Home » Women’s Basketball Adds Three Signees to Class of 2024 – Kansas City Roos

Women’s Basketball Adds Three Signees to Class of 2024 – Kansas City Roos

Women’s Basketball Adds Three Signees to Class of 2024 – Kansas City Roos

KANSAS CITY – Kansas City Women’s Basketball and Head Coach Dionnah Jackson-Durrett announced the first three signings of their 2024 class with three transfers. The Roos will welcome Funmi Amode, Kaia Ponder and Nikole Thomas to campus next year, all with multiple years of eligibility left.

Funmi Amode | 6’0 | Forward | London, United Kingdom | City of London Academy | Salt Lake CC

2023-24 (Salt Lake CC): Appeared in 14 games …  Averaged 4.4 points per game on 58.1% shooting … Also pulled down 3.1 rebounds per game … Scored six points against Central Georgia Tech on Nov. 2 … Had 14 points and seven rebounds against All-Stars on Dec. 15 … Dropped near double-double of 16 points and nine rebounds against All-Stars on Jan. 18 … Went for seven points and 10 rebounds against Snow College on Feb. 29

2022-23 (Eastern Florida State): Made 21 appearances … Averaged 2.3 points and 2.2 rebounds per game … Scored five points at Miami Dade College on Nov. 8, shooting 1-of-1 from the field and 3-of-4 from the free-throw line … Dropped a season-high 10 points and pulled down four rebounds in win over St. Thomas JV on Nov. 27 … Scored five points in win at Hollsborough CC on Dec. 15

High School: Played for City of London Academy Southwark in Women’s Elite Academy Basketball League … Earned First Team honors in the Southern Conference … Two-time WEABL Champion … Averaged 15.7 points and 8.6 rebounds in 25.7 minutes per game … Playoff MVP … HoopsFix All-Star Selection … Coached by Jackson Gibbons and Brian Nguru

Personal: Born Dec. 18, 2002 in London to parents Moses and Elizabeth … Has three siblings: Agnes, Abigail and Fiyin … Favorite colors are purple and pink … Favorite musical artist is Wizkid … Can understand Yoruba language … Intends to major in business administration

Why Kansas City?: “I believe this program fits into God’s plan for me, the positive energy and sense of purpose I felt on my visit convinced me. I believe that being a part of this program is a crucial step in my journey, where I can be challenged both on the court and personally to grow and thrive, both as an athlete and as a young woman. I see this program as a platform where I can push myself to new heights, honing my skills on the court while also developing as a player and a person. I am eager to work closely with the coaches and my teammates, knowing that together we can make a significant impact. I’m just happy to bring a positive vibe and get to work!”

Kaia Ponder | 6’0 | Forward | Dallas, Texas | Richardson HS | Morgan State

2023-24 (Morgan State): Appeared in 29 games, starting in 10 … Averaged 4.6 points and 3.1 rebounds in 15.4 minutes per game … Started and posted double-double of 18 points and 10 rebounds, both season-highs, in season-opening win over Washington Adventist on Nov. 6 … Scored 10 points against Davidson on Nov. 18 … Went for 11 points and eight rebounds at Saint Francis on Dec. 2 … Scored 11 points at Stetson on Dec. 17 … Pulled down eight rebounds against South Carolina State on Mar. 2

2022-23 (Morgan State): Did not appear in a game

2021-22 (Morgan State): Appeared in 17 games, making two starts … Averaged 2.5 points and 3.4 rebounds per game … Made collegiate debut in Dec. 8 win over Loyola-Maryland … Scored seven points in Feb. 7 win over South Carolina State … Notched 10 points and seven rebounds against Howard on Feb. 19 … Went for 10 points and 10 rebounds in win over Delaware State on Feb. 26

High School: Played at Richardson HS, finishing her career with 1,302 points and 500 rebounds … Averaged 18.1 points and 8.4 rebounds as a senior … During senior year, was McDonalds All-American nominee, District 7-6A Offensive Player of the Year, RISD All-City MVP, team MVP, All-State Selection and District Champion … Averaged 16.7 points and 7.5 rebounds per game as a junior … During junior year was First Team All-District 6A and All-City Offensive Player of the Year … Named to All-Tournament team in Dallas Mavericks Fall Classic and Stephen Curry Underrated Tour finalist … Played club ball for Drive Nation, DFW Elite and Lady Jets – Coaches Jason Terry and Zoderick Green 

Personal: Born July 19, 2003 in Tulsa, Okla. to parents Willie Ponder and Tammy Hamilton … Father played football at SEMO and spent time in the NFL … Has five siblings: McKenzie, Willie, Willow, Emma and Columbus … Picked Kansas City ahead of Sam Houston and Queens University … Participated in Women’s Sports Foundation Mentorship Program … Named to Dean’s List each of first three years of college … Favorite TV show is The Family Business … Favorite food is seafood … Would like to live in Thailand … Intends to major in marketing

Why Kansas City?: “When I came on my official visit, the staff and players made me feel as if I had known them already. Everyone was welcoming and real about what UMKC had to offer. Coach Jackson and the staff made the effort to really understand what I was saying and looking for in my next home.”

Nikole Thomas | 5’9 | Point Guard | Pasco, Wash. | Kamiakin HS | Memphis 

2023-24 (Memphis): Appeared in six games, playing 13 total minutes … Made collegiate debut against Alabama State on Nov. 9 … Logged first career rebound and assist at Marquette on Nov. 29

High School: Attended Kamiakin HS, averaging 17 points, 7.8 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game … Was named All-State, All-Conference, Defensive Player of the Year and All-Defensive Team … Also participated in track … Played club ball for Northwest Blazers and Coach Steve Klees

Personal: Born Feb. 8, 2005 in Memphis, Tenn. to parents Nickolus and Cassandra Thomas … Has three siblings: Darreon, Cameron and Nick Jr. … All three siblings played collegiate football – Darreon at Eastern Washington, Cameron at Mississippi Valley and Nick Jr. at Missouri State … Member of National Honors Society … Honor Roll student in high school … Favorite Movie is Why Did I Get Married? … Favorite musical artist is Jill Scott … Would like to live in Costa Rica … Intends to major in health sciences 

Why Kansas City?: “I chose to play at Kansas City because the coaching staff and girls were so welcoming and treated me like family. Also, it was a great opportunity for me as a player to be successful, grow and develop my game while being around great people!”