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@GTWBB Inks Top-15 Recruiting Class

Nov. 12, 2014

THE FLATS – Georgia Tech women’s basketball head coach MaChelle Joseph announced that Martine Fortune, Dejoria Howard and Ciani Cryor have all signed National Letters of Intent to join the Yellow Jacket program beginning in the 2015-16 season.

“This incoming class of Martine, Dejoria and Ciani will provide our program with depth that is both athletic and versatile,” Joseph said. “The competitive spirit and desire to be a student-athlete at Georgia Tech has made this a special group.”

The trio gives Joseph and her staff a top-20 recruiting class for the fifth-straight season. Blue Star Basketball ranks Georgia Tech’s recruiting class the #14 recruiting class in the nation. The All Star Girls Report tabbed the class as the 25th best while Prospect’s Nation ranked it at #26 in the country.

Quotes on Georgia Tech’s 2015 Recruiting Class
“Georgia Tech comes in with #25 recruiting class at this time,” Bret McCormick of the All Star Girls Report said. “Head coach MaChelle Joseph’s Yellow Jackets consistently come through with Top 25 recruiting classes, which has helped them to become a Top 25 program year in and year out. Two of their signees hail from the Philadelphia area. The Yellow Jackets did well with a 2015 class that was top heavy but really leveled off past 100.The class was which kid was the best fit for your program.”

“Georgia Tech’s three player class of Martine Fortune, Ciani Cryor, and Dejoria Howard will give the ACC team depth at the point guard, on the wing and in the post, and comes in as the #26 ranked recruiting class in the country according to,” Keil Moore of Prospects Nation said. “For another year, Tech coach MaChelle Joseph and her staff have been able to go to the Northeast, landing high caliber players from outside of their backyard while also going into the heart of ACC country, South Carolina, and landing a prospect there as well. A quick snapshot of the last two recruiting classes for the ACC program reveals that MaChelle Joseph and her staff have added five Prospects Nation ELITE 150 prospects in addition to two top 25 international prospects according to Prospects Nation, in the last two seasons.”

“Georgia Tech signs three nationally ranked prospects in the early signing period of the 2015 signing class published by the Collegiate Girls Basketball Report,” Dan Olson the director of the Collegiate Girls Basketball Report and the director of espnW Hoopgurlz said. “Georgia Tech, a perennial power in the super conference of women’s basketball, The Atlantic Coast Conference, gains the services of Ciani Cryor, Martine Fortune and Dejoria Howard.”

“A great year at Georgia Tech for coach MaChelle Joseph with a Blue Star Report number 14 recruiting class in the country,” Mike Flynn of Blue Star Report said. “The recruiting class includes three of the top 70 players in 5’ 5” Ciani Cryor, 6’3” Martine Fortune and 6’0” Dejoria Howard. They will help the Yellow Jackets keep pace in an ultra-competitive ACC.”

“Coming off of another 20-win season, Georgia Tech coach MaChelle Joseph has added three pieces in the class of 2015 that should help the Yellow Jackets keep racking up the wins,” Brandon Clay of JumpOff Plus said. “Led by No. 68 ranked prospect, Martine Fortune, this group addresses multiple needs for the emerging ACC powerhouse.”

Martine Fortune: Forward, 6’3”, The Shipley School, Philadelphia, Pa.
Fortune has been ranked as one of the top-60 recruits in the 2015 recruiting class by the All Star Girls Report, #56, and BlueStar Basketball, #59.  JumpOffPlus tabbed Fortune as the #66 player in the country. Prospects Nation ranks the Philadelphia, Pa. native as the #12 post player and the #68 player overall in the class of 2015 with a four star rating. ESPNW marked Fortune as the #17 post player and gave her three stars. The Collegiate Girls Basketball Report tabbed her as the number #239 player in the class of 2015 and the 36th post player.

“Martine is one of the most versatile mobile posts in the class of 2015,” Joseph said. “She will give us a defensive presence in the paint with high level shot blocking capabilities.”

For the Shipley School, Fortune started at center and played in all 27 games in 2013-14. As a junior, she averaged 8.6 points per game, 8.4 rebounds per game and 2.3 blocks per game. Fortune led her team in rebounding and in blocks while recording a 55 percent shooting percentage. On the boards, Fortune averaged 4.9 offensive rebounds and 3.9 defensive rebounds per game. Fortune recorded six double-doubles as a junior and had 11 games where she pulled down at least 10 rebounds.

“Martine Fortune of Philadelphia will bring a combination of size and length in addition to a high basketball IQ to the Flats next year,” Moore said. “At 6-foot-4 she has made a name for herself as one of the premier shot blockers in the country and has continued to improve and develop as a post scorer throughout her career.  Fortune is a mobile post player who should be able step on campus and get up and down the floor with ease.  When Georgia Tech fans see Fortune on the floor for the first time they might be reminded of a former player, LaQuananisha Adams, as both Fortune and Adams have similar builds and skill sets.”

Fortune was named to the all-league first team and honored on the All-Mainline second team. The Shipley School was ranked as the number 11 girls’ basketball program in Pennsylvania by Max Preps. Martine aided the Shipley School in going 22-5 overall and recording an undefeated record, 8-0, in conference play.  

“Martine Fortune is a great athlete, strong and scores inside,” McCormick said. “She is a shot blocker and should help immediately.”

As just a sophomore, Fortune put up impressive numbers, averaging 9.2 points, 9.3 rebounds and 2.3 blocks per game.  She was named to the All-Mainline team as a sophomore as well. As a freshman, Fortune aided the Shipley School in winning the 2011-12 Independent State Basketball Tournament. Fortune was named to the Friends School All-League First Team, Second Team and Honorable Mention throughout her high school career.

“Martine is a coveted interior prospect with a rising offensive game,” Olson said. “She is a versatile defender and shot blocker with superior mobility.”

Throughout her three years on varsity at the Shipley School, Fortune has played in 85 games, averaging 8.1 points per game, 8.1 rebounds per game and 2.1 blocks per game. Fortune has had a part in the Shipley School winning the Friends League championship three-straight seasons and back-to-back Pennsylvania Independent School State Championships. She has played for both Kevin Costello and Alex Lennon at the Shipley School.

“Fortune is an athletic post player whose defensive presence will make an immediate impact for the Yellow Jackets,” Flynn said.

Fortune played club ball for the NYC Gauchos from 2010-12. During the 2013 season, Fortune played for the ISAA, an AAU travel team based in Philadelphia and coached by Yolanda Laney. She currently plays AAU for Exodus NYC for coach Thomas Davis. She was named the defensive player of the game in the All-City Classic in 2013. Fortune was also appointed the MVP of the Make-A-Wish game against Archbishop Carroll.

“Fortune has done nothing but grow her game over the years,” Clay said. “Her willingness to run the floor, block shots and sink free throws makes her an asset at the collegiate level. It will be interesting to see how the combination of skill development sessions and weight training enhance Fortune’s next level production.”

Fortune was born on Nov. 26, 1996 and is the daughter of Thierry and Karen Fortune. She chose Georgia Tech because of the academic reputation, to play in the ACC and the caliber of players on the team. Fortune intends to major in history, technology and society at Georgia Tech.

Dejoria Howard: Guard/Forward, 6’0”, Orangeburg-Wilkinson High School, Orangeburg, S.C.
Howard was named the number one player in the top-five players for the class of 2015 by Howard was also ranked at #42 in the Blue Star class of 2015 rankings. JumpOffPlus and the All Star Girls Report tabbed Howard as the #149 recruit and she is ranked as the #38 forward and the #191 overall player by the Collegiate Girls Basketball Report.

“Dejoria is a versatile guard that can score,” Joseph said. “She fits our system and gives us another big guard that can play multiple positions in our program.”

Howard has been a captain for Orangeburg-Wilkinson for three seasons. As a junior, Howard assisted the Orangeburg-Wilkinson Bruinettes to a 26-3 overall record and an undefeated record, 10-0, in conference play. The Bruins were ranked as the fourth best program in the state of South Carolina.  She plays for Cedrick Simpson at Orangeburg-Wilkinson.

“Dejoria Howard of Orangeburg, SC gives Georgia Tech a big wing, that can shoot the basketball and is very skilled,” Moore said. “Dejoria flew under the radar this summer battling some injuries and changing exposure teams but has had an impressive prep career in South Carolina at Orangeburg-Wilkinson HS.  With the athleticism that MaChelle Joseph consistently has year in and year out, Dejoria will help balance the floor and knock down open shots off penetration and kick.”

Following her junior season, Howard was selected as the Times and Democrat Girls Basketball Player of the Year. She was also honored on the South Carolina Elite team after helping her team win three-straight region titles. Howard was named to the Class 3-A All-State Team.  Howard and the Bruinettes played in three consecutive Lower State championships and two state championship games. She has won two Lower State Championships and four conference championships.

“Dejoria Howard is athletic, has a high motor and is a good rebounder, and that gets it done,” McCormick said. “Every team needs a player like that.”

Howard will play in the North/South All-Star game.  Howard has netted over 1,000 career points already and has led the Bruinettes in scoring the past three seasons. She has been nominated for both the Gatorade Player of the Year and Miss South Carolina basketball of the Year.

“Dejoria is the sleeper of the Georgia Tech class,” Olson said. “She has an emerging perimeter game to the arc with size and athleticism.”

For the past three seasons, Howard has been named all-state, all-region and all-area. She has been named the Conference Player of the Year three times and the All-Area Player of the Year twice.  She was also named the MVP of the Christmas Tournament.

“Howard is a big wing who does everything well, including making her teammates better,” Flynn said.

Howard had a strong junior season, averaging 13.5 points, 6.5 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 1.8 steals in 28 games. She scored in double-figures in 20 games, scoring at least 20 points in five games and shot 46 percent from the field.

“Howard is a versatile forward capable of playing multiple positions,” Clay said. “She has improved her game since we first saw her in 2010. Howard’s athleticism, size and skill make her a prospect to watch in MaChelle Joseph’s system.”

So far Howard has played in 71 games in her career, averaging 10.4 points per game and 6.3 rebounds per game. She has averaged 1.8 assists and 1.8 steals per game throughout her high school career. Prior to her junior season, Howard was honored as an SCBCA Elite Team member. Howard plays AAU for the Carolina Flames under head coach Arne Morris.

Howard was born on August 27, 1997 and is the daughter of Henry and Brenda Howard. Howard’s father, Henry, played basketball at Claflin University while her brother, Dominique, plays at Morris College. She intends to pick a major in the college of sciences at Georgia Tech. Howard chose Georgia Tech because the academic environment is second to none, it provides an opportunity for personal growth and the basketball program. 

Ciani Cryor: 5’5’, Point Guard, Neumann-Goretti High School, Philadelphia, Pa.
Cryor is ranked as the #65 recruit by Blue Star Basketball. Prospect Nation ranks her as the #68 player in the nation and the 17th best point guard. Prospect Nation awarded her four stars while espnW Hoopgurlz gave her a three-star rating. ESPNW has given her a scout’s grade of 90 and puts her as the #31 point guard in the class of 2015. The All Star Girls Report tabbed her as the #94 recruit while JumpOffPlus ranks her at #95. The Collegiate Girls Basketball Report named her the 33rd best point guard and the #121 prospect.

“Ciani is one of the most intense, competitive kids I have ever recruited,” Joseph said. “She will embrace our system offensively and defensively with her desire to be the best. I am excited to have her at Georgia Tech.” 

Cryor plays for Neumann-Goretti High School for coach Letty Santarelli. The Philadelphia, Pa, native was named to the 2014 AP Pennsylvania Girls’ Class AA All-State First Team. As a junior, Cryor averaged 12.5 points per game. Cryor aided Neumann-Goretti High School to a 29-1 overall record and an undefeated conference season at 12-0. In 2014, Cryor was named the PIAA District 12 AA MVP and the MVP of the Rose Classic Super Jam.

“Ciani Cryor of Philadelphia, Pa., is a lightning rod at point guard and should be a natural fit in Georgia Tech’s system,” Moore said. “She is an athletic guard who competes on both sides of the ball.  She has proven to be a dual threat as a lead guard as she can score the ball as well as create scoring opportunities for her teammates.  Look for Cryor to be an exciting two way player for the Yellow Jackets as she brings a similar fire for the game as her future head coach MaChelle Joseph.”

Neumann-Goretti High School finished the 2013-14 season ranked as the number 1 school in Pennsylvania and the number 17th school in the nation by MaxPreps after winning the PIAA District 12 (AA) Catholic League championship and city championship. The Catholic League Championship was the first in 36 years for Neumann-Goretti.  

“Ciani Cryor is a smooth point guard with a high IQ,” McCormick said. “She has little flare to her game but can run the show. Cryor will surprise people.”

In the summer prior to her junior season at Neumann-Goretti, Cryor led the West Philadelphia Flash to The Magazine Showcase Championship. During summer league play, Cryor averaged 20.3 points per game. Cryor won the scoring title and was named the MVP for the Magazine Showcase League.

“Ciani brings speed, athleticism and game management to the backcourt,” Olson said. “She is a respected offensive threat, and a leader and a winner on a quality prep program.”

Cryor played for the Prep Charter Lady Huskies as a freshman and sophomore. Cryor assisted her team in winning two-straight PIAA 12 (AAA) Public League championships and city championships. During the league championships, Cryor scored 20 points on 7-for-15 shooting, dished out five assists and recorded 12 steals.  In 2013, Cryor was named the PIAA District 12 AAA MVP and the Dstrict VII Philadelphia Public League MVP.

“Cryor is a tough point guard in the Philly mold and she pushes the ball right at you while scoring highlight reel buckets,” Flynn said.

Cryor plays AAU for the Philly Belles for Coach Mike Flynn. Cryor was honored with the ACC Most Unselfish Award. She intends on majoring in business administration with a minor in sports, science and technology at Georgia Tech. 

“Cryor is an electric athlete who is still learning how to play the game with pace,” Clay said. “She is used to dominating her opponents athletically. “

Cryor was born on May 5, 1997 and is the daughter of Tauhedah Cryor. Cryor’s cousin, Shamyra Hammond, was a point guard at West Chester University. Cryor chose Georgia Tech because it provides an opportunity for personal growth, to obtain a degree from a prestigious institution and to compete in the best women’s basketball conference in the country.  Cryor intends to major in business administration at Georgia Tech.



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