Nov. 16, 2012
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Marshall women's basketball head coach Matt Daniel and his staff announced the signing of five players to National Letters of Intent on Friday.
Kiana Evans, McKenzie Akers, Chelsy Romero, Maya Singleton, and Jonelle Britt will make up Daniel's first recruiting class.
"Our staff is extremely excited to assemble our first recruiting class for Marshall," said Daniel. "We think it is the start of a foundation that we will be able to hang our hat on for years to come, provided that they handle everything that they are supposed to do academically and in accordance to NCAA. We are still continuing to recruit for next year's class in the late period and it remains to be seen how that will shape up."
The group consists of two West Virginia locals (Evans & Akers), two high school teammates from Maryland (Singleton & Britt), and native of Virigina (Romero).
"If you start with our smallest one, McKenzie Akers was so excited that she wanted her mom to send the letter of intent in early so that she could be the first one," said Daniel. "Those are the types of student-athletes that we want at Marshall."
Akers is a 5-5 guard from Princeton, W.Va., where she plays high school basketball for the Princeton Tigers and AAU for the D1 Greyhounds. After averaging 20.5 points per game, 4.4 rebounds, 6.8 assists, and 3.3 steals last season, she was selected to All-State (1st team), All-Conference (1st team), and was runner-up as West Virginia Player of the Year. As a junior she also broke the 1,000 point barrier.
"She is a hard-nosed, local guard that will be the first one in the gym and the last one to leave," noted Daniel on Akers. "I'm glad that she has chosen to be part of our program."
Joining Akers from the state of West Virginia is 6-1 guard, Kiana Evans. She is a native of Huntington, W.Va. where she plays high school basketball for the Huntington Highlanders and AAU for the D1 Greyhounds. Averaging 20.5 points per game last season, she was selected to first team All-State and All-Conference.
"Kiana has a ceiling that has no limits," Daniel noted. "She is a long guard that is athletic and whose best basketball is still ahead of her. I'm excited to watch her mature and grow into the player that I think she can become."
Romero is a 6-3 forward/center from Hampton, Va., where she plays high school basketball for the Kecoughtan Warrios and AAU for Nike Boo Williams. After being honored this preseason as a Peninsula District Player of the Year nominee, Romero was selected as an ESPN Hoopgulrz prospect. Last year she averaged 12.5 points per game, along with ten rebounds and six blocks.
"Chelsey Romero is a forward, that can play the center position," commented Daniel. "From a heralded AAU program and a fine high school that will compete for a state championship this year, she is a versatile forward who can step out and stretch the defense, put the ball on the floor, and play with her back to the basket. She is a good person, a good player, and will be a great addition to our program."
Completing the 2013-14 freshman class will be Upper Marlboro, Md. natives, Singleton and Britt. Both play high school basketball for the Riverdale Baptist Crusaders.
Singleton is a 6-1 forward who averaged 13 points per game, 10.0 rebounds, 4.0 blocks, and 2.5 assists last season. She is ranked as the No. 38 power forward by Scout.com and No. 72 player in the Premier Basketball Report National Top 100. Singleton also is listed as a three-star ESPN Hoopgurlz prospect.
"Maya Singleton is a three/four that is a Dennis Rodman type - very athletic," Daniel said. "She has a fearless mentality that is not afraid to sacrifice her body for the well-being of the team."
Britt is a 6-2 forward/center, who is listed as a three-star ESPN Hoopgurlz prospect. Last season with the Cruaders, she averaged 21 points per game, six rebounds and three blocks.
Daniel commented, "Jonelle Britt is a back-to-the-basket post player, who brings athleticism and length to a recruiting class that we are proud to have started.
"The best part about all of them is as big or small as they may be, their smiles are as big as the state of West Virginia. That is something I look forward to seeing every day."
The eligibility of all student-athletes is contingent upon admission to Marshall University and compliance with all NCAA rules, including registration with the NCAA Eligibility Center.