Arnika Brown Leaves UK Hoops Team
University of Kentucky freshman Arnika Brown has left the women’s basketball program and plans to enroll at St. Catharine’s College in Bardstown, Ky., Coach Mickie DeMoss announced Monday.
Brown, a native of Hopkinsville, Ky., enrolled in UK’s summer school in late June, but decided to discuss the junior college route with DeMoss.
“Arnika expressed concerns to me that she would like to try a smaller environment and get a better feel for academics,” DeMoss said. “I understand that a big-time college program isn’t for everyone. It’s challenging mentally and physically. I support her decision and wish her the best at St. Catharine’s. We’ll do whatever we can to help Arnika succeed as a student-athlete.”
Brown, a 6-2 power forward, was named Kentucky Miss Basketball after leading Christian County High School to a 164-21 record since she slid into a starting role in the eighth grade. She was named The Associated Press 2006 Player of the Year after leading the Lady Colonels to a 25-4 overall mark and averaging 25.5 points and 12.3 rebounds per game. She ended her prep career as Christian County's all-time leading scorer under Coach Don Dillard and she was a three-time first-team All-State selection. She also helped lead Christian Co. to three state tournament appearances.
The Wildcats have their sights set on the upcoming 2006-07 season as all but one senior, Stephanie Stumbo, returns. UK also welcomes prep standouts Lydia Watkins (Hopkinsville, Ky.), Brittany Edelen (Springfield, Ky.), and Amani Franklin (Decatur, Ga.). The Cats are coming off an incredible season of “firsts” that included the most wins (22) since 1989-90, the most conference wins in school history (nine), the highest conference finish (fourth) in 23 years, an appearance in the SEC Tournament semifinals for the first time in seven years, and UK’s first bid in the NCAA Tournament in seven years with its highest seed (fifth) since 1983.