SAN ANTONIO — UTSA head coach Karen Aston has officially inked three student-athletes for the 2023-24 recruiting class as Mia Hammonds, Taylor Ross, and Damara Allen all join in the early signing period.
“What a great day to be a Roadrunner!” said Aston on signing day. “I am so thrilled with this signing class. I can't thank my staff for their tireless work and commitment to bringing in players that will blend in with our culture and make us a better program. Also, a huge thanks to our current players. They are the ones that sell our program the best!”
Mia Hammonds | 6-3 | G | Cibolo, Texas | Steele High School
Steele HS Head Jefferey Chatman on Hammonds:
“As a coach, you sometimes have a once-in-a-generation type player that comes through your program, that embodies everything you want in a player. They seem to master on the court and off the court. Steele High School has had a few. One of them is already a Roadrunner and Mia Hammonds will join her in this unique club. Mia Hammonds is an amazing talent; she can literally do it all! More importantly, Mia is a leader who makes everyone around her better … on the court, also! Mia has the ability to break records and be a part of furthering the build of making UTSA a staple in college women's basketball! Know the name … Mia Hammonds!”
A four-year letter winner at Cibolo Steele High School, Hammonds joins the squad after a quarter of stellar seasons with the Knights that saw her collect a wealth of accolades. She was named second-team All-District 27-6A as a sophomore before earning District MVP honors as a junior. She was a 2022-23 San Antonio Express-News 6A All-Area Super Tea selected and a TABC All-Regional team member. With Hammonds' aid, Cibolo reached the 2021-22 Regional Quarterfinals and was crowned the 2022-23 Area Champions. Additionally, Hammonds clubbed at San Antonio Finest under coach Ray Caldwell.
Hammonds intends to study mass communications at UTSA with the goal of becoming a broadcaster. She is the daughter of Channell and Donnell Hammonds and has two siblings, Nasir and Donnielle. Donnell played basketball collegiately for Virginia Wesleyan and Nasir for D'Youville.
Head Coach Karen Aston on Hammonds:
“Mia Hammonds is a special talent that will bring versatility and length to our perimeter. With the loss of Kyra and Hailey in the backcourt, it was imperative that we sign impact wings with size, and Mia fits that mold. She has a high expectation of winning. Coming from Steele and SA Finest, she has done nothing but win, and will help us continue to build that mindset. I love what she brings immediately but also what the future holds for her. I believe Mia will make her mark here at UTSA and I am so excited she and her wonderful family chose to continue her academic and basketball career here at UTSA.”
Taylor Ross | 6-1 | F | San Antonio, Texas | Brennan High School
Brennan Head Coach Jackie Contreras on Ross:
“I am incredibly proud of Taylor Ross's achievements throughout her high school career. I'm thrilled that she has chosen to continue her education and basketball journey at UTSA while staying in our city. Having one of our own represent UTSA will be an inspiration to aspiring young basketball players in our community. Taylor is a selfless, fearless, emotionally driven individual who eagerly embraces challenges. Her unwavering commitment to hard work and her 'rise to any occasion' attitude will undoubtedly distinguish her from her competitors. Taylor is destined to become a standout player at UTSA; contributing significantly to their outstanding program and making a substantial impact at the collegiate level. Brennan High School and the entire San Antonio community eagerly anticipate a championship season with Taylor leading the way. Go Roadrunners!
A 6-1 forward from San Antonio, Texas, Ross has been dominant for Brennan High School, helping the squad to back-to-back District 29-6A Championships across the 2021-22 and 2022-23 campaigns. She was named the 2020-21 Newcomer of the Year and the 2021-22 Defensive Player of the Year. Ross has been selected to multiple All-District Teams, was a 2021-22 All-Area pick, and an All-Region selection.
Ross intends to study Kinesiology at UTSA and plans on becoming a coach. She is the daughter of Regina Taylor and Earnest Ross, and is the sister of Tylar Ross, Jamel Ross, and Earnest Ross Jr, who played basketball collegiately at Missouri.
Head Coach Karen Aston on Ross:
“In keeping with the theme of local players that are used to winning, Taylor Ross will be an exciting player here in Roadrunner Country. She comes from a winning pedigree at Brennan and SA Finest and understands what the day-to-day work looks like on winning teams. She brings versatility and the ability to stretch the floor at the forward spot. Taylor has tremendous upside and I am so excited to welcome her and her mother to the family.”
Damara Allen | 5-10 | G | Aurora, Colo. | Cherokee Trail High School |
Cherokee Trail Head Coach Tammi Statewright on Allen:
“Damara Allen is an exceptional athlete who possesses a wide range of skills on the basketball court. Her versatility and competitiveness make her a tough assignment for any opponent. As a guard, she has the ability to score from anywhere on the court, whether it be driving to the basket or shooting from beyond the arc. Damara's athleticism allows her to excel on both offense and defense. She has quick feet and great lateral movement, making it difficult for opponents to get past her. Additionally, her strong, defensive instincts enable her to disrupt passing lanes and create turnovers. Her addition to a strong University of Texas at San Antonio program is highly anticipated. With Damara's skills and determination, she will undoubtedly make a significant impact on the team. Her ability to contribute in multiple facets of the game will provide versatility and depth to their roster. We at Cherokee Trail look forward to seeing her play and excel at the next level and have loved being a part of her growth and journey.”
Allen heads to UTSA by way of Aurora, Colorado, where she attended Cherokee Trail High School and earned multiple all-conference accolades and an all-state nod. Allen was a second-team All-State selection, a Biokats Top-20 All-Star her junior year, and an All-Centenial Conference pick her sophomore and junior seasons. Allen helped the Cougars to the Sweet 16 in her junior year, and the team was crowned champions of the UNC Tournament. A multi-sport athlete, Allen was a two-time regional qualifier in the long jump. Additionally, she is a member of the Black Student Alliance and clubbed with Hardwood Elite, where she won the 2023 Adidas National 17u Championship.
She plans on studying photography and business at UTSA with the goal of becoming a professional sports photographer. Allen is the daughter of Michelle and Devaron Allen, and the sister of Devon Allen. Her father, Devaron, played basketball collegiately for Ohio Wesleyan.
Head Coach Karen Aston on Allen:
“Last, but certainly not least, Damara Allen is a very exciting addition to our program.
Another versatile wing with size that completely fits our style of play and will impact our team immensely. She loves to WIN, and has been doing it all of her life. Bringing in this type of young lady that is committed to excellence on and off the court only strengthens our team's mindset. I am so excited to see her flourish in our system and to welcome her and her family.”
Head Coach Karen Aston on the 2023-24 recruiting class:
“I am proud that we are garnering the attention of players that come from the Best Club and High School programs in the country. It says a lot about the trajectory of our program. Again, today is a great day to be a Roadrunner!”