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Tarter signs to play professionally in Romania

Jeff Birchfield • Jul 26, 2018 at 9:49 PM

Former Science Hill High School and East Tennessee State University women’s basketball star Tianna Tarter signed a professional contract on Thursday to continue her playing career in Romania.

Tarter, who announced the move with a Facebook post, led the Bucs with 17.7 points and 4.4 assists per game her senior season. The 5-foot-6 guard was a three-time All-Southern Conference selection.

She led the Southern Conference in scoring as a junior — recording a 19.3 average — and led ETSU to the title game of the conference tournament. She scored a career-high 39 points against Samford in the SoCon tournament quarterfinals, and during the regular season became the first ETSU player to win five SoCon player of the week awards.

Tarter was an all-freshman team and all-tournament selection in her first year. For her college career, Tarter finished with 16.5 points, 5.3 rebounds and 4.2 assists per game.

While those figures are impressive, both her college coach and high school coach applauded her play beyond the numbers.

“She steps up for those big moments. She understands when the team needs her,” ETSU coach Brittney Ezell said during the season. “She is so unselfish, so about the team. The bottom line is Tianna Tarter wants to win.”

Prior to college, Tarter was a three-time all-state selection at Science Hill High School, where she spurred the Lady Hilltoppers to a streak of 50 straight conference wins and 137 victories overall. She was a two-time Johnson City Press All-Northeast Tennessee Player of the Year, leading the area in scoring at 18.7 points per game her senior season.

She led Science Hill to two Class AAA state championship appearances and her teams lost only 10 games in four years.

Tarter’s high school coach Keith Turner agreed with Ezell about her being a talented yet unselfish player. He also praised her competitiveness.

“She has always wanted to make sure her teammates were involved,” said Turner, who added he was so happy for her. “There were many times she could have scored 40-50 points a game in high school, but she wanted to get everybody involved. She has such a desire to win. She hates to lose.”

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