Gillette, Wyo.--McCorra Ford and Whitney George, former Campbell County High School (CCHS) Lady Camels, signed their national letters of intent on Friday afternoon to play basketball for the Gillette College Pronghorns.
Ford, who played three years on the varsity team at CCHS, averaged 9.7 points and 2.8 steals a game her senior year. She also made an average of 27 percent of her three-pointers during her three seasons as a Lady Camel.
George played on the varsity squad her senior year and averaged 3.4 points and 4.2 rebounds a game.
Head Coach Will Rider had a bunch to say about Ford and George. “ We’re really excited about both McCorra and Whitney joining our program. We’ve been talking with them a couple of years now and they’re our primary recruits from Gillette and we’re excited they came on board and signed with us.”
McCorra will be a threat beyond the arc, but it was her intensity that Rider liked as well.
“McCorra brings an intensity to the game that no other high school player does. She’s ready to step in and play that intense, physical play, right now.”
George will be playing an important role in the post with her 6’3” height.
Rider compared Whitney’s first season to KeKe Wright’s, who played behind two other centers her freshman year (Jordan Scott-Benson and Iesha Greer) and by the end of the year earned starting time.
Rider explained it this way:
“[Wright] made the All-Tournament team her freshman year, just from playing behind those and getting a good experience behind them. With Whitney coming in, we expect her to play. You know, she’s going to go against 6’3” every day in practice in Alicia Carline, whose going to be a potential all-regional, all-American type next year. So, to have that combination, playing that hard against each other in practice-it’s going to be tremendous for our team and for Whitney.”
McCorra and Whitney were excited to join the Pronghorns squad. Both wore Pronghorns shirts as they signed their letters of intent with smiles on their faces.
Ford, who had been seen in the stands at Pronghorn games numerous times this past season, said why she wanted to play for Gillette College.
“Well, it’s home. Obviously I feel very comfortable here. I’ve been able to watch [Rider’s] program develop and grow and get better over the years and I really think he’s an amazing coach.”
In terms of getting better, Ford is exactly right. Every year, the Pronghorns have made it deeper into the Region IX tournament, making it to the Region IX Championship game for the first time in the team’s four-year history.
Another reason why Ford wanted to play for Rider is due to the fact that he has seen her ups and downs at the high school level. After all of that, Ford said, “he’s still willing to take a chance with me. So, that’s really nice.” Ford also liked the fact that George will also be joining the team with the hope of building a bigger fan base.
Whitney had other schools looking at her, including Eastern Wyoming College and Black Hills State. The big reason why she decided on Gillette College was the coaching staff.
“Coach Rider and [Assistant] Coach Fett [kether], they’ve always come to all my home games this year and they’ve always told me ‘You did a good job. We’re really looking at you.’ They’ve been supportive.”
George, who only played her senior season on the varsity team, knows the transition to the junior college level will be difficult, but has the confidence that she will catch on and play with the rest of the women on the team. In Whitney- as well as McCorra’s favor- is the fact that Head Coach Holst of Campbell County High School played a fast style of play. This is the opposite of some high school teams in Wyoming that pass the ball around the perimeter often, before taking a shot. Coach Rider’s style is very similar- quickly down the floor and not afraid of taking it inside the paint.
Ford and George will be joining six players that are returning from last season. Breanna Thomas, Kiela Garner, Chelsie Pitt, Chelsea Ullery, Freya Newton and Carline will all be returning for their sophomore seasons.
As for a look down the road to other prospects joining the Pronghorns this season, Rider did give some clues.
“Well, we’re talking to a couple more Wyoming kids… and then we’re talking to a couple Montana kids… as well as another Las Vegas kid.”
Of course, the Basin Radio Network will be there when that happens.