Sat, Jun. 2, 2012 - [Women's Basketball]
Rio Grande Sports Information
BEDFORD, Ohio - University of Rio Grande women's basketball head coach David Smalley has announced the signing of Bedford High School standout Ciara Herring for the 2012-13 season.
Herring, a 5-foot-9 forward, ranked among the team leaders in a number of different categories for head coach Aaron Bower's squad, which finished 4-17.
Herring was a two-time All-Lake Erie League selection in basketball. As a member of Bedford's track & field team, she also was a regional qualifier in the shot put during her junior year and was the LEL's runner-up in the shot this season.
"It's four years of hard work that comes down to one day," Herring said. "It's a huge day for me."
Herring, who received interest from Berea College and who considered walking on at NCAA Division I Cleveland State University, actually never played basketball until she reached the seventh grade.
"I saw some girls playing in the gym and thought, ‘That looks fun.'" The following year I decided to try it and the coaches told me that I was pretty good," she said. "That's when I started getting into it and putting everything I had into it."
Smalley said that Herring will bring a great deal to his program.
"We're really excited to have Ciara join our family," Smalley said. "First and foremost, she's a super person who is positive and has a great personality. In the classroom, she's the type of young lady who gets the job done. Basketball-wise, she's strong and thick - in an athletic way - and she handles the ball extremely well for her size and position. She has the ability to drive and get the ball to the glass. She's got a solid medium-range jump shot. Primarily, we're looking for her to help fill a need that we're going to have in the post position."
Herring, who plans to major in business, with a focus on marketing and merchandising, said it was a trip to Rio's campus for a tour and a workout with returning players which sold her on signing with the RedStorm, a member of the NAIA Division I Mid-South Conference.
"When I made the visit, it reminded me of home," she said. "The people there are a lot like they are here. Coach Smalley is really personable with his players, as is my coach here. You go to some colleges and, as a freshman, they look down on you, but the girls on the team who I met when I was down there were really nice to me."
Herring added that her current main objective is continuing to work on improving both her shooting and her defense - whatever it takes for her to help make the team better.
"A lot of players go out and worry about trying to score 30 points, but I don't," said Herring. "I'd rather see my team score a bunch of points than me. I don't want to be the exclusive ‘go-to' person, I want to be a producer - the kind of player that gets everybody started."
"She's a strong rebounder, she runs the floor very well and she has a good basketball I.Q.," Smalley added. "I think she'll fit in extremely well in terms of what we want to get accomplished here with our transition-style of play on the offensive side and with our desire to press defensively. We're excited to have her on board."
And what is Herring's ultimate goal for when her career with the RedStorm is all said and done?
"I want to make the man who signed me a happy man," she said.
Herring is the daughter of Bianca Herring of Bedford.