Beckwith Signs With Lady Tiger Basketball
April 20, 2001
MEMPHIS, TENN. - University of Memphis Lady Tiger basketball coach Joye Lee-McNelis announced today the signing of Rita Beckwith to a National Letter of Intent for the 2001-02 basketball season.
A 5-10 forward from Waterloo, Ala.., Beckwith becomes the seventh player signed by McNelis for next year. She joins Latrice Booker (6-2, C, Winnfield, La.), Jeralynn Campbell (6-2, C, Tampa, Fla.), Jennifer Sullivan (5-10, G/F, Jonesboro, Ark.) and Raven Rogers (5-10, G, Jackson, Miss.) who all signed during the early signing period, and Kalara McFadyen (5-6, G, Aukland, New Zealand) and Aesha Carter (6-2, F, Decatur, Ga.) who both signed last week. This could easily be one of McNelis' largest recruiting classes as she must fill the voids left by seniors Tiffany Adkins, Patrice Boyd, Malissa Bush, Tiffany Collins and Kelly Herron.
Beckwith joins the Lady Tigers after two years at Northwest-Shoals Community College where she played for coach Kristy Ward. This past season, Beckwith led the Patriots, averaging 19.0 points, 9.0 rebounds, 3.0 blocks and 3.0 steals per game. She was most recently named to the Division II first-team all-American squad for her efforts at NW Shoals, and was honored as the 2001 Division II Player of the Year.
"Rita is another solid addition to this recruiting class," said McNelis. "She will bring a much needed versatility to our post game. We have not had a post player shoot the three and run the floor since LaTonya Johnson. Rita has played some tough competition in junior college and will bring a lot of experience to the four position."
Beckwith prepped at Waterloo High School and was named the Alabama Sports Writers Association's player of the year for I-A schools in 1999. While at WHS, she was also honored as Most Valuable Offense for three years straight, as well as a Player of the Week on WOWL-TV 15. Beckwith also considered UALR, Austin Peay State and South Alabama.
"I chose the University of Memphis because I used to visit some of my family members there in the past, and quite honestly, I like Memphis," said Beckwith.