In release from WKU:
WKU head coach Michelle Clark-Heard announced Wednesday that four players have signed National Letters of Intent to play basketball and attend Western Kentucky University in the fall of 2014. The class includes Ivy Brown (Hodgenville, Ky.), Shalika Smith (Glasgow, Ky.), Jaiveonna Norris (Chicago Heights, Ill.) and Tashia Brown (Lake Park, Ga.). All four players signed on the opening day of the Fall Signing Period.
“The excitement and progress we are making towards winning championships and being a team that can advance in the NCAA Tournament was seen by these players and they bought into the family we are building here at WKU,” said Clark-Heard. “I am excited to officially welcome these players into our WKU family.
“Lady Topper Basketball has always been at its best when we are able to recruit great players to come to the state of Kentucky and when we keep the best players from the state of Kentucky right here at home. I am really excited that Ivy and Shalika saw that they can do big things right in their own backyard and glad that Tashia and Jaiveonna are making Kentucky their new, second home.
“With this signing class, we will continue to become more athletic, get bigger at the guard spot and add more depth to our post game. The group fills some of the needs that will help us compete for championships in Conference USA as we make the transition to the new league next season.”
The highest rated played in the class is Ivy Brown, a leading candidate for Kentucky Miss Basketball. Brown is currently rated as a four-star recruit and ranked 73rd in the nation in the espnW 100, compiled by HoopGurlz Recruiting Rankings.
Here are Heard’s released statements on each of the signees:
2014 WKU Lady Topper Basketball Recruiting Class
Ivy Brown 6-1 F Hodgenville, Ky. (LaRue County HS)
Heard on Ivy Brown…
“Ivy Brown was a major focus of our recruiting efforts from the first day we arrived on campus as a staff. She can be an immediate impact player for us at WKU. She has an amazing skill set and has enjoyed great success, helping take her high school to the next level.”
Tashia Brown 6-1 F Lake Park, Ga. (Lowndes HS)
Heard on Tashia Brown…
“Tashia Brown is a highly-gifted wing player. She has incredible athletic ability and is extremely poised on the court. Like Ivy Brown, she is going to have a chance to make an immediate impact for us as she continues to work hard this season.”
Jaiveonna Norris 6-0 F Chicago Heights, Ill. (Homewood-Flossmoor HS)
Heard on Jaiveonna Norris…
“Jaiveonna Norris is really versatile. She can do a lot of different things in that she has a really good shooting range and can also put it on the floor and get to the basket. She has the body type and frame to become a great impact on the interior for us at WKU.”
Shalika Smith 6-1 F/C Glasgow, Ky. (Glasgow HS)
Heard on Shalika Smith …
“Shalika Smith is a energetic, pure post player. She is high energy all the time and has a great competitive drive. She doesn’t know how to slow down. She is a tremendous rebounder and will bring great intensity to practice everyday as our depth at the post position works to get better and compete for playing time on the court.”