USM men’s, women’s basketball announce new signees

Published 9:52 am Friday, July 8, 2016

HATTIESBURG —  Southern Miss women’s basketball coach Joye Lee-McNelis announced the signing of transfer Amber Landing from the University of Arkansas Little Rock Thursday.

Landing, a 6-foot-3 forward from Sharon, saw limited action her freshman year for the Trojans. She appeared in eight games and made one start for the program.

“We are excited to have Amber join our Lady Eagle family,” said McNelis. “We recruited Amber out of high school and felt like she could help our program. Amber has good size with length we need to help us inside. She possesses an uncanny ability to block shots.”

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Landing played high school basketball for five seasons at Madison-Ridgeland Academy as a forward and center. She is no stranger to success as she won four consecutive Mississippi Division 1 state championships in high school. She received All-State and All-Division honors along with making the All-State Tournament team multiple times.

She averaged 13.5 points, eight rebounds and six blocks per game through her junior year.

“Every opportunity gives one an opportunity to grow,” said Landing. “I learned much from UALR and I know I will make a giant leap in learning from Coach McNelis and her staff. Thanks to Coach McNelis and her staff for allowing me to be apart of The Lady Eagle Family.”

Along with success on the court, Landing excelled in the classroom graduating high school with honors, a 4.17 grade point average, and membership in the National Honor Society. She is a biology major and plans to go to medical school.

On the men’s side the Golden Eagles also landed what they hope could be a future star.

Southern Miss men’s basketball coach Doc Sadler announced Wednesday afternoon the signing of three-star forward Josh Conley for the 2016-17 season.

The 6-foot-7, 185-pound Inglewood, Calif., product played last season at the LaGrange (Ga.) Sound Doctrine Academy and graduated from Inglewood High School in 2015.

“We are happy to have Josh join our program,” said Sadler. “He really excels on the defensive end, while on offense he is a great passer and is very capable of knocking down the open jumper.”

Conley played for Coach Pat Roy at Inglewood High School, where his team finished his senior campaign with a 17-11 record.

“It had the right home environment for me, from the coaches to the players,” said Conley. “Not just that I could advance in basketball, but also leave the school with people I can have with me for life.”

During his time at Southern Miss, Conley plans to study sports medicine.

“Growing up around basketball, I made friends with trainers, and in my eyes, it’s a way to stay connected with sports and keep yourself healthy while playing,” Conley said. “I have always found it interesting and looked up to the trainers I had.”

Conley is the second signee of 2016-17 for the Golden Eagles, joining guard Marcus Cooper (Van Nuys, Calif.).