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WOMEN’S BASKETBALL: Cards land Dallas-area star, two from out of state

Lamar sports information

BEAUMONT — The Lamar women’s basketball team had three student-athletes sign National Letter of Intents on Wednesday to play for the Cardinals next season.

Joining the Cardinals next season are Kayla Mitchell (Jonesboro, Arkansas/Jonesboro HS), Taylor Williams (Daytona Beach, Florida/Father Lopez HS) and Malay McQueen (Dallas /James Bowie HS).

“All three players fit our defensive philosophy,” remarked head coach Robin Harmony. “They all can put pressure on the ball. The three players can score from all three levels. They are great fits for the program and fit Lamar’s winning culture.”

Kayla Mitchell
Over her first three seasons, she has helped the Hurricane to two Arkansas state titles, 2016 and 2018. Mitchell, a guard, was a 2017 6A All-State selection. In 2017, Mitchell was also named to the All-Tournament Team.

In the 2016 championship game, Jonesboro defeated Russellville, 50-43. They were defeated in the quarterfinals of the state tournament in 2017. In 2018 Jonesboro claimed the 6A state title with a 57-44 victory over Greenwood. During the 2017-18 season, Mitchell was named the MVP.

Mitchell plays club basketball with Woodz Elite.

Harmony on Mitchell: “Kayla is a speedy lead guard and a tenacious on ball defender. She has a championship pedigree as she helped lead Jonesboro High School to two state titles.”

Taylor Williams
During the 2017-18 season, the 6-foot guard averaged 17.0 points, 6.8 rebounds, 4.0 steals, and 2.1 assists per game. During her junior season, Father Lopez went 28-5.

During the 2016-17 season, the Green Wave went 22-8 on the season. Williams earned First Team All-City honors and was named All-Area Fourth team in 2017-18.

Williams plays club ball for Florida Essence.

Harmony on Williams: “Taylor is a long wing with great size that can defend four multiple positions. She has a lot of untapped talent.”

Malay McQueen
McQueen plays at Bowie High School in Arlington. A guard, McQueen helped Bowie HS to a 32-8 record in 2017-18. Last season, Bowie advanced to the Region I semifinals of the 6A state tournament.

Over her high school career, McQueen was named All-District 4-6A Newcomer of the Year following her freshman season. After her sophomore season, she earned District 4-6A All-District MVP honors and Texas Association of Basketball Coaches 6A All-Region I first team. During her junior season, she earned Texas Association of Basketball Coaches 6A All-Region I first team and Texas Girls Coaches Association Class 6A All-State first team.

She plays club basketball for Urban Hero Elite.

Harmony on McQueen: “Malay is a ballhawk defender, which fits our defensive philosophy. Besides playing defense, she is a shot maker with a smooth stroke to three-point range.”

Last season, the Cardinals won its first outright Southland Conference regular season championship and they finished the season with a 22-8 overall record and 17-1 in Southland Conference action.

Over the past three seasons, the Cardinals have had the conference’s newcomer of the year in 2017 (Moe Kinard), the 2016 freshman of the year (Kiara Desamours) and the three-time defensive player of the year (Chastadie Barrs).