Nov. 19, 2001
ATLANTA — The Georgia Tech women’s basketball team signed the top class in school history, by inking five prospects to national letters of intent during the early signing period, Yellow Jacket head coach Agnus Berenato announced on Monday.
The Jackets signees include Kasha Terry, a 6-4 center from Douglas County High in Douglasville, Ga., Ashley Guerrant, a 6-3 forward from East Lansing High in East Lansing, Mich., Megan Harpring, a 5-9 guard from Duluth, Ga., and The Marist School in Atlanta, Ga., April Johnson, a 6-2 power forward from Jones County High in Macon, Ga., and Jessica Williams, a 6-1 power forward from Riverdale High in Riverdale, Ga.
“My staff and the team did a phenomenal job of bringing in the best class that we have ever had here at Georgia Tech,” said Berenato. “We’re trying to go to the next level in everything that we do and we were fortunate that this year there were student-athletes right here in Georgia that could do well both on the court and in the classroom. This will be an impact class and not a group that will be role players for us. We expect all of them to contribute immediately next year.”
Terry, the most highly-regarded member of the group, is ranked among the nation’s top prospects by a number of scouting services and was called the biggest commitment in Georgia Tech history by The Women’s Basketball Journal. Terry, a fifth-team preseason All-American by Street & Smith, is a three-time USA Today honorable mention All-America pick. She was rated as the No. 19 prospect in the nation by the Blue Star Index and the All-Star Girls Report rated her as the 28th prospect overall in the nation and as the No. 4 center in the country. Basketball Times rated her among the top-20 prospects in the nation and in 2001, Terry was an adidas Camp Super Six by Position pick as well. She earned first-team all-state honors as a junior after averaging 14 points and 15 rebounds per game, while recording eight triple-doubles a year ago.
“Kasha has tremendous skills for a center,” said Berenato. “She is very athletic and runs the court as well as a guard. Her athleticism will help us immediately when she gets to Georgia Tech. Kasha can play facing the basket as well as with her back to the basket.”
“I’m very excited about coming to Georgia Tech and being part of an up-and-coming program rather than one that was already established,” said Terry. “I want to earn a degree from Georgia Tech because of the strong academics there. Also, I really like the family atmosphere around the team, and Coach Berenato really reminds me of my mom and that will help in going to Tech.”
Another addition to Tech’s front-line corps will be Johnson, who is a three-time USA Today honorable mention All-American along with being a two-time preseason honorable mention All-America selection by Street & Smith’s, earning the distinction both as a junior and a senior. Recently, Johnson was named a finalist for the 2002 McDonald’s High School All-America game. The All-Star Girl’s Report rates her as the No. 30 prospect in the nation, while Basketball Times includes her in its list of the top-20 prospects in the South. A 2002 adidas Camp Super Six by Position selection, Johnson was rated as the No. 2 power forward at the select camp. She is currently her class’ president and was named to the “Who’s Who Among High School Students,” by Marquis Who’s Who.
“April has already made the move from the post to the wing as a senior in high school,” said Berenato. “That means that we won’t have to work on that when she gets here, and she will be able to play at the three position right away. Her development is a compliment to her individual work ethic.”
“I chose Georgia Tech because I know how great it will be to get a degree from there,” said Johnson. “Also, I wanted to be able to play and help the team out right away and I will get to do that at Tech. I’m very excited about getting to play for Coach Berenato, Coach (MaChelle) Joseph, Coach (Jeffrey) Williams and for Coach (Kisha) Ford. They are all nice people and great coaches. It will be like another family there and going away for school, I will be comfortable in that atmosphere.”
The third member of the class is a name familiar to Yellow Jacket fans, as Megan Harpring is the younger sister of former Tech men’s basketball standout Matt Harpring. A top prep player in her own right, Harpring was named the No. 61 prospect in the nation by the Blue-Star Index and was the No. 92 player in the country by the All-Star Girl’s Report. She is a three-time Atlanta Journal-Constitution honorable mention all-state selection and was recently named to the AJC’s Metro-Atlanta preseason top-10 list for 2002. Harpring was also a member of Street & Smith’s preseason honorable mention All-America team and was an USA Today honorable-mention All-American.
“Megan really has great guts and intensity, along with having a great nose for the ball,” said Berenato. “She possesses a tremendous work ethic, and we have all seen what her brother Matt did for the men’s program here at Tech and now the women’s program will get to see what she can do for our team. She learned a lot of her game from her brother.”
“Probably the biggest reason that I chose Georgia Tech and the first reason, is for the academics there,” said Harpring. “I just really love the atmosphere there and I really feel at home at Tech since I’ve been around it so much with three of my brothers having gone there. I think it will be really cool to play in the same place where by brother’s jersey is retired and hanging from the rafters. I really like the team at Tech along with the coaching staff. Matt and I are similar people and all of my brothers like Georgia Tech and I know that I will too.”
Tech’s lone signee from outside the state of Georgia is Guerrant, who is listed among the nation’s top-100 prospects by the All-Star Girl’s Report and was a 2001 adidas Select Camp Invitee. A 2001 pre-season all-state selection in Michigan, she has opened this season in strong fashion for East Lansing, averaging 10 points, 12 rebounds and nine blocks per game during the year, as Michigan’s season runs through the fall. Guerrant finished her junior season by averaging nearly a triple-double with 10 points, 10 rebounds and nine blocks per contest. An outstanding student, she was a CAC all-academic team member and earned her school’s scholar-athlete award, along with being inducted into the National Honor Society.
“Ashley impressed us first of all with her academic work and also with the fact that she has a great basketball body,” said Berenato. “She really has great timing for rebounding and shot blocking, with defense being the strong suit of her game.”
“Georgia Tech was just the perfect fit for me with the coaches, the players and the academics,” said Guerrant. “It was my first official visit this year and once I got there I just got the feeling that I knew it was the right place for me. The program really has a family atmosphere and that’s great to know that when I get there that will be part of playing for Georgia Tech.”
Rounding out the class of 2006, is Williams, who was ranked as the nation’s No. 85 prospect and as the 11th-rated power forward in the country by the All-Star Girl’s Report. She has also been a two-time honorable mention All-America selection by both USA Today and Street & Smith’s. Williams is ranked among the top-20 prospects in the south by the Basketball Times and was named to the adidas top-10 camp all-star team this past summer. She was recently named to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Metro-Atlanta preseason top-10 team. An all-around student-athlete, Williams is a National Merit Scholarship qualifier and was inducted into the National Honor Society, while also being enrolled in an honors curriculum at Riverdale High.
“Jessica was big for us, because she was the first one in the group to commit this year and really got the class started,” said Berenato. “She is great around the block and is a solid player already, but still possesses a lot of untapped talent. Another strength of hers is that she believes in academics and also believes in what we are doing her and where we want to go.”
GEORGIA TECH WOMEN’S BASKETBALL SIGNEES Ashley Guerrant, 6-3, F, East Lansing, Mich. (East Lansing)
Megan Harpring, 5-9, G, Duluth, Ga. (Marist)
April Johnson, 6-2, F, Macon, Ga. (Jones County)
Kasha Terry, 6-4, C, Douglasville, Ga. (Douglas County)
Jessica Williams, 6-1, F, Riverdale, Ga. (Riverdale)