The UAM women’s basketball team coaching staff for the upcoming season has named finalized, Coach Markell Cox announced Tuesday.
Cox added two assistants, Zachary Exume and LaQuita Rucker. Exume comes to UAM from Purcell Marian High School in Cincinnati, Ohio. Rucker is an Arkansas native from Gould.
“I am extremely pleased with the additions to our women’s basketball staff here at UAM,” Cox said. “Coach Exume and Coach Rucker will help take our program to the next level by bringing a wealth of knowledge as well as experience to a program that is trending in the right direction.”
Exume led Purcell Marian High School Girl’s Basketball team to a 21-win season. The team advanced to the regional championship game.
Prior to coaching at Purcell Marian, Exume was assistant coach at Cincinnati Christian University from 2017 to 2019. At CCU, he was responsible for scheduling, fundraising, recruiting, scouting, strength and conditioning, film exchange, film breakdowns, organizing volunteer opportunities and scheduling team meals.
Exume played a key role in turning the program around at CCU recruiting over 30 players to CCU and aiding the program in winning 10 conference games, the most in school history. CCU qualified for the River States Conference tournament for the first time in 10 years during the 2018-2019 season.
He also played a crucial part in the development of players. McKenzie Tolson finished shooting 38 percent from three-point range and broke CCU’s school record for most three-pointers made in a season. The following season saw guards Kamiylah Bomar and Gabby Suarez both earn Second Team All-Conference honors. Suarez finished shooting 39 percent from downtown which was top overall in conference.
“I’ve always been known as a man who really cares for the players and pushes them to new limits so they can go further than they’ve ever gone while knowing that they have another person who truly cares about them,” Exume said. “When the players are enjoying and achieving excellence on the court, in the classroom and in the community, then they are succeeding in the holistic positive experience at UAM.”
Exume is a 2016 Zachary graduate of Miami University where he received a Master’s of Science Degree in Kinesiology and Health focusing on Sport & Exercise Psychology. In 2014, he earned his Bachelor’s of Arts Degree from Delaware State University focusing on Mass Communications and minoring in coaching.
Rucker is a 2004 graduate of Gould High School where she played basketball for four years. In those years, she helped lead the Lady Panthers to three Conference/District and four Region Championships. She was named All-Conference/District two years, All-Region three years and All-State two years. She was named Most Valuable Player of the Conference/District Tournament and was the starting point guard for the Southeast Arkansas West team All-Star game her senior year.
She has been coaching basketball for six years. She served as an assistant coach to Robert Michael Tallon at Woodside High School in Newport News, Virginia for both Junior Varsity and Varsity Girls Basketball. She was a site coordinator, coach and kills trainer for Koa Sports, Rockville, Maryland. Also, a skills trainer and eighth grade girls’ basketball coach at Tru2Form, Bethesda, Maryland.
Rucker has obtained an Associate’s of Liberal Arts and a Bachelor’s of Arts in Business Administration Specialization Management from Saint Leo University in Tampa, Florida. She is currently enrolled at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff pursuing a Bachelor’s of Science in Industrial Technology Management and Applied Engineering.
Rucker is an Army retired Non-Commissioned Officer where her job and additional duties were Transportation, Paralegal and Retention. She deployed to Bagram, Afghanistan, Operation Enduring Freedom, as a driver and gunner for 359th Inland Cargo Transportation Company, Fort Eustis, Virginia.