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Yellow Jacket Women's Hoops Completes Top Five Signing Class

April 16, 2012

ATLANTA – Georgia Tech head women’s basketball coach MaChelle Joseph has announced Je Zhe Newton and Roddreka Rogers have signed National Letters of Intent to play for the Yellow Jackets beginning in 2012-13.

The pair joins the early signing class of Kym Ellison, Brittany Jackson, Breana McDonald and Aaliyah Whiteside, which was ranked fourth in the country by Collegiate Girls Basketball Report. Both Newton and Rogers have fathers who played Division I basketball. Newton’s father Rob played at New Mexico from 1988-91 and Rogers’ father Rodney played at Wake Forest from 1990-93 and in the NBA from 1993-2005.

“Adding these two very talented players in April will give us one of the elite classes nationally,” Joseph said. “Je Zhe and Roddreka will add to a class that boasts four of the best guards in the country. The future is very bright for this program.

“Our 2012-13 team will be one of the tallest and most talented teams we have ever had at Georgia Tech,” Joseph added.

Newton is a 6-3 post player from Chandler High School in Phoenix, Ariz., and was the highest ranked unsigned 2012 recruit in the country. Newton, who didn’t play last season because of an ACL injury, averaged 13.4 points and 9.4 rebounds per game as a junior while leading her team to a 24-6 record and a spot in the Arizona AIA 5A Division I championship game.

Considered a four-star prospect by ESPN HoopGurlz, Newton scored more than 1,000 points and grabbed over 700 rebounds in just three scholastic seasons. She is currently ranked as high as the ninth-best post player in the nation and is described by ESPN HoopGurlz as a player who “has the potential to be the dominant player on the floor anytime she suits up”.

“We have just signed one of the 10 best centers in the country in the 2012 class in Je Zhe Newton,” Joseph said. “She will give us a presence on the inside for the next four years. She is a physical and talented post player that will be an impact player at Georgia Tech.”

Rogers is a 6-0 power forward from Myers Park High School in Charlotte, N.C., and was named Southwestern 4A Player of the Year by the Charlotte Observer. As a senior, Rogers averaged 11.9 points and 9.3 rebounds in leading her team to a 31-1 record and an appearance in the state championship game.

Rogers was also named to the All-Observer Girls Basketball Team.

“Roddreka Rogers is one of the most underrated players in the class of 2012,” Joseph said. “She is a strong, athletic rebounder with three-point range. I love her relentless effort on the glass and her versatility. She will fit perfectly into our up-tempo style of play at Georgia Tech.”

Georgia Tech is coming off its most successful season in school history in which it won program-bests 12 ACC games and 26 overall games, played in only the second ACC championship game in school history and advanced to the program’s first Sweet 16.

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 About Newton and Rogers:

Dan Olson, Collegiate Girls Basketball Report
“Je Zhe Newton is among the very few elite, unsigned players on the board. She is a consensus top center on the board. Prior to her injury, her potential was off the charts. She is definitely an impact low-post player and will develop under Coach Joseph and excel both athletically and academically at Georgia Tech.”

“Roddreka Rogers is a powerful interior player and was just waiting for the best opportunity. She comes from great blood lines and has a great opportunity at an outstanding school.”

“With the addition of these two players, Georgia Tech will likely jump into the top-five nationally in recruiting class rankings.”

Chris Hansen, National Director of Prospects, ESPN HoopGurlz
“With the addition of Je Zhe Newton, the Yellow Jackets have a top 10 class nationally. With four players in the ESPN HoopGurlz 100, this class is impressive with that alone, but adding a 6-3 post with Newton’s upside makes this one of the most complete classes in the country. Whiteside and McDonald bring athleticism and versatility to the wing positions and Newton, when healthy, is a threat on the boxes on offense and good shotblocker on the defensive end.”

“Coach Joseph has signed solid classes in recent years, but this class brings more talent than the 2008 class which also was ranked in the top 10 nationally. After a 26-9 season, this is quite the exclamation mark for Tech.”

Arne Morris, Garner Flames AAU
“Roddreka is not only a high quality athlete with a lot of versatility, but she is also a high quality person. Georgia Tech just added a wonderful asset to their program.”

Greg Strickling, GSB AAU Basketball
“It’s a great moment for Je Zhe, the Newton family and the GSB program. Witnessing one of the first members of our program go on to receive a scholarship from a national power is awesome for our players and coaches.”

Keil Moore, Peach State Basketball
“At the close of the early signing period, Georgia Tech had one of the best recruiting classes in the country. With signed national letters of intent from Kimberly Ellison, Brittany Jackson, Breana McDonald, and Aaliyah Whiteside, Georgia Tech had put together a four player class that would rival just about any class in the country. The one thing the class lacked was an elite post player to replace current senior Sasha Goodlett. During the late signing period Tech found their post player. Adding Je Zhe Newton, a consensus top 100 player out of Chandler, Ariz., gives them a quality post player who should be a perfect fit for Tech’s up-tempo style of play. In addition to Newton, Tech added 6-foot-1 forward Roddreka Rogers who should bring a good amount of versatility to the roster as she has the ability to play inside and out.”

Georgia Tech’s 2012 Signing Class
Aaliyah Whiteside, G/F, 6-0, Memphis, Tenn. (Memphis Central HS), #23 – ESPN HoopGurlz
Breana McDonald, G/F, 6-0, Lithonia, Ga. (Chamblee HS), #29 – Girls Basketball Report
Brittany Jackson, G, 5-9, Sebastian, Fla. (Sebastian River HS), #40 – Girls Basketball Report
Je Zhe Newton, C, 6-3, Phoenix, Ariz. (Chandler HS), #47 – The Jumpoff Plus
Roddreka Rogers, F, 6-0, Charlotte, N.C. (Myers Park HS), #30 Forward – Girls Basketball Report
Kym Ellison, G, 5-7, Columbus, Ga. (Hardaway HS)

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