The Seton Hall women’s basketball team announced three signings for the 2017-18 season, the last coming on Wednesday afternoon.
The Pirates welcomed Nicole Jimenez, Inja Butina and Donnaizha Fountain into the fold, the program announced.
Jimenez is a junior college guard from Miami and she will be immediately eligible following her graduation from Broward College. She will have two years to play for the Pirates.
Standing at 5-foot, 3-inches, Jimenez has often been overlooked due to her size, but head coach Tony Bozzella thinks she can make an instant impact upon her arrival in South Orange.
“Cole is an example of a player that may be overlooked because of their size but has consistently shown throughout her career that she is not to be taken lightly as a scorer or a defender,” Bozzella said in a press release. “We are looking forward to the competition that she will bring to our guard position and think that she has the ability to be a star on both ends of the floor right away.”
Butina, a product of Croatia, comes over from Hutchinson Community College in Kansas, where she led the Blue Dragons to a 33-2 record and the No. 4 seed in the NJCAA Tournament last season. Like Jimenez, Butina will come in with two years to play.
The 5-foot, 9-inch sharpshooter hit 40.2 percent from three a year ago and was among the top four in total assists in the NJCAA as a freshman and sophomore. She has also played for the Croatian national team at the U16 and U18 levels.
“There’s a belief around the game that players coming from Europe are more fundamentally sound and Inja would certainly fit that mold,” Bozzella said. “Her ability as both a floor general and a scorer will be apparent once she steps on the court as a Pirate.”
Fountain comes over from Temple as a graduate transfer, meaning that she will only be at Bozzella’s side for the 2017-18 campaign.
The 6-foot wing was an all-conference selection one year ago in the American Athletic Conference, averaging 12.0 points and 7.1 rebounds per game over two seasons at Temple University. Fountain has some experience playing against Big East competition, going for a double-double in games against Villanova and DePaul last season.
“Players of Donnaizha’s caliber don’t become available very often and we are extremely blessed that she is choosing to conclude what has already been a tremendous career here at Seton Hall,” Bozzella said. “Her ability to score both inside and outside, rebound and defend will immediately make her an impact player in our league.”
Jimenez, Butina and Fountain join incoming freshmen Kimi Evans and Selena Philoxy in the incoming 2017-18 class, a group that is considered to be the best in the Big East and top-50 nationally.
Tyler Calvaruso can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @tyler_calvaruso.