LEXINGTON, Ky. – Matthew Mitchell, Kentucky women’s basketball head coach, announced the addition of two Bluegrass natives in Keyla Snowden (Lexington, Ky.) and Sarah Rowe (Mt. Vernon, Ky.) to the 2008-09 roster this season. Snowden, a former Lexington Catholic High School standout, has transferred to UK from Akron while Rowe, an all-state performer at Rockcastle County High School, will walk on this season.
Snowden returns to her home state after spending her freshman year at Akron. The sharpshooter had a successful rookie campaign with the Zips as she broke the school record for most three-pointers recorded in a single season with 91. That mark also was the second-most three-pointers in a single season in Mid-American Conference history. She ranked sixth in the nation with an average of 2.9 triples per game, hitting at least one three in all but one game last year. Snowden, who was named to the MAC All-Freshman team, was seventh in the league and third on the team in scoring (14.2 ppg). She also was second in the league in free throw shooting (.880) and 17th in minutes played (31.3).
“I believe we have added one of the best shooters in the nation to our squad,” Mitchell said. “Keyla is a winner and has a strong desire to play the game. She is a complete basketball player and I’m thrilled about Keyla joining our team.”
At Lexington Catholic, Snowden helped lead the Knights to an impressive 130-14 overall record during her four-year career with three state championship game appearances and two state titles as a sophomore and junior. She totaled 1,908 career points while setting a pair of state records for free-throw shooting percentage. She set the single-season free throw mark as a senior, connecting on 142-of-156 attempts (91.0 percent) and broke the career mark by converting 289-of-459 (84.7 percent). Snowden earned first team all-state honors and was named the Sweet Sixteen State Tournament Most Valuable Player in 2006.
Snowden will sit out the 2008-09 due to NCAA transfer rules but will have three years of eligibility remaining.
Rowe was a four-year starter for Coach Chrysti Noble at Rockcastle County High School. The 5-10 guard led the Rockets in nearly every statistical category during her senior season, averaging 21.2 points, 5.9 rebounds, 3.2 assists and 3.1 steals per game. She led Rockcastle Co. to the state tournament as a senior, helping her squad post a 23-9 overall record. She was named all-state, all-region and all-district last season and was named the 12th Region MVP.
“Sarah is a player I have known for a long time and I have a lot of respect for her as a basketball player because she has great work ethic.” Mitchell said. “She is hard-nosed competitor who had a very successful career at Rockcastle County. I have watched her play a lot and she always showed up big in big games. I am so excited she has chosen to be a part of our program.”
Rowe and Snowden will team up with Kentucky’s 10 returning letter winners from last season, including seniors Jenn’e Jackson (Radcliff, Ky.), Carly Ormerod (Louisville, Ky.) and Eleia Roddy (Columbus, Ohio) and All-SEC Freshman Team selections Victoria Dunlap (Nashville, Tenn.) and Amber Smith (Winter Haven, Fla.). UK also welcomes 6-2 junior Jackie Sanders (Birmingham, Ala.), the top-ranked power forward in the junior college ranks last season. Sanders helped lead her squad to a record-breaking season with the NJCAA National Championship title, Gulf Coast’s 11th straight Panhandle Conference Championship title and its seventh Region 8 state crown with a remarkable 36-1 overall record.