Maryland Brings in No. 4 Recruiting ClassTerrapins announce signings of four top 50 players
Nov. 15, 2012
COLLEGE PARK, Md. -
The Maryland women's basketball team welcomes four stellar players to its family for the 2013-14 season, head coach Brenda Frese announced Wednesday. Lexie Brown (Suwanee, Ga./North Gwinnett HS), A'Lexus Harrison (Baltimore, Md./Digital Harbor HS), Brionna Jones (Havre de Grace, Md./Aberdeen HS) and Shatori Walker-Kimbrough (Aliquippa, Pa./Hopewell HS) make up the No. 4 recruiting class in the country, as ranked by Blue Star Report and Collegiate Girls Basketball Report.
Out of Frese's 10 recruiting classes, the 2013 group is the ninth ranked in the top 10 and fifth ranked in the top five.
"I'm extremely excited about our 2013 signing class. Not only are they a talented group of players, they are also exceptional students with tremendous character," head coach Brenda Frese said. "All four players come from supportive families who raised them to excel in all walks of life."
The class features two of the top talents in the state of Maryland in Harrison and Jones. All four players are ranked in Blue Star Report's Top 50 Rankings - Brown is No. 15, Harrison is No. 28, Walker-Kimbrough is No. 38 and Jones is No. 46.
"This is an incredibly dynamic and talented group of student-athletes, who will provide additional depth, speed, and athleticism," Frese said. "They will allow us to press more and sustain our intense level of play for longer periods of time. Every player in this class possesses our championship mentality. They all come from championship high school and AAU programs, and know how to win. We have addressed depth at each position. Combining this class with our returning roster brings us one step closer in our pursuit of another national championship."
Lexie Brown Point Guard 5-9
Hometown: Suwanee, Ga.
High School: North Gwinnett High School
AAU Team: AOT (Omar Cooper)
About Brown: Ranked No. 15 in Blue Star Report's rankings...the No. 3 point guard and No. 15 overall recruit in the 2013 class according to ESPN's HoopGurlz...won gold with the US Under-18 Team at the FIBA World Championships...averaged 19.0 ppg., 7.0 rpg., 7.0 apg. and 4.9 spg. as a junior in 2011-12...named an All-American honorable mention by Maxpreps...named the Atlanta Journal Constitution's Class AAAAA All-State First Team and the Georgia Region 7-AAAAA Player of the Year as a sophomore and a junior...named the Gwinnett County Player of the Year as a junior...in 2012, recorded a triple-double with 12 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists in a victory over Mill Creek that sent North Gwinnett to the state semifinals for the first time since 1963...the Bulldogs lost in the semis and finished 26-4...played her freshman season at Dr. Phillips High School in Orlando, Fla. and was named to the All-Central Florida First Team... father is Dee Brown, who played in the NBA (1999-02) for the Celtics, Raptors and Magic...he has coached in the WNBA and is currently an assistant with the Detroit Pistons...played for Omar Cooper with the AOT AAU team and Bryan Sellers for North Gwinnett.
Brenda Frese on Brown: "Lexie is a Terp through and through. She committed to us the summer before her sophomore year, and has great pride in being a part of our Maryland family. The thing that's exciting with Lexie is that we're getting a dynamic scoring point guard, somewhere probably as close to a Kristi Toliver as you can get. What I love about Lexie is she rises to the challenge in big games. The bigger the moment, the bigger the stage, she's able to step up and make plays for her teammates. She's a competitor, a winner, and obviously having the pedigree that she has, (her dad having been in the NBA and training her since she was a young kid) Lexie possess an incredible skill set. Lexie is someone who is going to be able to come in and have an immediate impact upon this team and this program."
Bryan Sellers on Brown: "Lexie Brown is the epitome of team player. She is more concerned with the team outcome than herself. She is one of the most tenacious competitors that I have ever met. Her basketball IQ is through the roof but she is smarter in the classroom than on the court. She currently has a 4.0 GPA and is a great kid. I am going to miss her but Maryland is lucky to be getting such a talented basketball player and wonderful young lady."
Omar Cooper on Brown: "Lexie Brown is one of the best players I have ever trained or coached, male or female. Her ability to make shots when needed and lock down on defense will be impossible to replace. I will be happy if I can get another player that's half of Lexie. I have to tip my hat to her parents, Tammy and Dee Brown, for molding Lexie into the wonderful person she is today - a 3.9 GPA, a great talent and an even better person. Lexie will be a great fit at Maryland. She has a unique style of play that women's basketball has yet to see. Lexie and Coach Frese will click from day one because Lexie loves her coach and Coach Frese loves her players. I can't wait to see how Coach Frese will take Lexie to the next level and together, they get what Lexie came to Maryland for - another National Championship."
Brown on Maryland: "Choosing Maryland as my future home was one of the best decisions of my life. Many people had no idea how I could possibly know where I wanted to go to college at age 14, but I knew exactly where I wanted to be. The atmosphere at Maryland is amazing, the support for the women's basketball program is unbelievable, and the team IS one huge family. I liked Maryland since I was younger, but I fell in love once I stepped on campus for the first time. Why would I want to go anywhere else? One of my idols, Kristi Toliver, won a championship there and Coach Frese is one of the best in the country. The entire staff is incredible and I can't wait to be a part of this Maryland family."
A'Lexus Harrison 6-0 Forward
Hometown: Baltimore, Md.
High School: Digital Harbor High School (Patrick McDonald)
AAU Team: Maryland Lady Comets (Kalin Wynn)/Philly Belles (Lou Hilf)
About Harrison: The No. 28 player in Blue Star Report's rankings...ranked No. 70 overall player and No. 18 forward in the class of 2013, according to ESPN's HoopGurlz...four year starter at Digital Harbor and has become a double-double machine ...named to the Baltimore Sun's First Team All-Metro as a Junior and Second Team as a sophomore...as a junior, became the second player in school history to break the 1100-point mark and 1000-rebound plateau...has grabbed 20 or more rebounds in seven games and career high is 25...helped lead her team to back to back state Final Fours as a freshman and a sophomore, despite losing talented seniors...played for Patrick McDonald at Digital Harbor.
Brenda Frese on Harrison: "A'Lexus is another player who has always wanted to be a Terp. She committed to us prior to her sophomore year, which again gave us great pride in being able to keep a local talent home. A'Lexus is a Baltimore native who will bring elite athleticism to our program. She's a versatile player, and is going to be able to play multiple positions. She is a tremendous shot blocker and rebounder, she can grab the rim, and she is really going to give our team a level of athleticism that we haven't seen in a while."
Patrick McDonald on Harrison: "Since her beginning here at Digital Harbor, A'Lexus has been an exceptional student-athlete. Both her in the classroom and on the court behaviors have been consistent and as a result, she was blessed with the opportunity to attend the University of Maryland upon graduation in 2013. With her work habits and tremendous work ethic she is going to fit right in at Maryland because hard work also seems to be the formula for Coach Frese and her staff. One of A'Lexus' greatest attributes is her unbelievable motor. I have never seen a player like her before based on her raw athleticism. I believe once she gets acclimated to the rigors of college life and the mental and emotional adjustment to being away from home for the first time, she is going to soar."
Kalin Wynn on Harrison: "I have coached AAU Basketball for many years and A'Lexus Harrison is the hardest working and most dedicated player I have ever been around. She always has the right attitude and drive to succeed whether it is on the court or in the classroom. I know that will continue with the Terps. The Maryland Lady Comets organization is so proud of A'Lexus and wish her and her family the best at the University of Maryland."
Lou Hilf on Harrison: "A'Lexus Harrison's greatest asset on the basketball court is that she makes other players around her better. A'Lexus has no fear of failure and that is the difference between good player and great players. A'Lexus plays with a full tank all the time. The one thing and I think the most important factor that A'Lexus has going for her is that she is a good person. A'Lexus has been a pleasure to coach.
Harrison on Maryland: "Maryland was always my dream school. I was 12 years old saying that I wanted to go to Maryland. This is just a dream come true."
Brionna Jones 6-3 Center
Hometown: Havre de Grace, Md.
High School: Aberdeen High School (Stacy Liles, Hakim Hibbert)
AAU Team: Fairfax Stars (Aggie McCormick-Dix)
About Jones: Ranked No. 48 player overall by Blue Star Report...theNo. 7 post player and No. 55 overall player in ESPN HoopGurlz's recruit rankings...scored 1627 points and grabbed 960 rebounds through her junior season...led team to 3A state championship as a junior...named Baltimore Sun All-Metro Player of the Year as a junior...named First Team All-Metro by The Sun as a sophomore and a junior...695hoops Player of the Year as a sophomore and a junior...helped lead AAU Team, Fairfax Stars, to the Chicago Tournament of Champions Elite 8, USJN Final Four and Nike National Silver Bracket Final Four in 2012...attended the Nike Skills Academy in 2011 and 2012 and was name one of top five post players...team won Chicago Tournament of Champions in 2011...also played volleyball...played for Stacy Liles at Aberdeen High School and Aggie McCormick-Dix on the Fairfax Stars.
Brenda Frese on Jones: "Brionna Jones is one of the best post players in the class of 2013. There is no doubt that we always want to keep the best players home, so being able to get someone of Brionna's talent to stay and play for Maryland brings us great pride. Brionna gives us a true low post presence. She's someone who loves to play with her back to the basket, has tremendous hands, and knows how to finish around the rim through contact. She is another player that comes from a championship background, has won a state title, and will provide us additional depth inside."
Stacy Liles on Jones: "I have coached Brionna Jones for the past three years. She is a well-rounded student-athlete in the aspects of academics, volleyball and basketball. Brionna has always been a strong asset to our success with our basketball team. Brionna was a key component her sophomore year to get us to the state championship game. Her hard work and leadership her junior year helped us win the 2012 state championship. Brionna is a hard worker. She is the type of leader that leads by example. She doesn't tell her teammates what to do. She goes out and shows them day in and day out. She is confident in her abilities and she always wants to get better on the court and in the classroom. She is always calm and collective. She never gets startled or shaken up. Brionna is a true student-athlete. I know she will be successful at Maryland and will give them the best of her ability. Maryland is not only getting a great basketball player, but they are also getting a very determined kind-hearted person."
Hakim Hibbert on Jones: "I have been working with Brionna Jones for three years. Bri is a wonderful person and a hard worker. You do not appreciate Bri until you have the pleasure of coaching her. I am excited to see her progress once she starts at Maryland next year."
Aggie McCormick-Dix on Jones: "I had the privilege of Brionna Jones playing for me with the Fairfax Stars Nike Premier Showcase Team for all three of her high school years. She is a coach's dream. She is a player's dream to have on the court alongside them. I have been fortunate enough to be around some of the best players in the country and Brionna Jones is one of them. From her academics, to her attitude, to her work ethic, to her basketball knowledge, to her presence on the court, to her playmaking abilities, she is an amazing young woman. I am so happy to hear that she will be joining several other amazing young women at the University of Maryland and even more thrilled that she will be alongside an amazing woman to mentor her, head coach Brenda Frese."
Jones on Maryland: "When I first began the decision-making process, I was a little overwhelmed with all the schools that had contacted me. After I narrowed my choices down, which included Maryland as one of my top choices, things began to die down a little. I was extremely excited to visit all the different schools to learn about what they had to offer me not only athletically, but academically as well. After visiting all the schools on my list, it was the University of Maryland that came out on top. When I visited Maryland, it just felt like it was the right place for me. The atmosphere at Maryland is great and the players and coaches are amazing people. I intend to major in kinesiology and Maryland has one of the best kinesiology programs, so that played a major part in my decision. Academics is just as important to me as playing basketball. After I committed to Maryland and went on my official visit, I knew that I had made the right decision because everyone I talked with and everything I did on the visit made me love Maryland even more."
Shatori Walker-Kimbrough 5-11 Wing
Hometown: Aliquippa, Pa.
High School: Hopewell High School (Jeff Homziak)
AAU Team: Western Pennsylvania Bruins (Ron Mumbray)
About Walker-Kimbrough: Ranked the No. 38 player by Blue Star Report...No. 6 wing and No. 43 overall player in the class of 2013, according to ESPN HoopGurlz recruit rankings...averaged 25.6 points per game as a junior and scored 1000 points...already owns school's scoring record...led her team to the WPIAL Championship and the Pennsylvania 3-A State Semifinals as a junior...in the four playoff games, she averaged 31 points per game...in the championship game, she scored 35 of her team's 50 points...named the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Player of the Year as a sophomore and a junior...named the overall Athlete of the Year by the Pittsburgh Tribune, Beaver County Times, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette...named the WPIAL Girls Athlete of the Year as a junior...First Team All-State (Class AAA) in sophomore and junior seasons...also played volleyball and helped team win a WPIAL championship as a junior and has been a First Team All-State selection all three years...competed in the triple jump for track team...finished third in the WPIAL as a sophomore and fourth as a junior...played for Jeff Homziak at Hopewell Area High School and Ron Mumbray with the Western Pennsylvania Bruins.
Brenda Frese on Walker-Kimbrough: "Shatori is going to be a really special player for our program. She is definitely someone who was under the radar in the recruiting process. She is a three sport athlete, who has excelled at every sport in which she has competed. What I think is really exciting with Shatori is that she has just scratched the surface. The fact that she is going to be able to focus all of her time on basketball, where she's truly gifted, bodes well for her future. Shatori is an elite level athlete who can be a lock-down defender and dangerous offensive weapon."
Jeff Homziak on Walker-Kimbrough:"The University of Maryland is receiving a commitment from an outstandingly well rounded student athlete in Shatori Walker-Kimbrough. Shatori excels in the classroom, making the Honor Roll each grading period throughout her time at Hopewell High School. When she was younger, Shatori also participated in other activities such as piano lessons, dance, and karate; being so active has helped Shatori learn to manage her time.
Shatori possesses a desire to be the best at everything she does, whether it is earning high marks in class or excelling on the basketball court. This desire has pushed her to develop her skills to play at a very high level in basketball, volleyball, and track. Coach Brenda Frese and her staff of the No. 5 Terps have done a tremendous job of recruiting one of the best female basketball players in Western Pennsylvania. I believe that Shatori will not only continue to grow athletically, but she will also have the opportunity study and earn a degree that she will use successfully in life. Congratulations to Shatori Walker-Kimbrough and the University of Maryland women's basketball program."
Ron Mumbray on Walker-Kimbrough: "Shatori is one of the most athletic players I have had the pleasure to coach. She puts in more hours developing and honing her basketball skills than anyone else. She has one of the highest `basketball IQs' and work ethics I've ever seen and is always pushing herself to be the best. Her leadership qualities inspire others through her high academic standing, her achievements, and her unwavering positive attitude. Shatori is truly one of the best kids I've ever met. I couldn't be prouder of her accomplishments."
Walker-Kimbrough on Maryland: "I chose Maryland because all of the coaches immediately made me feel like I was part of the women's basketball family. I felt at home on campus and love the College Park area. Two of my goals in life are to receive a quality education and to win an NCAA championship, and at Maryland, I knew both would be possible."