AUSTIN, Texas -- Destinee Hooker, a three-sport star from San Antonio, has signed The University of Texas' financial aid offer and will enroll at UT in January of 2006 to begin training and competing with the Longhorns' volleyball team. She will also compete in the high jump for UT's defending national championship women's track and field team.
Hooker, who is the eighth-ranked volleyball recruit in the country by prepvolleyball.com, has accelerated her studies at Southwest High School and will enroll at Texas as a freshman in January. Standing 6-5, Hooker is expected to play outside hitter or right side hitter for the Longhorns. Hooker did not play club volleyball as she was also a standout basketball player at Southwest.
"We are excited to have another world-class athlete join our program," Texas volleyball head coach Jerritt Elliott said. "Destinee is virtually unknown in the volleyball community and we are looking forward to showcasing her high level of volleyball ability next year. With some experience, she will have the ability to dominate the college game as she develops. Destinee was asked to participate in USA Volleyball's summer programs in each of the last two years and she touched 10-6 at the USA tryout last April in Austin. She has national team potential."
Hooker is the younger sister of Marshevet Hooker, the Longhorns' junior sprinter who captured national titles in the 100 meters and 4x100 meter relays and finished second in the long jump at the 2005 NCAA Championships while leading head coach Bev Kearney's Longhorns to their fifth NCAA team title. For her efforts, Marshevet was named 2005 United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association Women's Athlete of the Year.
Destinee set the San Antonio record for high school high jump with her leap of 6-feet, _ inch last spring, as she also set the girls record in the high jump at the 2005 Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays.
Destinee's signing continues a long history of volleyball-track and field duel athletes at Texas. Most recently, Erin Aldrich was a 1999 All-American in volleyball while also capturing four national titles in high jump before heading on to the 2000 Olympics to compete in the high jump. She later trained with the U.S. National Volleyball Team.
Additionally, Sharon Neugebauer was a 1984 Volleyball Magazine All-American before gaining All-America accolades with the Horns' 4x800 meter relay team at the 1982 national championships. At the same event, JoBeth Palmer claimed All-American honors in the discus while also earning a pair of Volleyball Magazine All-America honors (1982 and 1983).
The 10th-ranked Longhorns return to action on Wednesday, Nov. 16, when they host Texas Tech at Gregory Gym at 6:30 p.m.