Lady Jets sign group of talented basketball players for 2016-17 season
From STAFF REPORTS
AMERICUS – South Georgia Technical College (SGTC) Athletic Director and Lady Jets head basketball coach, James Frey, and assistant coach, Keiza Conyers, have signed 12 new prospects for the upcoming 2016-17 basketball season. The Lady Jets also are bringing back one veteran from last season.
“We are very excited about this new class,” said Frey. “This new group of Lady Jets has five international players and includes four college transfers as well as La’Deja James, the 5’ 9” shooting forward from Virginia Beach, Virginia, who is the lone returner from last season’s team.”
James played in 29 of the Lady Jets games last season and started three games. She played 24 minutes per game during her freshman season and averaged 7.3 points per game, hit 41.3 percent of her shots from the field, and was a 77.5 percent shooter from the foul line. She also averaged four rebounds and had 1.5 assists each game.
The Lady Jets won the Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association (GCAA) regular season title in 2016 and had a 27-6 overall record and a 14-2 GCAA record. The SGTC ladies missed qualifying for the NJCAA District J playoff game last season by two points.
The Lady Jets captured the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Region XVII tournament title and the NJCAA District J championship titles in 2014 and 2015, but just missed earning their third straight trip to the nationals last season in a tight match-up against Georgia Highlands College.
“We had a great season last year, but our goal was to go to the national tournament and we missed it, so we were disappointed,” said Frey. “Coach Conyers and I have worked hard during the off season to recruit the players that we think will give us the opportunity to make it back to the national tournament. Now we just have to execute.”
“I am looking forward to kicking off the new season. We were able to recruit two players from Darton College as a result of Darton’s merger with Albany State University,” said Frey. “Desiree Corbin, a 6’2” sophomore center from Griffin, was the GCAA Freshman of the Year last season and represented us in the NJCAA Women’s Basketball Coaches All-Star Weekend recently.”
Desiree Corbin and another Darton standout, Shaineequa Fluellyn, a 5’ 7” shooting guard from Molena Georgia, join James and Camille Coleman, a 5’ 8” shooting guard from South Bend, Indiana, and Madison Cameron, a 5’ 10” small forward from Alberta, Canada as the sophomores for 2016-17.
“Corbin is a great athlete and is just really learning to be a great player. She has schools such as Western Kentucky, North Carolina Greensboro, East Carolina, Wichita State, and East Tennessee State all actively recruiting her already,” said Frey.
Fluellyn played at Darton State in 2014-15. She has been out for a year, but averaged over 10 points per game and three rebounds per game as a freshman. Frey says “she can score from a lot of ways and will provide the team with needed leadership.”
Cameron played at Lake Michigan College and was in the top 10 in three point shooting in her conference with a 43 percent shooting average. “She will be counted on to provide leadership and a threat to shoot it from deep,” said Frey, who added that “she could be one of the top shooters in the GCAA this season.”
Coleman is a transfer from Division I Evansville University where she started 17 games as a freshman and averaged eight points per game and three rebounds. “She has unlimited range from the perimeter and the ability to finish strong at the rim,” explained Coach Frey. “We are counting on her to be a leader on and off the floor and to really score the ball for us this year.”
In addition to those five sophomores, Frey has recruited five international players. Cameron is one of the five international players. She is joined by Esther Adenike, a 6’2, power forward from Lagos, Nigeria; Kanna Suzuki, a 5’ 2” point guard from Hamamatsu Shizuola, Japan; Marina Balaguer, a 5’ 7” shooting guard from Mataro, Spain; and Houlfat Mahouchiza, a 6’ 1” power forward from Nice, France.
Adenike has an unlimited ceiling believes Coach Frey. “She is a great athlete and already has a good understanding of the game. She plays with a lot of energy and has a very good skill set.”
Adenike will be joined by another power forward, Machochiza. “She is long and athletic. She has range from the three-point line and the ability to put the ball on the floor and attack the rim. She rebounds the ball very well and can guard two to five positions. She has unlimited potential,” said Frey.
Suzuki, a guard, played her high school ball at Brandon Hall High School in Atlanta. “She is a very mature polished point guard. She does a tremendous job of running the team. She is a pass-first point guard who loves to push the ball in transition and does a great job of finding teammates. She has the ability to score as well. She averaged 24 points per game as a junior, but had an injury that cost her most of her senior season,” explained Frey.
Balaguer, another guard, is also a scorer who played on one of the best club teams in Spain. She has a very quick release and can shoot the three pointer.
Rounding out the 2016-17 Lady Jets are four other freshmen who have the ability to become impact players for the Lady Jets as well. They include: Whitney Benard of Beaumont, Tx., a 5’ 5” point guard; Davesha Murray of Brunswick, a 5’ 6” point guard; Secret Ethridge from Argyle, Ga., a 6’ 1” center; and Traykyra Kidd from Wesley Chapel, Fla., a 5’ 7” point guard.
Benard was the District Player of the Year in Texas and is a hard-nose, up-tempo point guard who loves to play defense.
Murray comes from a very good high school program from Glynn Academy in Brunswick. She has a great understanding of the game and the point guard position but is coming back from meniscus surgery this summer.
Ethridge is a strong developing post player. She has very good hands and has the potential to be a very good player.
Kidd closes out the roster and Coach Frey describes her as “fast and explosive with the ball in her hands. She averaged 18.7 points, four rebounds and seven assists as a senior in high school.”
Coach Frey and Coach Conyers believe that the 2016-17 season will be very fun for the fans to watch and they are hoping that they can earn their third trip to the NJCAA National Tournament in four years. Together, Frey and Conyers have a record 114 wins over the past four years with only 27 losses.
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