Wilson inks star junior college point guard to inaugural D1 class

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STEPHENVILLE – Tarleton head coach Misty Wilson announced the signing of Merced College (CA) point guard Malaya Kendrick to a National Letter of Intent to join Tarleton Women’s Basketball next season.

Kendrick comes to Tarleton after a phenomenal two-year career at Merced that saw her lead the Blue Devils to a national semifinal and junior college sweet sixteen appearance in back-to-back seasons. Merced went 54-10 over the last two years with Kendrick running point.

“Malaya is an integral part of the 2020 signing class,” said Wilson. “She gives us an experienced lead guard that was dominant at the JC level. Malaya possesses leadership qualities and a basketball IQ that you need in a point guard. She has the physical traits – strength, speed, quickness – that translate to the level of play we’ll face in the WAC. She can run the show offensively and get us in our offense, but she also has the ability to beat the defense and create or score. Her ability to guard/contain primary ball handlers will fit our defensive scheme nicely. 

“She’s a tremendous young lady that fits the culture that we’ve established here,” she added. “Malaya is set to graduate from Merced with her associate’s degree in social & behavioral science. She plans to major in sociology at Tarleton State. We’re excited to coach a player of Malaya’s caliber and we look forward to helping her develop as a player and a young adult.”

Kendrick averaged 17.9 points and 10.1 rebounds per game last season on her way to being named the California Community College Athletic Association (CCCAA) All-State First Team and league Player of the Year. She also averaged 4.1 assists and 3.0 steals per game while shooting .550 from the field and .474 from beyond the arc.

In her freshman season at Merced, Kendrick shined with 16.4 points per game and 10.4 rebounds per game. In her two-year career, she scored in double figures in 58 of her 61 games played. She topped the 20-point plateau 21 times, including a career-high 28 points against Fresno in a 76-58 win last November.

Kendrick becomes the fourth member of Tarleton’s inaugural women’s basketball Division I signing class and the first this spring. She joins early signees Adreanna Waddle, Emily Cunningham and Blythe Williams who announced their commitments last December.


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