UF roundup: Women's hoops signs standout

Published: Wednesday, November 14, 2012 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, November 15, 2012 at 12:28 a.m.

Ronni Williams, the top-ranked basketball recruiting prospect in the state of Florida, officially signed a national letter of intent with Florida, Gator head coach Amanda Butler announced Wednesday.

A three-time Daytona Beach News-Journal Player of the Year selection, Williams is ranked as the No. 13 best player in the country on ESPN’s Class of 2013 national recruiting list. Williams also was recognized by ESPN HoopGurlz Super 60 rankings as the second-best wing-position player in the 2013 recruiting class.

Williams, a 6-foot-2 forward from Daytona Beach, is the highest-ranked player ever to sign with the Gators and will begin her college career in the 2013-14 season.

“There is a long list of attributes of Ronni as a basketball player, starting with her competitiveness, how great she wants to be and how great she wants the Gators to be,” Butler said. “From purely a basketball skill standpoint, Ronni is a player who can excel at any position on the court. She’s a matchup nightmare for opposing defenses.

“Ronni has true versatility. When you see her play, you know that you’re watching a professional athlete. All of her talent is fueled by an intense competitive spirit and willingness to work.

“Ronni is the total package,” Butler continued. “She is the type of person we want in our program. She’s the kind of individual that our current team deserves as a teammate. Ronni is strong in her faith and convictions and understands the value of a good education and all of those factors are ultimately what led her to the Gators. Ronni is the type of big-time player that other big-time players will want to play with on the court.”

During her freshman year at Atlantic High School, Williams averaged 20.5 points and 13.5 rebounds and she has been stronger each year despite having a larger target and receiving more attention from the opposition. She averaged 21.9 points, 13.6 rebounds, 4.2 assists and 4.2 blocks her sophomore season and 20.1 points (636 total points), 10.8 rebounds, 2.9 steals and 2.6 blocks last year as a junior.

SOFTBALL: Head coach Tim Walton signed three future Gators in Delanie Gourley (Lakeside, Calif.), Chelsea Herndon (Carrollton, Texas) and Justine McLean (Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.) to national letters of intent Wednesday to kick off the fall signing period for UF. Gourley, Herndon and McLean are set to join the three-time SEC champion and four-time WCWS participant Gators on the field for the 2014 softball season.

"We are thrilled about Delanie, Chelsea and Justine being Gators," Walton said Wednesday. "This is such a dynamic class — when you look at what they've all been able to accomplish in their young careers, they are truly major impact players and they are winners."

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