Lady Bulldogs Add Five During Early Signing Period
"This is a very athletic, mobile class that will help us win in the SEC," said head coach Sharon Fanning-Otis. "They love the game, play the game hard, and run the floor hard. I love their competitive spirit and their ability to play the game one play ahead. They will be a great compliment to our returning players next season."
Ellison, a standout 5-8 guard from J.E. Burke High School in Boston, Ma, is the 44th-ranked player nationally by Hoopgurlz.com regardless of position. She is the 11th-ranked guard on that list. She has been a member of the Division III All-State and All City teams. Ellison averaged 25.3 points, 9.0 rebounds, 7.5 assists and 4.0 steals a game last season as a junior helping Burke reach the City Championship game.
"Khadijah is a player with tremendous leaping ability, great shooting range, and a first step that gets her to the rim," commented Fanning-Otis. "She is a very versatile player who will be comfortable at the point or shooting guard position. She is very quick and should fit well into our offensive and defensive system. She can make things happen on both ends of the floor and we are excited to sign a player with her athletic ability and passion for the game."
Shamia Robinson, a 5-8 forward from Maben, Miss., is an all-state performer from West Oktibbeha High School. She averaged 18.8 points, 9.0 rebounds, 2.8 assists, 2.4 blocks and 1.9 steals as a junior, leading West Oktibbeha to a 20-10 finish and an appearance in the second round of the Class 1A playoffs. Also a member of the Clarion Ledger's 2011 Dandy Dozen.
"Shamia will be one of the most versatile athletes on our roster," said Fanning-Otis. "She can handle the ball, is exceptionally quick up and down, rebounds well and gets the ball to the rim. Shamia works hard and made those around her better. Her quickness and athleticism will make us a better basketball team."
Jerica James, a 5-5 guard from North Little Rock, Ark., averaged 8.4 points and 4.8 assists a year ago for North Little Rock High School. She was named to the class 7A All-State team as well as the all-conference team. She was named the RAPA Arkansas High School MVP twice in the last three years and was named Player of the Week by the Arkansas High School Athletic Association. James also played with the Arkansas Mavericks in AAU basketball.
"J.J. is a floor general and a winner," said Fanning-Otis. "Her team and individual success as well as her passion for the game will make us better. J.J. can push the ball in transition and sees the floor exceptionally well. She is quick up and down on her shot and she has great range. Her quickness and aggressiveness will allow her to pressure the ball which fits well with our defensive philosophy."
Kendra Grant, a 5-11 guard from Richland, Miss., averaged 18.7 points, 6.1 rebounds and 3.1 assists for Richland High School last season. She helped lead the Lady Rangers to the class 3A playoffs, scoring a career-high 32 against St. Andrews last season. Grant was named the 2010 Mississippi High School All-Star game offensive MVP. Grant is a member of the Clarion Ledger's 2011 Dandy Dozen.
"Kendra was offensive MVP during the Mississippi All-Star game this past July and is very comfortable creating her own shot," said Fanning-Otis. "She penetrates well and elevates quick. Kendra has a good handle of the game and plays hard. What impressed me most is the all around person and student-athlete she is. Kendra is one of the top players in Mississippi and we are proud she chose to be a Bulldog."
Martha Alwal, a 6-4 center from Worthington, Minn., averaged 18.8 ppg and 13.8 rpg last year, helping lead Worthington High School to the Minnesota Section 2 AAA championship game. She was named to the All-Area team last season as a junior.
"Martha is a long, aggressive post player who will develop quickly as she learns our system," said Fanning-Otis. "She does not mind contact, runs the floor hard, can block shots and rebounds hard. She is mobile and her length will make it difficult to get the ball by her. Martha's AAU experience and athletic ability will be a plus as she learns the college game."