By Mark Schremmer
Globe Sports Writer
Mount Vernon’s Tamiaya Henderson knows what it takes to win as she helped the Mountaineers to state titles her junior and freshman seasons.
That winning background is one of the reasons Pittsburg State women’s basketball coach Lane Lord wanted Henderson in the Gorillas’ program.
Henderson signed her letter of intent on Wednesday morning to continue her basketball career at the NCAA Division II level.
“For our program, we’re trying to recruit players who know how to win,” Lord said. “It’s good to have players who have tasted success. We want to create that winning atmosphere.”
Henderson, a 5-foot-11 forward, captured all-state and all-Big 8 Conference honors with the Mountaineers.
She said she also considered the College of the Ozarks and Benedictine, but there were several factors that led her to Pittsburg State.
“They have good chemistry on the team,” Henderson said. “Their elementary education program looked really good when I visited there. Coach Lord seems like he really cares about his players. So it all really hit it off with me.”
Henderson’s athleticism and large wingspan should help her transition to the MIAA.
“She will just adjust to speed of the game well because of her athleticism,” Lord said. “She can play the 3-spot. She’s very athletic and long. She’s a very good passer. She understands the game. Her best basketball is ahead of her.”
Henderson said she thinks defense is the best part of her game and that she will continue to work on her ballhandling and perimeter skills after playing post her first three seasons at Mount Vernon.
“She’s got a great wingspan,” Lord said. “She will be able to guard (guards and forwards) in our league. When posts are in foul trouble, she will be able to come in and play there. We’re just excited to have her here.”
The Gorillas went 17-10 last season and 11-7 in the MIAA.