Whalen hires new assistant coach; adds transfer and high school commit

The Gophers women’s basketball team made two additions public Thursday, one on the roster, one on the coaching staff:

  • Marwan Miller, who has spent the last six seasons as an assistant at Ohio University, has been hired by Gophers coach Lindsay Whalen.
  • Aminata Zie, a 6-2 forward who was born in West Africa but grew up in Paris and most recently played for Western Nebraska Community College, has transferred to the Gophers.

Later Thursday, Maple Grove guard Kennedy Klick tweeted her verbal commitment to be a part of the Gophers’ 2023 recruiting class.

Miller will fill the vacancy created when associate head coach Carly Thibault-DuDonis left her position to become head coach at Fairfield University earlier this year.

“Marwan will represent the University of Minnesota on and off the court with a vast knowledge of the game of basketball,” Whalen said in a release. “Marwan has helped develop several student-athletes who have earned numerous awards during his time at Ohio . He has experience coaching players to their fullest potential on both side of the court.”

In Miller’s six seasons as an Ohio assistant, the Bobcats finished with a record of 121-64, including one season with 30 wins and another with 26.

Miller helped coach Cece Hooks, one of the best players in Ohio program history, who was in Lynx training camp this spring.

“I am excited to be a part of this coaching staff and get to Minneapolis,” Miller said. “I’m so thrilled to get the chance to learn more about the game from a Hall of Famer. This position is truly a dream come true for me.”

Prior to his time at Ohio, Miller was the offensive coordinator at Saint Francis (Pa.) during the 2016-17 season, a team that averaged 74.5 points a game.

See first came to the United States to play for Stony Brook (New York). She missed the 2019-20 season following shoulder surgery before playing the 2020-21 season there. She then went to play junior college basketball for Western Nebraska for the 2021-22 season.

See led the NJCAA in field goal percentage (67.9) while averaging 9.2 points and 8.9 rebounds. Western Nebraska reached the Final Four of the NJCAA national tournament. She was named to the postseason all-South region team and the all-defensive team during the tournament run.

A strong, back-to-the basket player, See will give the Gophers much-needed depth in the post. With three years of eligibility remaining, she will have time to develop her game.

“Aminata will represent our program values ​​of being a great teammate, outworking opponents, being leaders on and off the court as well as being disciplined to the highest level,” Whalen said. “Her strength and skill will add to our front line. ”

Zie is the third player to transfer to the Gophers program this year, following Mi’Cole Cayton (from Nebraska) and Destinee Oberg (Arkansas).

The 6-0 Klick is a left-handed guard. Mark Cook, the girls’ coach at Maple Grove, said circumstances on the team had Klick playing point this past season. Klick averaged 12.1 points a game and led the team in assists (five) as Maple Grove lost in the state section championship game.

Klick’s national profile rose sharply after a strong showing while playing for North Tartan at the Boo Williams national AAU tournament in Virginia in April. “She has gotten the attention of a lot of people,” said Bill Larson, North Tartan’s director. Larson said Klick had offers from Loyola Marymount, Fresno State, Illinois and St. Thomas.

According to Cook, Klick will be just the second Maple Grove girls’ basketball player to play for a Big Ten Conference team. “This has been a dream of hers for a long time,” Cook said. “This has been really exciting for her.”

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