GOODMAN --- Sophomore center Nina Carpenter of Las Vegas, Nev. has inked a national letter of intent to play basketball for the California State University at Bakersfield Roadrunners next season.
Through six games, 6'4 Carpenter is averaging a double-double with 11.2 points per game and 11 rebounds. She also has 18 blocks on the season. As a freshman at Holmes, she averaged 5.1 points per game and 6.4 rebounds.
CSUB is 3-3 so far on the season and were 15-14 last season playing in the Western Athletic Conference. The Roadrunners also have former Holmes' point guard Aja Williams on the team as a senior.
"It's very exciting I can say," Carpenter said. "I've been waiting on this for a long time. They've been watching me since high school, and they have been keeping contact."
Carpenter said her size pays off for her, but she has put in the work to make herself better this season. "I've been working on foot work and moving the ball a little more and having a little more discipline and staying focused. I can do a lot more moves than I did last year and putting the ball in the hole because I didn't score that much last year."
To get the Lady Bulldogs back in postseason play, Carpenter said the team needs more focus. "We are doing pretty good team wise," she said. "We are bonding this year and getting along on the court. I feel the season is in our hands. We have a lot of talent."
Holmes Head Coach Jamilah Andrews, Assistant Coach LaTaryl Williams and her teammates are proud for Carpenter. "It means a lot to us as coaches because we always have our players' best interest at heart," Andrews said, "I hope it means a lot to her. I know it does. She's always talked about Bakersfield and going back so this is really fun to see."
Andrews said Carpenter has matured a great deal since last season. "She's more coachable this year," she said. "Last year a couple of times we tried to talk to her about some things to critique her, but she didn't know how to take constructive criticism, but this year, it has improved. Nina's footwork has improved. She runs the floor like a deer, and she finishes a lot better around the rim this year.
"To add to her offensive game, her defense has come along as well. She's not fouling as much, but we would like her to limit her fouls. She's doing a better job of having body control on the defensive end, and she's also doing a better job of blocking shots and rebounding."
To have Carpenter join CSUB after Williams is done is exciting, Andrews said. "They have a really good coaching staff there," Andrews said. "We are really excited that's she going to going to a great program, and she's going to be taught. We are excited to see what the future holds for her."