Valparaiso University women's basketball coach Keith Freeman has announced that the Crusaders have signed five players to National Letters of Intent and will begin play with the Brown and Gold for the 2007-2008 season.
Joining the Valpo program are LaTice Jones, Rashida Ray, Stephanie Thomas, Jasmine Ussery, and Ashley Varner.
Jones is a 5'11" forward from Gary, Ind. She averaged 22.4 points and 10.7 rebounds per game for Roosevelt High School as a junior, while shooting 48.9% from the floor.
?LaTice is a very versatile player who can score in a variety of ways," Freeman said. ?She is comfortable with her back to the basket or playing on the perimeter. She has a knack for getting to the ball."
Ray is a 5'4" guard from Fort Wayne, Ind. She averaged 17 points and five assists per game last year for Harding High School, where she was a First Team All-Conference selection. She also helped lead her team to the regional championship in 2005-2006.
?Rashida is a very strong player," commented Freeman. ?She can score in a variety of ways and has excellent quickness and strength."
Thomas is a 5'10" guard from Avon, Ind. An All-State selection for Avon High School, she is also a two-time All-Conference selection. She averaged 16.3 points and 6.2 rebounds per game last season.
?Stephanie is an excellent athlete with good speed," said Freeman. ?She is a very good shooter who can also handle the ball."
Ussery is a 5'11" forward from Newburgh, Ind. where she led Castle High School to the state championship last season. She averaged 12 points and 10 rebounds per game as a junior while earning All-Conference honors.
?Jasmine is very athletics around the basket," remarked Freeman. ?She is an outstanding rebounder who has been part of a very successful program leading Castle to the 2006 state championship."
Varner is a 6'0" post from South Bend, Ind. She shot 57.1% from the floor while averaging 9.6 points and 5.7 rebounds per game for Washington High School while leading her team to a state runner-up finish as a junior.
?Ashley is a very athletic player who runs the floor well," said Freeman. ?She has nice shooting touch to 15 feet and has been part of a very successful high school program."
?This recruiting class welcomes five exceptional student-athletes from the state of Indiana," he continued. ?Not only do these recruits excel on the floor but they are outstanding students. This class is the quickest group we have signed since I arrived here 13 years ago, and they all come from successful high school programs."