Danielle Rainey

Danielle Rainey has signed to play basketball at the University of Mount Olive.

Catawba Valley Community College sophomore guard Danielle Rainey has signed to continue her academic and athletic career at the University of Mount Olive.

“It’s a blessing to go on to the next level to continue to play,” Rainey said. “I am thankful to have gotten the opportunity to play from (Mount Olive) coach (Wendy) Lee. I think it’s going to be a great opportunity and a great program. I am just excited about it.”

Rainey averaged 6.6 points, 3.1 rebounds and 1.7 assists per game this past season for the Red Hawks, helping the program finish 24-6 overall and 17-3 in Region 10 play — winning its second-ever regular-season conference championship in program history.

“We worked hard all season,” Rainey said of her team’s success this past winter. “To end up where we did was amazing. At the beginning, no one would have thought we would have gone as far as we did. Just to be able to be a part of that — it’s history. We broke so many records academically, and then athletically we came out as champions. It’s great feeling to know we’ve left our mark here.”

Also excelling in the classroom, Rainey was one of seven Red Hawk women’s basketball players who were named to the Region X All-Academic team, which is comprised of student-athletes who attain a 3.7 GPA after one semester of academic coursework or a 3.6 GPA with two or more semesters.

“Dani came in and put the work in,” said CVCC women’s basketball head coach Tisha England. “She worked hard academically to get her credits where they needed to be. Once she got on track academically wise, I knew it was going to come naturally basketball wise. I am proud of Dani.”

Rainey is the second Red Hawk to sign with Mount Olive, joining teammate Sherry Johnson.

England believes both athletes will excel by being together at a new school.

“It feels good to have someone you know and a familiar face with you,” England said. “There is someone you have a lot of great memories with, and you can create new memories with a new team. I’m looking forward to seeing and hearing great things from both ladies.”

Rainey, Johnson and teammate Milequa Eason, who has signed with Saint Augustine’s University, are the three members of the 2018-19 CVCC women’s basketball team who have signed so far to play and study at four-year institutions this fall.

Being at Catawba Valley Community College and playing for England and assistant coach Tyra Carver has resulted in life-changing experiences for Rainey.

“Being a part of this program was probably one of the best decisions I’ve made in my life,” Rainey said. “I’ve grown so much as a person and as a player. It’s amazing to have been here. Every day coach England wants nothing, but the best from us academically and athletically. She wants us to be better every day. I can’t do anything but appreciate that.”

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