(Menifee, CA.) The UC Merced Athletics Department has announced the signing of 6'2" post player, Nelly Kilpatrick, to a letter of intent. Kilpatrick, from Heritage High School in Romoland, CA, was recruited heavily by a number of schools before choosing to play for the Bobcats.
"We are extremely excited to have Nelly join our program. She is a gifted athlete who can run the floor, score inside, rebound the ball, and block shots," quoted new Bobcat's coach, Kevin Pham. "She has a huge upside, is long limbed, and will have the ability to dominate the paint on both sides of the court. We are going to ask her to be more of a scorer, as we utilize her quickness inside."
A versatile player, Kilpatrick blends finesse with power. She can play the low post, and come out and hit the mid-range jumper. Her long reach has allowed her to average 5 rebounds and 2 blocks per game for the Patriots.
As a freshman, Kilpatrick was elevated to the varsity team where she was voted the Patriots Offensive Player of the Year. As a sophomore she helped Heritage win the 2009-10 Mountain Pass League championship, averaging 2.5 points per game and 3.3 rebounds per game. In 2010-11, she continued to improve as she averaged 6 points, and would lead the team in rebounds with 5.1 rebounds per game, earning an ESPN Player of the Week honor along the way. As a senior, she averaged 8 points, 5 rebounds, and 2 blocks per game.
Kilpatrick's success has not been limited to the hardwood, however, as she has maintained a 3.5 GPA throughout high school and was on the honor roll all four years at Heritage. "Nelly's best playing days are ahead of her," stated David Noble, UC Merced's Associate Director for Recreation and Athletics. "She has not even scratched the surface for her playing ability. She is a strong student, athletic, has experience competing with the FBC AAU Club, and provides a physical presence on the court. She will be fun to watch this season."
Kilpatrick will be reunited with her former AAU teammate, Samantha Oshiro. Oshiro, a 5'6" shooting guard from HHFA in Texas, signed with the Bobcats earlier this month.