COOKEVILLE -- The Tennessee Tech women's basketball team didn't have to travel far down I-40 to find one of the best players that Tennessee high school girls basketball has to offer. Jennifer Sullivan, a 5-8 guard from Knoxville, made it official on Monday night as she signed a National Letter of Intent to play for the Golden Eagles. She joins 5-9 guard Cayla Cowart as Tech's second signee of the early signing period.
Sullivan has been making a name for herself since she started playing at The King's Academy in the 8th grade. Now, a senior leader for a Bearden High School, she will spend one final season prepping under Bearden coach Justin Underwood before bringing her talents to Cookeville.
"Jenn was one of the mostly highly-sought after recruits in the state the last few years," Rosamond said. "She is a winner and just an exceptional talent that you don't find every day. She loves the game, is a gym rat and thrives on competing at the highest level. When her travel team coach, Craig Campos (East Tennessee Air Thunder), brought her to campus in 8th grade, we knew she was special."
As a junior, Sullivan helped lead her Bearden team to one of the best seasons in school history, and she enters her senior season with an impressive resume.
During her first two seasons of high school basketball at The King's Academy, Sullivan was a scoring machine. She averaged 25 points a game as a freshman, topping 1,000 points in her first year, then averaged 17 points as a sophomore en route to becoming TKA's all-time leading scorer. As a freshman, she also averaged five rebounds and five assists a game, following up with seven rebounds and five assists a game as a sophomore.
Her freshman year, TKA reached the Division II-A state tournament, falling in the opening round to Northpoint Christian.
In her sophomore season, TKA defeated Knoxville Webb for the District I and East Region titles, then reached the Division II-A state championship game, falling 61-54 in the final to Trinity Christian. The Lady Lions were 26-7 overall, 12-0 in D-II District I.
Entering her junior year, Sullivan transferred to now Class 4A Bearden. There she averaged 12 points, five rebounds and five assists in the TSSAA's top classification, helping lead the Lady Bulldogs to championships in District 4-AAA and Region 2-AAA and and advancing to the state tournament. With her effort, Bearden finished 14-0 in District 4-AAA and 30-2 overall, including an impressive 22-game winning streak.
Sullivan has raked in the awards over her career, collecting four all-district and four all-region nods. Her sophomore season, she was named all-state as well as district and region MVP.
"Jenn is a dynamic 3-level scorer," Rosamond said. "She is deadly from 3, can hit the midrange, and finishes extremely well at the rim. She is fierce and passionate on the floor, and her energy is contagious. Above her accolades on the court, she is an incredible young woman. Golden Eagle fans will love watching her the next four years."
The daughter of Larry and Angela Sullivan, Jennifer has also excelled in the classroom as she has been named to the National Honor Society all three years of her high school career.
SULLIVAN ON CHOOSING TENNESSEE TECH:
"Ever since my first visit at Tennessee Tech in 8th grade, I knew it was such a special program, Sullivan expressed. Throughout my recruiting process, I built close relationships with the coaches and once I met the team it made my decision easy. I chose Tennessee Tech because it felt like a second home."