, she has played in 30 games and is averaging 9.1 points per game, 5.1 rebounds per game, 1.5 assists per game and 1.2 blocks per game. Perhaps one of her most impressive performances of the season came in a win over Maresme last November, when she scored 28 points on 13-of-19 from the field and recorded 12 rebounds and four assists.

Silva has represented Portugal in the 2021 FIBA U16 Women’s European Challengers, 2022 FIBA U16 Women’s European Championship and 2023 FIBA U18 Women’s European Championship. Last summer at FIBA, she played in seven games, averaging 18.1 points, 11.6 rebounds, 2.3 blocks and 1.6 assists.

According to the FIBA website, Silva was one of “Nine players who stood out at #FIBAU18Europe.”

Last November, Shane Laflin from ESPN said this about Silva, “If she was a player in the U.S., she’d safely land in the top 10 in the recruiting rankings. She is mobile with a nice touch, smoothly moves without the ball, and has an array of footwork and finishing around the rim.”

Before that, last July, Mike Robinson from The Ball Out noted this about her, “Depending on whom you ask, Silva might be the best center prospect in her class.”

Silva will join the program as a freshman in 2024-25.

Tanah Becker

6-1 | Guard | Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada | Hamilton Heights Christian Academy

Tanah Becker, a 6-1 guard from Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, played at Hamilton Heights Christian Academy last season, averaging 12.0 points per game on a team-best 42.6 percent from the field. She also led her team on 2.6 assists per game, 3.3 steals per game and 1.3 blocks per game. Becker also grabbed 4.5 boards per game in 2023-24.

In her one season at Hamilton Heights, she helped her team to a 15-13 record, including a 4-0 mark in home games. MaxPreps named her player of the game in 10 of her 26 appearances last season, while it pegged her as player of the year on her team, too.

Prior to her move to the United States, Becker began playing at Shaftesbury High School in Winnipeg. She transitioned to Lincoln Prep in Hamilton, Ontario, after 10th grade to compete in the Ontario Scholastic Basketball Association.

Becker also spent three years playing for Kia Nurse Elite (KNE), Canada’s first and only Nike Girls EYBL affiliate team, which was created by WNBA player Kia Nurse. Moreover, she made Canada’s U16 team that earned silver at the 2020 FIBA Americas tournament. She also attended the 2023 WNBA Basketball Without Borders Girls Camp in Las Vegas and the 2023 Nike Tournament of Champions in Phoenix, and she is a two-time invitee to the BioSteel All-Canadian Game, which features the top 24 basketball players in Canada (2023, 2024).

Her older sister, Niyah Becker, played at Utah and Wake Forest, while her father, Dan Becker, played at St. Joseph’s and Colorado.

Becker will join the program as a freshman in 2024-25.

Amelia Hassett, a 6-3 guard from Albury, New South Wales, Australia, spent the last two seasons at Eastern Florida. There, she played in 67 games and made 65 starts, averaging 13.7 points per game, 9.8 rebounds per game, 2.2 assists per game, 2.1 blocks per game and 1.4 steals per game.

In her two seasons with the Titans, she scored 919 points and grabbed 659 rebounds, which put her second in all-time scoring and the top rebounder in Eastern Florida laurels.

Hassett led her team in four categories as a sophomore in 2023-24, including 19.0 points per game, 12.7 rebounds per game, 2.7 blocks per game and 1.5 steals per game. She also made 54.4 percent of her shots from the field thanks to 229 makes on 421 attempts. Playing and starting all 32 games, her contributions helped the Titans earn a 27-5 overall record and a 21-0 conference record, while also going undefeated in 12 home games.

Hassett set three single-season school records last season, including double-doubles (21), points (609) and blocks (87). She recorded the second most rebounds (407).

The Wildcat was recently named a National Junior College Athletic Association Division I All-America Third Team selection, it was announced by the organization office on April 9. She became just the fourth player in Eastern Florida laurels to be an NJCAA Division I All-America.

Hassett made an immediate impact as a freshman at Eastern Florida in 2022-23, earning 8.9 points per game, 7.2 rebounds per game, 1.5 blocks per game, 1.4 assists per game and 1.3 steals per game. That season, the Titans went 33-2, falling in the NJCAA Division I National Tournament semifinals.

Hassett will join the program as a junior in 2024-25.

Lexi Blue

6-2 | Guard | Orlando, Fla. | Lake Highland Prep

In the Class of 2024, Lexi Blue, a 6-2 guard from Orlando, Florida, is ranked No. 11 by All-Star Girls Report, No. 28 by ProspectsNation.com and No. 40 by espnW. The unanimous four-star guard averaged 13.9 points per game, 5.1 rebounds per game, 1.8 assists per game and 1.1 steals per game as a senior at Lake Highland Prep in 2023-24.

Last season, she shot 50.2 percent from the field (162-323) and 41.1 percent from the arc (67-163). She led her team in scoring (13.9), field goals made (162) and games played (30), while she ranked second on the team in field-goal percentage (50.2%), rebounds per game (5.1), rebounds (152) and 3-pointers (67).

The Wildcat played five seasons at Lake Highland Prep, combining for 1,360 points, 196 3-pointers, 504 rebounds, 187 assists, 99 steals and 43 blocks.

Blue helped guide the Highlanders to five straight state championships, including 2020, 2021, 2022, 2023 and 2024.

Blue is Kentucky’s highest-ranked incoming freshman since Treasure Hunt, who was a five-star guard and top-10 prospect in the Class of 2020, according to All-Star Girls Report.

Blue will join the program as a freshman in 2024-25.

After just one season in Lexington, Kentucky, guard/forward Jordan Burks has entered the transfer portal.Burks, who was Overtime Elite’s leading scorer during the 2022-23 season, was originally committed to Ole Miss but de-committed following the firing of head coach Kermit Davis. The three-star recruit eventually signed with Kentucky in June of 2023.With Aaron Bradshaw and Ugonna Onyenso suffering foot fractures over the offseason, the 6-foot-8 Burks was moved to center for UK’s four-game Globl Jam slate in Toronto and to open the regular season.

Upon Bradshaw and Onyenso’s returns in December, he was moved back to his natural position of small forward but saw his playing time dwindle.

After playing in each of UK’s first eight games off the bench, he played in just 12 of the Cats’ final 25 games and did not appear in either the SEC or NCAA Tournament.

Overall, he finished his lone season as a Wildcat, averaging 1.9 points per game with 1.7 rebounds while shooting 60.0 percent from the field and 40.0 percent from three in 7.1 minutes per game off the bench.

The best game of his short Kentucky career came at Vanderbilt as he scored a season-high 13 points, shot a perfect 6-for-6 from the field which included a three and grabbed five rebounds to help lead UK to a 109-77 road win.

He’ll have three years of remaining eligibility at his new school.

With Burks in the portal, no members of UK’s 2023-24 scholarship roster are slated to return next season for the debut season of the Mark Pope era.

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