UAlbany Women's Basketball Signs Three Players for 2013-14 Season

ALBANY, N.Y. - University at Albany head women's basketball coach Katie Abrahamson-Henderson has announced the three members of the 2013 recruiting class, as announced on Thursday. The Great Danes will welcome Cassandra Edwards, Imani Tate, and Zakiya Saunders to the team next fall.

Edwards, a 5-foot-11 guard, hails from Brampton, Ontario. She led Notre Dame Secondary School to three consecutive ROPSSAA Finals and three straight OFSAA tournaments. In 2011-12, Edwards was Notre Dame's girl's basketball MVP, while also earning the OFSAA Sportsmanship Award. She also played in the Phase One All-Canada Classic, and was named a JUEL All-Star. In 2010, Edwards was named a University and College Sultan Prospect MVP, and also earned the Brampton Chrysler Athletic Award of Excellence. Edwards has been a member of the U15 Ontario Provincial Team, which was the National U15 Champion.

Tate is a 5-foot-8 guard from Bronx, N.Y. The Bishop Loughlin High School team MVP in 2012, she is currently the 44th-ranked guard in the country by ESPN HoopGurlz and is 59th among her position as ranked by Girl's Basketball Report. She was a member of the 2012 Class A All-Tournament Team at the NY State Federation Tournament, and was the 2012 Mecca Tournament MVP. A Coaches Award winner in 2010, Tate also earned the Rose Classic Super Jam Sportsmanship award in 2012. Also a volleyball standout for Bishop Loughlin, Tate was the team MVP this fall, earning New York Post First Team and Daily News Second Team honors, while also being named a Daily News Top-25 All-Star.

Saunders is a 5-foot-10 guard, and will join the Great Danes from Carthage Central High School in Fort Drum, N.Y. Saunders has played the last two seasons for Carthage after moving to New York from Fort Lee, Va., as her father is a Master Sargent in the U.S. Army. While at Prince George High School, Saunders was named the team's most improved player as a freshman. Since moving to Fort Drum, she has been named the Frontier League MVP and was named to the Section III All-Tournament Team. As a member of the Jr. ROTC, Saunders has earned the Presidential Physical Fitness Award and the Commendation Award. As a high school freshman, she was also a member of the Central District Championship 1,600-meter relay team.

"We are extremely excited about our three phenomenal young women who have decided to become a part of our Great Dane family," said Abrahamson-Henderson, who guided the UAlbany program to its first-ever America East Conference championship and NCAA Tournament berth a year ago, in just her second season with the Great Danes. "They are all extremely talented basketball players, but, most importantly, exceptional people from great families."