NEW YORK – Columbia head women’s basketball coach Paul Nixon and his staff have announced that three student-athletes will join the Lions for the 2012-12 season. Sara Mead, Bailey Ott and Kayla Patton will join the Columbia women’s basketball team in the fall. 

"We are pleased to be adding three outstanding student-athletes to our women's basketball program,” Nixon said. “These three young women will add depth to our team at every position one through four. They all had the opportunity to go to other high level programs, but Columbia is where they want to be.  They possess the athleticism, the skill sets and the intangibles to excel in our system, and we can't wait to see them on the court!"

Mead comes to Columbia as a three-year captain at Millbrook High School in Winchester, Va. The 5’7” point guard helped lead a squad that set VHSL state records with 80 consecutive wins and three consecutive state titles, including a 30-0 record in her senior season.  Mead was named first-team All-State and All-Region in 2012, and plans to major in biochemistry. 

Nixon on Sara Mead - "Sara is an outstanding point guard who is a proven winner.  She led her team to multiple state records in Virginia and back-to-back-to-back championships.  Her strengths are pushing the ball in transition and applying pressure defense which will fit in perfectly with our system."

Ott joins the Lions from Pompton Lakes High School in New Jersey. A standout in both basketball and cross country/track & field, Ott reached the 1,000 point mark in her junior season. The 5’11” forward finished her career with 1,474 total points. 

Nixon on Bailey Ott - "Bailey is one of the most versatile players we have recruited in several years. She is big and strong enough to play on the inside but also athletic enough to do well on the perimeter. Her skill set has continued to improve because of her outstanding work ethic, and we are excited about the depth she will add to our team at multiple positions."

Patton is a 5’10” shooting guard from Fountain Hills High School in Arizona. Also a two-sport standout, she holds two school records in track, and is a seven time letterwinner. She was team captain her junior and senior season, and averaged 21.3 points per game in 2010-11.

Nixon on Kayla Patton - "Kayla is an athletic wing player with a picture perfect jump shot.  She can score in a variety of ways, but she also has the ability to help us on defense and on the offensive boards.  She is an aggressive competitor and her tenacious attitude will mesh well with many of our returning players."