May 19, 1999
KALAMAZOO -- Western Michigan University women's basketball coach Ron Stewart announced the signing of Curleta Harris (St. Louis, Mo./Metro Academic and Classical) to a national letter of intent.
The 5-10 Harris led the St. Louis Public High School League in scoring (20.7 ppg.), free throw percentage (.700/42-60), 3-point field goals (42 - 2.47 per game), and was fourth in the league in steals (63 /3.71 spg.).
"Curleta impressed our coaching staff as someone who is capable of scoring in the (Mid-American Conference) as well as doing a good job academically at Western Michigan," Stewart said. "She combines strength with athleticism. Curleta is a playmaker but a combination guard who shoots very well from 3-point range. She helps us become an up-tempo team."
"WMU is an up and coming team and I really liked the coaching staff," Harris said. "It's also a nice school academically and academics are important to me. On my visit I had nothing but good feelings for Western Michigan."
WMU returns three starters from last year's team in All-MAC first team pick Shelsea "Dr. S" Erving (Peoria, Ill./Woodruff) and twin guards Brooke and Brianne Gallert (Grand Rapids, Mich./Grand Rapids Christian). The Broncos also welcome back top reserves Danielle Mueller (Lakewood, Ohio), 6-0 guard Dionne Lassila (Seymour, Wis./Community), and 6-3 center Casey Stevenson (Bryan, Ohio).
"I want to come in and work hard my first season," Harris said. "I'll have to adjust to the system and Division I basketball. I want to make an impact and help the team have a winning season."
"Curleta adds depth behind an established starting lineup in 1999-2000," Stewart added. "She and Lisa Bruwer (Grand Rapids, Mich./East Grand Rapids) have a chance to step in as freshmen. They give us strength, shooting ability, and depth. It helps in game preparation and gives us a better rotation in games.
"Our recruiting efforts for the next year can be focused on specific needs - people to help us get better. We're pretty well set for a couple of years."
In addition to Harris, the Broncos also signed Michigan Miss Basketball Kristin Koetsier (Grandville, Mich.) and the 6-1 Bruwer, a talented 3-point shooter, in November. Sarah Hurrle (Indianapolis/Roncalli), one of the top 3-point and free throw shooters in the nation, is transferring to WMU from Butler University. She will be eligible to play in the 2000-01 season.
The Broncos posted one of the best regular-season turnarounds in the country last season with a 19-10 overall record and an 11-5 Mid-American Conference mark. WMU lost 73-64 to Michigan in the first round of the Women's National Invitation Tournament in front of a school record 2,572 fans.
Media contact: Geoff Brown; 616 387-4138; firstname.lastname@example.org
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