The Westmont women’s basketball team is adding three accomplished recruits ahead of the 2020-21 season, head coach Kirsten Moore announced.
The Warriors will welcome Aleena Cook of Latah, Wash.; Laila Saenz of Nampa, Idaho and Destiny Okonkwo of Rancho Cucamonga to the fold next season.
“I am absolutely thrilled to have signed Laila, Destiny and Aleena to our 2020 recruiting class,” Moore said. “They each have strengths, skills and talents that will make our team more complete moving into the future and enable us to continue to compete at a championship level.
“In addition to their individual talents, perhaps what excites me the most is that they are proven winners. Aleena and Laila both won their State Championships this year in Washington and Idaho, respectively. Destiny’s team has consistently been one of the top teams in California. This group has won a slew of league, district and state championships, and I believe they possess the qualities necessary to thrive at the collegiate level as well.”
Cook is a 6-foot-1 forward out of Liberty High School, with whom she joined the 1,000-point club. Cook, who also played club for the Spokane Legacy, was a Northeast 2B All-League selection from 2017-19.
After placing second in the state of Washington in 2018, her Liberty High School team won the WIAA 2B State Tournament this past season, along with the NE 2B District Tournament. Cook earned numerous individual honors this year, including NE 2B All-District First Team, All-State Team Honorable Mention and All-Region Small School Team Honorable Mention.
In addition to her basketball awards, Cook was named All-State in volleyball in 2018 after her Liberty High School team won the district title and placed third at state. She was an NE 2B All-League selection from 2017-19 and her team appeared at the state championships each of those seasons.
Saenz, a 5-foot-8 guard, played four years of varsity at Mountain View High School and played club for the Boise Hoop Dreams.
The Nampa native earned Second Team All-State honors this past season after her Mountain View High School team won the Idaho state championship, adding to the district title it previously won. She was named to the All-Tournament First Team and also received an All-State academic award, in addition to her two previous All-Conference academic awards.
Okonkwo played four years on the varsity team at Etiwanda High School, where she won the 2016 CIF-SS Division 3 championship.
This past season, Okonkwo’s team advanced to the quarterfinals of the CIF Open Division State Championships as one of the top-eight teams in California. Etiwanda finished its Baseline League season undefeated and Okonkwo earned second team All-League honors.
The 6-foot-2 post player, who played club ball for West Coast Premier Valley Elite, will be an Augustinian Scholar at Westmont.
“She not only has a GPA that is through the roof, but she embodies the strong character we value and has over 150 hours of community service,” Moore said.
The Warriors finished the 2019-20 season ranked #1 in the NAIA and received the top overall seed in the NAIA National Tournament before it was canceled due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
Senior Maud Ranger will graduate this May, but the team is expected to return everyone else, including 2018-19 leading rebounder Sydney Brown, who missed this past season due to injury.