Nov. 14, 2012
THE FLATS – Kaela Davis of Buford, Ga., the No. 1-ranked prospect in the girls’ basketball class of 2013, headlines Georgia Tech’s recruiting class which signed National Letters of Intent to play for head coach MaChelle Joseph and the Yellow Jackets beginning next fall.
Along with Davis, Donnaizha Fountain of Cambridge, Mass., and Gabrielle Holston of Birmingham, Ala., make up the Yellow Jackets’ 16th-ranked recruiting class. The trio gives Georgia Tech a top-20 recruiting class for the third straight year.
“This class is the most athletic class we have ever signed,” Joseph said. “All three of these unique players have the ability to impact our program.”
Davis, a 6-2 guard, is ranked No. 1 overall by Peach State Basketball and JumpOffPlus.com. She was named to the 2012-13 Preseason American Family Insurance ALL-USA Girls Team by USA Today Sports. Davis helped lead Norcross to the Class AAAAA state title as a freshman before transferring to Buford. At Buford, Davis led her team to the Class AA state title in 2011 and the state runner-up in 2012. During her junior campaign, the daughter of 17-year NBA veteran Antonio Davis averaged 18.5 points, 6.3 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 2.0 steals. Davis has earned all-state and all-county honors in each of her first three years.
“Kaela Davis is an unbelievable athlete who has the skill set to make a total player,” said Gene Durden, who coached Davis at Buford High School. “She has the ability to take over a game in many different ways. Her versatility, size and knowledge of the game gives her advantages over most players. Her experience of playing at so many levels gives her the confidence in her game that other players lack. Kaela is a game changer and her potential is unlimited.”
Davis has played on various USA Basketball teams, winning gold medals at the 2012 FIBA U17 World Championships in Spain and at the 2011 FIBA Americas U16 Championship. Davis, the godsister of WNBA star Candace Parker, averaged 8.8 points and 3.9 rebounds in eight games at this year’s U17 world championships. Davis was one of only four players selected to play for USA Basketball’s 2012 U18 3×3 team and added a third gold medal when she won the 2012 FIBA 3×3 U18 World Championships.
Kaela Davis won three gold medals with USA Basketball
“Kaela Davis is a very special talent,” Joseph said. “She is a program changer. Her impact will be felt at Georgia Tech for years to come. Her presence will forever change this program. She is a winner, a future Olympian and someone that exemplifies all the qualities we embrace at Tech. Kaela has the ability to play four positions on the floor. Her versatility is what separates her and makes her one of the best players in the country. Our fans will enjoy watching her career unfold at Georgia Tech.”
Fountain is a 6-0 guard, a top-100 ranked player and the top-rated recruit in the state of Massachusetts. In the last two years she has climbed into the top three positions of her high-school’s all-time records list in four different statistical categories. Her 15.9 points per game in the 2010-11 season ranks third and her 9.9 rebounds per game in the same season rank second. Fountain owns two of the school’s top four rebounding games when she hauled in 17 at Somerville on Feb. 11, 2011, and 22 at Andover just 10 days later. The all-around player tied the school record for steals in a game with 10 against Westford Academy on Feb. 17, 2011.
“Donnaizha Fountain is one of the quickest, most athletic players in the class of 2013,” Joseph said. “She is a tremendous competitor that wants to win every time she steps on the court. The first time I saw her play I thought I was watching Ty Marshall. She is a diamond in the rough and it will be fun to see her development over the next four years.”
During her two-year career at Cambridge Rindge and Latin High School, Fountain has connected on 49 percent of all field goal attempts and has averaged 14.8 points, 9.5 rebounds, 3.7 steals, 2.0 assists and 1.7 blocks per game.
“When Donnaizha transferred here as a sophomore, she immediately made a lasting imprint on the team, the school and the community,” said Dana Ellcock, who coached Fountain in high school. “On the court, she is a gifted, talented and athletic player who can effectively play all five positions on the floor. She loves to get up and down the court and should be a delight to see perform in a Yellow Jacket uniform.”
Holston, a 6-0 wing player, was named the most valuable player of the 5A Northeast Regional in helping Center Point make a run to the 2012 Alabama state semifinals. The three-star rated player averaged eight points, nine rebounds and three blocks as a junior. Holston, the third-best ranked player in the state of Alabama, earned second team class 5A all-state selection in 2012 from the Alabama Sports Writers Association.
“Gabby Holston is the most athletic player I have ever coached,” said Holston’s high school coach Ulysses Haynes. “She has all the intangibles to play positions 1-4.”
“Gabby Holston is a hard-nosed, tough player that will do whatever it takes to help her team,” said the recruiting site BamaPrep.com. “She wears her heart on her sleeve with the ability to play multiple positions. Every team needs a player like Holston who is not afraid to do the dirty work.
Entering her senior season, Holston has registered more than 1,000 points, 800 rebounds, 300 assists and 100 blocks. She has helped her team win three regional championships and appear in the state’s final four each season, and a state title.
“Gabby Holston is a blue-collar type forward who is very aggressive and physical on both ends of the floor,” Joseph said. “Her athleticism is fun to watch. She is a rebounding machine. Gabby is an outstanding student-athlete that will add depth to our frontcourt. Her versatility is a great fit for our style of play.”
Fans are encouraged to follow Georgia Tech women’s basketball on Twitter, @GTWBB, and like the Yellow Jackets on Facebook, GTWomensBasketball, for an inside look at the program.
What they’re saying:
Keil Moore, Peach State Basketball:
“The Georgia Tech women’s basketball program was able to add an elite perimeter scorer, an emerging prospect with elite athleticism and length, and a physical forward who is a proven rebounder with their three additions for the 2013 recruiting class. For Tech coach MaChelle Joseph and her staff, Kaela Davis of Buford, Ga., Donnaizha Fountain of Cambridge, Mass., and Gabrielle Holston of Birmingham, Ala., will shape up to be another top notch recruiting class.
“Davis, the No. 1 overall prospect rated by Peach State Basketball and the Jumpoffplus.com, is a highly sought after recruit and is one of the most accomplished members of the 2013 class. To date, Davis has three gold medals and a bronze with USA Basketball, in addition to multiple state championships and countless individual awards. As the country’s highest rated player, her addition to the Georgia Tech roster will give them an additional scoring option on the perimeter. At 6-foot tall, Donnaizha Fountain will give Georgia Tech an athlete with very good size for the wing and forward positions. As a prep prospect, Fountain showed the acumen to improve every year she was in high school and should be able to contribute in a variety of areas throughout her career in the ACC. Gabrielle Holston is considered to be one of the more physical interior players in the country and should be able to make an impact on both sides of the ball with her physicality and toughness. Holston has proven to be a factor on the boards during her days at the prep ranks and seems to be a perfect fit for coach Joseph and her staff’s style of play.”
Bret McCormick, All Star Girls Report:
“Kaela Davis is a multiple position player that can take over the game at any time. Her adept skill set allows her to play inside and outside. She can be as good as she wants to be.
“Donnaizha Fountain is a tremendous athlete who can post up and really attacks the hoop. She could be an All-ACC player in a couple of years. She is high-energy and her upside is high.
“Gabby Holston is a freaky athletic leaper that is strong. She can score inside and slash from the perimeter. She will fit into Tech’s pressing up and down style.”
Mike Flynn, Blue Star Basketball
“Coach Joseph and her staff have brought in another top-20 recruiting class that is highlighted by their first top five player in the country in Kaela Davis. Davis is an incredibly gifted athlete that can score in multiple ways. She is one of the few `impact players’ in the class of 2013 that has pro potential. Donnaizha Fountain has tremendous upside as she is an athlete with a great first step. She has a scorer’s mentality that can attack the rim and hit the pull up jump shot. She isn’t afraid to get after it on the defensive end. Gabby Holston is another major athlete who can slash to the basket and jump out of the gym. With the addition of Fountain/Holston and the impact Davis will give them, this should allow the Yellow Jackets to take the next step towards climbing to the top of the ACC.”
Dan Olson, Girls Basketball Report
“My hat goes off to MaChelle and the Georgia Tech staff for continuing to pull high level talent to Georgia Tech. Kaela Davis is one of the elite players in the country and has a tremendous gift to play the game of basketball. Donnaizha Fountain gives the Yellow Jackets a long, athletic perimeter player much like Kaela Davis. Fountain will help solidify Georgia Tech’s perimeter play with her length and athleticism. She could potentially be a real star in the ACC. Gabby Holston will add depth as well in the frontcourt.”