BOULDER – Zoe Correal and Brecca Thomas have signed National Letters of Intent to play basketball and continue their education at the University of Colorado in 2014-15 head coach Linda Lappe announced on Wednesday, the first day of the NCAA’s early signing period.
“We are very excited about having Brecca and Zoe in the Buff family,” head coach Linda Lappe said. “They are great people first and foremost and will bring a lot of valuable skills to the University of Colorado both on and off the court. They have competed and won at a high level in their high school and club programs and have proven to be successful all around.”
Correal, a 6-foot, 4-inch center from El Cerrito, Calif., is gearing up for her senior season at Salesian High School a program where she has contributed to the last two NorCal Division IV titles.
“Zoe is a bona fide center who will get up and down the floor quickly and give us another big presence in the post,” Lappe said. “She has worked hard over her high school career and continues to get better each year.”
She averaged 9.4 points, 7.6 rebounds and 2.4 blocks as a junior, guiding the Pride to a 29-8 record, the NorCal title and runner-up finish at the 2013 CIF Division IV State Tournament.
“I’ll be ready to work,” Correal said. “I’ll give it all I have. I will bring my defense and will be working on my offensive game, getting ready for the bigs in the Pac-12 that can shoot. I’m excited to show everyone what I’ve got.”
Correal was named to the 2012-13 Cal-Hi Sports Division IV All-State Second Team. As a sophomore in 2011-12, she averaged 3.5 points and 4.0 rebounds on a 31-5 squad which also advanced to the Division IV state finals. Rated as the No. 46 post player in the nation by ESPN HoopGurlz, Correal also played for the CA Ballaz club program. She’s interested in pursuing psychology as a major.
“I’m really excited to get to Colorado,” Correal said. “(On my visit) I went to a psychology class with (current senior Rachel Hargis), it was an advanced class so I didn’t quite understand it, but knew I could do this. Everything is beautiful out there, the brick buildings on campus, and the mountains took me off guard, how pretty it was out there.”
Thomas, a 5-5 point guard from Houston, is entering her senior season at the Kinkaid School, a winning program in its own right. She has scored nearly 1,700 points and dished out over 400 assists in three years for the Falcons who have won back-to-back Southwest Preparatory Conference Division I titles.
“Brecca is going to be an exciting player as she plays with a lot of heart and energy,” Lappe said. “She will help us in the guard position as she has a tremendous skill set and is truly a triple threat player.”
A three-time All-SPC Division I selection, Thomas averaged 20.6 points, 5.5 assists and 3.5 steals as a junior, leading the Falcons to a 28-5 record. She hit 47 percent from the field (247-of-528) and was even more accurate from 3-point range, shooting 51 percent (72-of-141).
“Brecca is such a student of the game,” Kinkaid head coach Stacey Marshall said. “Both off the court and with her practice habits, she has an incredible skill set…kind of a once in a lifetime player.”
Thomas averaged 17.3 points, 4.2 steals and 3.8 assists as a sophomore as the Falcons finished 31-3, setting a school record for wins and claiming their first of two straight SPC crowns. She hopes to bring leadership as a point guard and a fast pace to her new teammates next year, who she’s already connected with.
“Everyone is so friendly and (Colorado) is a nice atmosphere,” Thomas said on her visit this past October. “It’s a great group of girls and coaching staff. I feel safe with them. And in academics my planned major (marketing), Colorado is a good school, so I really liked that.”
Colorado, ranked No. 17 in the latest Associated Press Top 25 Poll, will host Alcorn State in its home opener on Friday, Nov. 15, at 7 p.m. at the Coors Events Center.