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'Sky's the limit' for newest Pitt hoops recruit

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Saturday, Nov. 12, 2011
 

When Pitt recruit Marvadene Anderson started playing basketball for the first time two years ago in her native Jamaica, she kept swatting the ball from the rim.

After all, at 6-foot-11, she is the tallest known teenage girl in the world.

"I didn't know what goaltending was," she said. "They said, 'You can't do that.' "

Anderson, who plays at Rutgers Prep in Somerset, N.J., kept asking questions and practicing, and Wednesday she signed a letter of intent to attend Pitt, beginning with the 2012-13 school year.

Anderson is nicknamed Bubbles.

"Because I have bubbly personality," she said.

On a recruiting visit, she met Pitt men's player Khem Birch, who said he was part Jamaican.

"So, I talked to him in Jamaican to test him and he answered me back," Anderson said.

When Anderson appeared on the "Oprah Winfrey Show," Winfrey asked, "Do you have trouble fitting in?"

Her answer: "Only my clothes."

Anderson came to the U.S., thanks to the efforts of Jamaican native Enid Sterling-Angus, who welcomed her into her home with her three children.

She landed at Rutgers Prep, coached by Mary Coyle-Klinger, whose twin sister Patty is an assistant at Pitt.

Doctors believe Anderson could grow to 7-1, a fact that doesn't bother Pitt coach Agnus Berenato, who bubbles herself over her recruit's potential.

"The sky's the limit for her," Berenato said.

At 6-11, she looks to be halfway there.

> > West Virginia's women's basketball team can't be found in the Associated Press rankings. Not even in the others-receiving-votes category where Pitt, the nation's youngest team, got a vote. But WVU's 2012 recruiting class is fourth in the nation, according to Blue Star Basketball newsletter. The class includes Bria Holmes of Hamden, Conn., Lanay Montgomery of Germantown, Md., Darius Faulk of New York City and Jennie Simms of Accokeek, Md.

> > Franciscan University of Steubenville will dedicate its new basketball court in the name of legendary coach Hank Kuzma at blessing ceremonies Wednesday, which is somewhat ironic because when Kuzma coached Steubenville from 1954-58, it didn't have a home court, playing wherever it could and winning all 56 dates. He once shocked the Franciscans by holding a practice on Christmas Day.

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