Nov. 14, 2012
NEW ORLEANS - While the Tulane University women's basketball team is just two games into the 2012-13 season, the Green Wave have added three student-athletes for next year as Paije Hall, Courtnie Latham and Leslie Vorpahl signed National Letters of Intent with the program on Wednesday, head coach Lisa Stockton announced on the first day of the NCAA's Early Signing Period.
At 6-2, Hall will bring size to the team from her forward position while Latham (5-9) and Vorpahl (5-5) are shooting and point guards, respectively. The three incoming freshmen will join the Tulane program next season when they are expected to join 10 returning letterwinners from the current squad.
"We are very excited about this outstanding recruiting class," Stockton said. "All three young ladies come from successful high school programs as well as strong summer teams. They are proven winners and excellent students. Their passion for basketball and excitement for the Tulane program are even more reasons for optimism for our future."
Hall, who is the No. 7 rated player in the Louisiana 2-13 Top 10 by BallnPrepGirls.com, is a familiar name to Green Wave fans as her father, Carl "Nickie" Hall, quarterbacked the Tulane football team to a pair of bowl games during his career from 1977-80 while her uncle, Charlie Hall, was an All-American defensive lineman who went on to play professionally with the Jacksonville Sharks of the old World Football League.
She comes to Tulane from St. Thomas More in Lafayette where she has helped the Cougars to a combined 56-5 overall record a pair of undefeated district titles and consecutive state championships. Hall helped guide St. Thomas More to a 26-2 record a 6-0 mark in District 4-5A play as a sophomore in 2010-11 and was instrumental in the Cougars' 30-2 showing with an 8-0 performance in District 5-4A action last year.
Hall claimed second-team all-district honors both seasons and averaged 15.0 points per game in district play a year ago. She also pulled down a career-high 22 rebounds in the Cougars' state semifinal win over Benton.
"Paije provides a strong inside presence and a toughness that will strengthen our defense," Stockton said. "Her athleticism and competitiveness will help her make the transition to the college game. It is always nice to keep the Tulane bloodlines going by adding another Hall to the Tulane roster."
Latham joins the Tulane team from Clear Spring High School in Houston where she is rated a three-star recruit, received a 90 scout grade and is tabbed the No. 44 shooting guard in the nation by ESPN.com. She has helped lead the Chargers to a combined 65-8 overall record the last two seasons with consecutive 14-0 5A Region III District 12 titles and back-to-back trips to the regional semifinals. She also ranks as the 42nd guard nationally by Dan Olson's Collegiate Girls Basketball Report and the 44th player in the state of Texas by Joey Simmons' Premiere Basketball Report.
As a junior last season, Latham was named to the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches 5A All-Region III and claimed second-team all-district honors after averaging 10.2 points and 3.7 rebounds per game while chipping in with 87 assists, 64 steals and 21 blocked shots. As a sophomore, she tallied 11.6 points and 3.7 rebounds per outing to go with 88 assists, 104 steals and seven blocks.
In addition to her prep career, Latham also played for Cy-Fair Nike Elite where she was named the No. 72 summer prospect in the 2013 Class by Carolina Scouting Report. Off the court, she was a Superintendent Scholar.
"Courtnie is a versatile skilled player who can play many positions," Stockton said. "Her size and athleticism make her valuable on both ends of the floor. "Courtnie plays with tremendous intensity and has a great upside to her game. I expect Courtnie to adapt quickly to the next level."
Vorpahl, meanwhile, signed with the Green Wave following two stellar seasons at Winston Churchill High in San Antonio where she has helped lead the team to a combined 43-16 record, including a 28-6 overall mark and an 11-1 showing in 5A Region IV District 26 play. As a junior last season, she averaged 15.1 points, 6.8 assists, 3.1 rebounds and 2.3 rebounds per game en route to earning Texas Association of Basketball Coaches All-State honors.
She claimed all-tournament honors at the Lone Star Tournament and was MVP of the Hays 5A Tournament of Champions. Vorpahl had seven double-digit assist contests a year ago, including a season-best 16 vs. East Central in the bi-district playoffs. She scored a career-best 30 points against Steele and had 20 second-half points - including six 3-pointers - to help her team rally from a 13-point first-half deficit to defeat top-ranked Reagan High, 52-47. For the season, she hit 45.8 percent of her field goals, including a 59-of-137 performance from beyond the 3-point arc.
As a sophomore, Vorpahl was named first-team TABC all-state, all-district and San Antonio Express-News All-Area while also garnering a spot on the Express-News' All-Super Team. She was tabbed the MVP of the NEISD Tournament after leading her team to the championship, and claimed all-tourney recognition at the Lone Star Tournament.
In addition to her prep career, Vorpahl has played for the San Antonio Heat select team since the fourth grade and often played up two to three years. She helped guide her team to the 17u Silver National Champions at the Michael T. White tournament in April 2009 and helped the club go 7-0 in the All-American Sports National Championship and 8-0 in the Prime Time Sports National Championship that same season.
"Leslie is a savvy guard with a high basketball IQ," Stockton added. "She has a great ability to find the open player while being a potent scoring threat. Leslie's enthusiasm and ability to lead her team are strong attributes for her position as a point guard."
The 2012-13 Green Wave return to action on Friday, Nov. 16, when they travel to Baton Rouge to take on Southern at 6 p.m. From there, Tulane will fly to Flagstaff, Ariz., for the NAU Thanksgiving Tournament from Nov. 23-24 before returning home on Nov. 28, when the Wave play host to Auburn. Tipoff for that game is slated for 7 p.m. and the contest will be broadcast on Cox Sports Television.
For tickets to that game, as well as future Green Wave events, contact the Tulane Athletics Ticket Office. The Ticket Office is located on the first floor of the Wilson Center on Ben Weiner Drive, and tickets can be purchased in person, over the phone at 504-861-WAVE (9283) or via the Internet at www.TulaneGreenWave.com.