UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Penn State Lady Lion head coach Coquese Washington announced the addition of UConn transfer Brianna Banks (Newnan, Ga./Fayette County) to the Lady Lion roster. Banks, who will sit out the 2014-15 season due to NCAA transfer rules, will have one year of eligibility remaining when she begins competing for the Lady Lions in 2015-16.
Banks was a McDonald's High School All-Americans at Fayette County, giving the Lady Lions three McDonald's honorees on the roster along with Candice Agee (Victorville, Calif.) and Sierra Moore (Hanover, Pa.).
"Brianna is an outstanding athlete and truly a welcome addition to our program," Washington said. "She brings tremendous talent and skill to our perimeter play, especially with her speed and scoring ability. She will be an electric and energizing player for us, and an impactful player in the highly competitive Big Ten."
Banks comes to Penn State after spending three seasons at the University of Connecticut where she helped the Huskies to a pair of National Championships and a 108-9 record in three seasons. During her tenure in Storrs, Banks averaged 4.4 points with a 48.6 percent field goal percentage. She also recorded 128 rebounds, 112 assists and 84 steals in 90 appearances.
Last season, Banks started eight of the 37 games in which she appeared. She shot 47.6 percent from the field and tallied 130 points as she helped lead the Huskies to a 40-0 record and a second-straight National Championship. In 2012-13, Banks had her best season in a UConn uniform, averaging 7.3 points and .17 rebounds per game. As a freshman, she shot better than 50 percent (50.5 percent) from the field and chipped in 3.6 points per outing.
Banks, who was the 15th-ranked prospect by All-Start Girls Report and 24th by ESPN Hoopgurlz in 2011, excelled at Fayette County High School where she averaged 16.2 points, 5.5. rebounds, 5.1 assists and 5.0 steals per game as a senior to lead the Tigers to a State championship. For her efforts, Banks was selected a 2011 McDonald's High School All-American, a WBCA Honorable Mention All-American and Georgia Miss Basketball. Additionally, Banks claimed Fayette County Player of the Year accolades by the Fayette County News and first team All-State accolades.
As a junior in high school, Banks was a second team All-State selection and was the Coweta County Player of the Year by the Times-Herald as she averaged 16.5 points per game. She also took home first team All-Metro honors by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution in 2009-10.
Penn State will face IUP and former Lady Lion standout Kelly Mazzante in an exhibition game on Sunday, Nov. 2. The Lady Lions open the 2014-15 season when they meet Towson in the Preseason WNIT on Friday, Nov. 14 at noon in the BJC.
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