Sports Briefs: Late recruit lands final scholarship for 2008 basketball year

UK basketball head coach Billy Gillispie and his staff have reportedly received a verbal commitment from Donald Williams to accept the final scholarship available to the 2008-09 squad, according to

DeWayne Peevy, associate athletic director of UK media relations, declined to confirm or deny the commitment.

Williams, a 6-foot-4, 185-pound guard from Temple Hills Progressive Christian Academy (Md.), will help fill the void in Gillispie’s backcourt left by outgoing seniors Ramel Bradley and Joe Crawford and Derrick Jasper’s transfer. Before committing to UK, Williams received offers from Marquette, St. John’s, Alabama-Birmingham and New Orleans.

“He’ll be a good addition to this Kentucky team,” said Jerry Meyer, a recruiting analyst for “He’s a very physical player that can score the basketball well. He knows how to get separation from his defender and put it in the hole.”

NCAA rules prohibit coaches from commenting until a player signs a letter of intent.

Williams will join four other newcomers to the basketball program this upcoming season: freshmen guards Darius Miller and DeAndre Liggins, sophomore forward Josh Harrellson and junior guard/forward Kevin Galloway.

Former Cat Crawford signs NBA deal

Former UK basketball standout Joe Crawford has signed a deal with the Los Angeles Lakers. The reigning Western Conference champions drafted Crawford with the 58th overall pick in the 2008 NBA Draft.

Crawford, a Detroit native, started all six games for the Lakers summer league team in the Las Vegas League. Crawford averaged 11.3 points including shooting 45.5 percent from the three-point line. He added 2.7 rebounds and 1.3 assists in 32.7 minutes of play.

Per team policy, terms of the agreement were not released.

Snowden returns home to play for UK Hoops

UK women’s basketball head coach Matthew Mitchell announced Keyla Snowden has transferred from Akron University to UK.

Snowden, a former Lexington Catholic star, thrived in her first season for the Zips, averaging 14.2 points per game. The 5-foot-7 shooting guard was named to the Mid-American Conference All-Freshman team last season and also set the school record with 91 three-pointers in a season.

At Lexington Catholic, Snowden helped lead the Knights to two state championships and three state title games. She was named the Sweet Sixteen State Tournament Most Valuable Player in 2006.

Mitchell also announced Sarah Rowe, from Mt. Vernon, Ky., will walk on this season. Rowe, who was an all-state performer at Rockcastle County High School, averaged 21.2 points per game during her senior year and was named the 12th Region Most Valuable Player.

Due to NCAA transfer rules, Snowden will have to sit out the 2008-09 season, but will still have three years of eligibility.