For Immediate Release: April 16, 2009
Contact: David O'Brian (
Phone: 607-777-6478

Binghamton women's basketball inks two high school standouts

VESTAL, N.Y.-- The Binghamton women's basketball team has announced the signing of two high school seniors, both of whom will join the program this coming fall.

Kara Elofson
(Minneapolis, Minn) is a 5-10 guard from Hopkins High School. As a senior, was named honorable mention all-state at the Class 4A level. She was the leading scorer (14.0 ppg.) and rebounder (7.6 rpg.) on a squad that was ranked in USA Today's Top 25 poll during the 2008-09 season. Elofson has also earned all-conference honors three times.

"Kara adds depth and a different dimension to the guard position," head coach Nicole Scholl said. "She has the strength and athleticism to get to the basket and finish around the rim but can also hit the pull up jumper. Her toughness and rebounding ability will be welcome additions to our program."

Simone Thomas (Pickering, Ontario) is a 6-1 forward from Dunbarton High School. She was a member of the Ontario Provincial U-17 team in 2008 and the U-15 team in 2006, both of which the won gold medal at the National Tournament. In addition, Thomas was selected by Canada Basketball to take part in the National Elite Development Academy (NEDA) in 2007-08, an honor given to only a dozen high school athletes in the nation.

"Defense and transition offense have been a focus for our team and Simone brings both of those attributes to our team," Scholl said. "Offensively she has great touch around the hoop, but also has the ability to hit the outside shot. As Simone continues to get stronger she will be a tough opponent to defend in the low block and out on the perimeter."

In addition to Elofson and Thomas, the Bearcats have a pair of players who sat out this season and will make their debuts this coming fall. Sophomore center Emma Cronk transferred from Gardner-Webb last year and was able to practice with the squad this past season. Redshirt freshman forward Kiara Connor also returns after missing the 2008-09 season with an injury.

"The good thing about Emma and Kiara not being able to play this past season is that it gave them a chance to transition into our program and at the same time watch and learn," Scholl said. " I expect both of them to jump right in and have an impact on our team right away especially with the loss of Laura Franceski to graduation."

Binghamton loses just one starter and two letterwinners from this season's squad that advanced to the America East semifinals. With four returning starters, four seniors and four new players, expectations are high for the coming season.

"The transition year is over and it excites me to think about the potential that this year's group has," Scholl said. "With the addition of Kara and Simone along with having Emma and Kiara back in the line up I feel we now have the experience and depth that we need to help us compete for a conference championship."

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