PISCATAWAY, N.J. – Forward/Center Monique Oliver Monique Oliver will suit up for Rutgers University beginning in the fall of 2009, Rutgers head coach C. Vivian Stringer has announced.
“She is one of the hardest working, most intense players I have ever encountered. I compare my (present) feelings to those I had with (the signing of former Scarlet Knight) Chelsea Newton,” Stringer said. “Monique has tremendous talent, a great aptitude for the game, wonderful flexibility and a thirst for knowledge. I have no doubt she will inspire me and our team each day.”
“I am ready for a new experience,” Oliver said. “I am excited to be coming to the East Coast and joining the Rutgers family.”
Oliver, a 6-3 post player, averaged 11.5 points, 9.2 rebounds, 2.4 blocked shots and 2.0 assists per game as a senior at Long Beach (Calif.) Poly High School. She was the No. 6 ranked prospect, according to ESPN’s HoopGurlz, in the 2009 class.
This past spring, the McDonald’s All-American led the Jackrabbits – with a 32-3 record - to their fourth consecutive California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) State Division I championship and No. 23 national ranking by USA Today. Oliver is a four-time Street & Smith selection, earning first team honors the past two seasons. In addition, she grabbed all-CIF honors the last two years and was the Moore League MVP following her senior season.
Prior to Poly, Oliver played two years at Cheyenne High School North Las Vegas, Nev. She was an all-state honoree and set a school record as a sophomore with 47 points and 28 rebounds in a single game. Oliver played club ball for West Coast Premier. The Long Beach, Calif. product participated in the Nike Regional Skills Academy and was invited to the USA Basketball U18 Team Trials last summer.
Oliver, who originally committed to USC but was granted a release after a coaching change, will join her brother Melvyn on the East Coast. The 6-11 center is a rising sophomore at Seton Hall University.