Valparaiso University head women’s basketball coach Keith Freeman has announced that three student-athletes have signed National Letters of Intent to play for the Crusaders beginning in the fall of 2011. Joining the Valpo basketball program are Jessica Carr, Mallory Ladd, and Shaquira Scott.
“This group represents a very skilled and talented class,” Freeman said of the group. “They will strengthen our team and add depth to our solid group of returnees. We think these athletes will make a difference on the floor and in the classroom.”
Carr, a 5-7 guard from Arcadia, Ind. averaged 16.4 points and 5.5 assists per game last year for Hamilton Heights High School. A 53.4% field goal shooter, she connected on 81.3% from the free throw line for the Huskies. Carr was an Associated Press Third Team All-State selection and selected as an Indiana Junior All-Star for 2009-2010. She earned First Team All-State honors by Hoosier Basketball Magazine last year after earning Second Team accolades as a sophomore. Carr was the Hamilton County Player of the Year in 2010 and is a three-time All Mid-Indiana Conference selection entering her senior season.
“Jessica is a tremendous combo guard,” said Freeman. “A member of the Indiana Junior All-Star Team, her ability to think the game and communicate will give us a versatile player in the back court. She is an excellent shooter and passer.”
Ladd, a 6-0 forward from Evansville, Ind. averaged 22.1 points and 14.1 rebound per game last season for Memorial High School. She shot 86% from the free throw line one year ago and 37% from beyond the three-point arc. Through three seasons she has scored 1,144 points and grabbed 821 rebounds, averaging a double-double for her career. Ladd was an IBCA All-State Underclass First Team selection as a junior and was a Hoosier Basketball Magazine First Team All-State pick. She was named the 2009-2010 Metro Player of the Year in the Evansville area and is a three-time First Team All-Southern Indiana Athletic Conference member entering her senior year.
“Mallory was on the Core 6 Junior All-Star team representing Indiana,” Freeman said. “Last year when I went to watch her play I saw her score 39 points. Her ability to rebound and shoot the ball plus her competitive spirit makes her a great addition to our team.”
Scott, a 5-10 guard from Wilmette, Ill., currently plays at Loyola Academy. In 2009 she was the Most Valuable Player of the state championship game for Driscoll High School, leading the team to the state title and a 33-1 record. In that championship season she averaged 7.1 points per game despite missing a portion of the season with an injury. She earned Academic All-Suburban Christian Conference honors at Driscoll as well. Last year at Loyola, Scott averaged 10 points and five rebounds per contest.
“Shaquira is an athletic slasher,” Freeman added. “She has really improved her game over the past 12 months. She is a left-hander who has a knack for getting to the foul line. Shaquira is a perfect fit for Valpo as she is a great student who will make an impact on our program.”