Nov. 15, 2005
ATLANTA – Two Street & Smith Honorable Mention All-Americans and a 2005 Atlanta Journal-Constitution Terrific Ten standout have signed letters of intent to play at Georgia Tech beginning in the 2006-07 season, Georgia Tech head coach MaChelle Joseph announced Tuesday.
Joining the Yellow Jacket program are 6-3 center Tiffany Blackmon of Gastonia, North Carolina, 6-1 guard/forward Nia Josiah of Frederick, Maryland, and 5-7 guard Janaé Stokes of Vidalia, Georgia.
“It is apparent that our recruiting coordinator Sytia Messer, along with assistant coach Sadiaa Jones and Seth Kushkin, did an outstanding job of not only finding the players that fit into our style of play, but also the type of elite student-athletes that it takes to be successful at Georgia Tech,” said Joseph.
Blackmon, a center from Hunter Huss High School who committed to Georgia Tech following her sophomore year, is a three-time Honorable Mention Street & Smith All-American and was a member of the adidas Top-Ten All-American All-Star team in 2005. A member of the Team North Carolina All-Star game this past season and a two-time member of the all-state team, Blackmon is ranked the No. 8 center in the nation and 38th overall by the All Star Girls Report, and 50th in the nation by Blue Star. The two-time Gazette and Gaston/Observer Player of the Year was named the Big South AAA Conference Player of the Year in 2004 and 2005, and has earned all-conference honors in each of her three prep seasons. A member of the National Honor Society and National Beta Club, Blackmon averaged 18 points, 12 rebounds and six blocks per game during her junior season at Hunter Huss under head coach Jane Wiggins and played AAU ball for Scott Barringer with the Queen City Dynasty.
“Tiffany committed to us after her sophomore year after being recruited by nearly every team in the ACC, and her loyalty to Georgia Tech, along with her desire to be a part of our program, inspired her to commit to us [that early],” said Joseph. “The fact that she is so skilled in the post, has a great turnaround jump shot, and her ability to block shots reminds me a lot of [current Georgia Tech senior] Kasha Terry. With losing Kasha’s size and mobility inside, Tiffany will definitely be a great asset to this program.”
Josiah, a guard/forward at Governor Thomas Johnson High School, is also a three-time Honorable Mention Street & Smith All-American and was an adidas Top-Ten All-American Camp participant with Blackmon in 2005. An All-Games Sports All-American Camp All-Star in 2004, Josiah is ranked the No. 22 wing forward in the nation and No. 128 overall by the All-Star Girls Report, and the No. 98 prospect in the nation by Blue Star. A first-team All-Gazette, all-league, and all-area player in 2005, Josiah led her Governor Thomas Johnson team to the 4A State semifinals, the school’s first appearance in the state tournament in 15 years, by averaging 20 points, 9.5 rebounds, 3.5 assists, 2.1 steals and one block per game. She has scored 906 points in her prep career, and has led her 2004 Maryland Mystics AAU team to the gold medal at the Potomac Valley Regionals, her 2005 Ball Skills AAU team to the Potomac Valley Regionals bronze medal, and her 2002 Fairfax Stars AAU team to the bronze medal at the national tournament. The Frederick, Maryland native has been on a medal-winning AAU team for five regional and four national tournaments. A member of the National Honor Society, a Distinguished Maryland Scholar Honorable Mention, and a member of the 2005 Forensics and Debate Team at Governor Thomas Johnson, Josiah holds a 4.9 GPA and has earned the Kappa Alpha Psi, Nathaniel Handy Memorial, Ballard Accounting, Faulk Dental, and Urbana High and Governor Thomas Johnson PTSA Academic Scholarships during her prep career.
“Nia is an exceptional student-athlete, and the fact that she chose us over Stanford and Harvard just tells you about her academic commitment,” said Joseph. “The one word that describes her on the court is versatile. She can play three or four positions, and her ability to defend those positions is unbelievable. She plays the game with a maturity and calmness about her, and she is a tremendous athlete with a lot of upside. She is currently on track to graduate [at the top of] her class and it’s great to bring someone into your program with such high aspirations like hers, as she’s committed to becoming a doctor. She ultimately wants to attend an Ivy League school and study abroad, and those are things that you don’t find every day. She’s the complete package with the academic background and athletic skills.”
Stokes, a guard at Vidalia High School, is the state of Georgia’s leading returning scorer from the 2004-05 season, when she averaged over 30 points per game. The two-time all-state player is on the verge of becoming the school’s all-time scoring leader, and has been named to the AJC Fab-15 in 2004 and was recently named a member of the 2005 AJC Terrific Ten. Stokes has averaged over 20 points per game in her three years at Vidalia under coach Chuck Reid, starting 81 games, 70 of which she scored in double-figures. She has scored 20 or more points in 50 games in her career, including 15 games with 30+ points. A member of the Georgia Metros team for the 2005 Nike Nationals, Stokes shot over 58 percent from beyond the three-point arc and chose Georgia Tech over Georgia, Kentucky and Temple.
“Janaé can flat-out score,” began Joseph. “She can put points on the board in a hurry. There were several games over the summer against some of the best teams in the country where she would make five or six threes in a game, and she has a tremendous ability to put the ball in the basket.
“Going into the season, we knew that we wanted to bring in two of the top players in the state, especially because we’re losing three key seniors from Georgia after this year. We are so fortunate that we were able to bring in someone like Janaé, who won a national championship with her AAU team where she was her team’s second-leading scorer, and we think that she is going to be a great asset to our program.”
The early signing period for women’s basketball concludes Wednesday.
Georgia Tech Women's Basketball SigneesTiffany Blackmon, C, 6-3, Gastonia, NC, (Hunter Huss)Nia Josiah, G/F, 6-1, Frederick, Md. (Governor Thomas Johnson)Janaé Stokes, G, 5-7, Vidalia, Ga. (Vidalia)