|Newlee gets first spring signee|
MOSCOW, Idaho - University of Idaho women's basketball coach Jon Newlee has secured the first piece of his spring signing class with the addition of Natalie Lainhart, a versatile 5-11 senior from Silverado High School in Las Vegas, Nev.
A Nevada 4A All-State and first-team all-region selection, Lainhart averaged 16.6 points and 13.7 rebounds, 3.6 assists and 1.8 steals per game per game her senior year in 2010-11, and shot 43 percent from the field.
"I just think she's the total package," Newlee said. "We're lucky to get a player of her caliber in the spring. She came up here and loved her visit, she loved the campus, she had a great time with our players and staff, and I just think she's just going to fit in great with the class we have coming in."
Lainhart had 16 double-doubles in 20 games as a senior, and finished her career ranked sixth all-time in the state of Nevada with 932 rebounds, and 13th with 1,266 points. Newlee said she is capable of playing both the 3 and 4 positions for Idaho.
"Her versatility of being able to play both the 3 and 4 spots is really going to fit in nicely with our philosophy from an offensive standpoint," Newlee said. "Her perimeter and guard skills have really improved over the last year alone. She's a great rebounder, she's very strong and real athletic. She can put it on the bounce and get to the rim, and she does a great job of finishing at the rim. So I think from an offensive standpoint that will be great. Defensively, she's strong enough to guard in the post, and athletic enough to get out on the perimeter and put some pressure on the 3 players."
Twice in 2010-11 Lainhart grabbed 26 rebounds in a game, and she finished her career with 38 double-figure rebounding games. The two-time basketball team captain also played volleyball and competed in track for Silverado high school. On the volleyball court, Lainhart was a team captain, and she helped her team win the 2009 Nevada state volleyball championship as a junior, and earned all-region honors as a senior. On the track, she competes in discuss, shot-put and 300-meter hurdles. Lainhart won the scholar-athlete award for the volleyball and basketball teams her senior year and was a Farmers Insurance/NIAA Top-10 Student-Athlete nominee.
"It's great to have such a quality student-athlete joining our program," Newlee said. "Natalie is not only a great addition on the basketball court, but she carries that hard work into the classroom as well."
Lainhart joins Idaho fall signee's Krissy Karr (Orange Lutheran/Orange, Calif.), Jenny Rocha (St. Dominic HS/O'Fallen, Mo.) and Tayler Weiks (Tumwater HS/Tumwater, Wash.) in Newlee's 2011 incoming class.