Lady Sun Chiefs sign ball handler in Tanner guard


Tarrant High’s sub-par season in girls basketball may have helped Faulkner State Community College women’s basketball coach Linda Pitts pick up her latest recruit, point guard Desiree Dale.

A 5-foot-6 athlete and cousin to former Lay Sun Chief Tawanna Jones, Dale is “a good ball-handler, (but) we’ve got to get her in the weight room and get a little weight on her and get her a little stronger, but (she’s) got all the tools: quick and good ball-handler, good shooter, good penetrator … good speed. My only concern is her strength.

“Physically, she’s a little weak (and) she doesn’t come fom a great program, but she’s a very talented athlete,” Pitts said. “She was an honorable-mention All-Metro, and for Birmingham, that’s pretty good. She averaged 13 points a game, four assists and five steals. I’m looking at her as coming in and having a year to prepare (to be s a starter) since I’ve got two point guards coming back. Hopefully, she’ll get some playing time (as a freshman) and be able to come in and take over the reigns next year.”

Pitts said she was “glad to get” Dale since she had not signed any true point guards, adding, “I think she’s gonna help us out. Tarrant didn’t have a good record and I think that caused a lot of schools not to look at Desiree really close and gave us a better shot at signing her. She was the best player on her team and I think Bevill State talked to her and she went and tried out at Alabama State. She’s a smart kid, had a 24 on her ACT, so she could of gone four-year.

“That’s what I like, is a smart point guard,” Pitts, whose 2006-07 team finished 15-15 after losing in the first round of the Alabamqa Community College Conference/Region 22 tournament, said.

If Dale proves capable of running the offense as a freshman, Pitts said it would allow her to use Dale along with returning point guards Kala Smith of Jonesboro, Ga., and Markeisha Mitchell of Mobile as shooting guards plus Atmore’s Latoya Brown in a three-guard offense at times, which would also help the Lady Sun Chiefs’ running game.

“(Point guard is) gonna be a strength for me this year, because Keisha, Kala and Toya are all capable of running the point, so we ought be able to run a (fast) break more efficiently,” Pitts said. “Whoever’s closest to the outlet will get the pass, the other ones just fill the lane.”

Earlier signees for Pitts were Jackson High’s 5-8 Johnneshia L. Donaald and 5-10 forward/center Breanna Bester of Akron High School.