BRISTOL, Tenn. – Women's Basketball Head Coach Josh Thompson has announced the signing of two student-athletes for the 2012-2013 season. Chelsea Bowling (Elizabethton, Tenn.) and Bonnie Durrett (West Paducah, Ky.) have both decided to transfer from their respective schools to join the Lady Tornado next year.
Elizabethton, Tenn. | Elizabethton High School/East Tennessee State
5-10 | So. | Guard
Bowling played at East Tennessee State University under Head Coach Karen Kemp last year. The Elizabethton, Tenn. native saw limited time as a freshman where she logged in 36 minutes before making the decision to join the Lady Tornado.
Prior to her time at ETSU, Bowling played her high school basketball for Len Dugger at Elizabethton High School. In the 2010-11 season she helped guide the Lady Cyclones to a 33-2 record along with a 10-0 record in district play. Bowling netted 101 three-pointers during her senior year, while shooting 48 percent from beyond the arc. She also shot 88 percent from the free throw line, recorded 59 steals, 57 assists, and 98 rebounds. She finished her high school career with 993 total points.
"Chelsea gives us good size at the guard position and she is a very good shooter from the perimeter," said Coach Thompson. "We are very excited to have her for next year. She is a very hard worker and will contribute on both ends of the floor."
West Paducah, Ky. | Community Christian H.S./Jefferson College
6-1 | So. | Guard/Forward
While at Jefferson College, Durrett helped her team finish with a 31-5 overall record under Tonika Bruce. The Vikings scored over 100 points six different times last season en route to winning a regional championship and finishing seventh in the nation at the NJCCA Division I National Tournament. In her one year at Jefferson College she averaged just under 5.0 points per game and 4.0 rebounds per game while also shooting 40 percent from three-point range in 35 games played. Durrett was named to the Conference All-Academic Team following the season.
Prior to her time at Jefferson College, she played for James Forthman at Community Christian Academy in high school where she earned multiple All-Tournament and Player of the Week awards. Durrett was a two-time All-Purchase Team honoree, which recognized the top ten players in the region. The West Paducah, Ky. native led the team in rebounding her junior season and led the team in scoring and rebounding as a senior, averaging 20 points per game and 15 rebounds per game. She finished her senior season third in the state of Kentucky in rebounds per game. She finished her high school career with 1,368 points and had over 1,000 rebounds, both school records.
"We are very excited to add a player of Bonnie's caliber to our program," said Coach Thompson. "She is a very good three-point shooter and with her size and rebounding ability she will have an impact on both ends of the floor. We know that she will work hard every day and bring good leadership to our team."
Thompson and the Lady Tornado now have a signing class of five student-athletes with the addition of Bowling and Durrett. They will join Taylor Robinson (C, Lenoir City, Tenn.), Brittany Stringer (G, Fredericksburg, Va.), and Stephanie Brantley (G/F, Pilot Mountain, N.C.) as first-year Tornado players for 2012-13. Last season King finished the season with a 5-21 overall record and a 5-13 mark in their first year in Conference Carolinas.