Nov. 9, 2011
ATLANTA – Georgia Tech women’s basketball head coach MaChelle Joseph announced the signing of four student-athletes to National Letters of Intent on the first day of the early signing period today. The class of Kym Ellison, Brittany Jackson, Breana McDonald and Aaliyah Whiteside is ranked fourth by Collegiate Girls Basketball Report behind only seven-time national champion Connecticut, defending national champion Texas A&M and eight-time national champion Tennessee.
The class features three top 30 recruits as ranked by Collegiate Girls Basketball Report and is the highest ranked class Georgia Tech has signed under Joseph.
“We are very excited about these four student-athletes that have chosen to join our family at Georgia Tech,” Joseph said. “Without a doubt, this is one of the most athletic and talented classes we have ever had.”
“The size, speed, and athleticism of this class will provide us with the perimeter play we will need to compete at the top of the ACC and nationally,” Joseph added.
Whiteside, a 6-0 wing from Memphis, Tenn., is ranked 16th by Collegiate Girls Basketball Report and is the highest ranked signee since Joseph and her staff inked Alex Montgomery (2006) who just became the 10th pick in the 2011 WNBA Draft, the highest Yellow Jacket ever drafted and the first ACC player selected.
As a junior Whiteside, a lefty, led her team to a 29-9 record and a Tennessee State Championship.
“Aaliyah is a tremendous athlete with great length and quickness,” Joseph said. “She will fit into our offensive and defensive schemes immediately. She gives us a left-handed slasher with a scoring mentality.”
Joseph also added local product Breana McDonald, a 6-foot wing from Lithonia, Ga., who was tabbed the No. 25 player nationally by All-Star Girl’s Report. During her junior campaign, McDonald led her team to a 23-1 record while averaging 13 points per game and three assists an outing, and finished in the top 15 in four statistical categories (points, rebounds, assists and blocks) in DeKalb County.
ESPN HoopGurlz calls McDonald “possibly one of the most dynamic and explosive one-on-one players in the 2012 class”.
“We have recruited Breana McDonald since her freshman year in high school and have watched her develop into one of the best guards in the country,” Joseph said. “She is a gifted athlete that can play at the highest level on both ends of the floor. We are excited to add the best guard in the state in the 2012 class to our proram.”
The third member of the 2012 class is Brittany Jackson, a 5-9 combo guard from Sebastian, Fla. In 2011, Jackson helped her squad to back-to-back district titles and regional final appearances with 13.3 points, seven rebounds and three steals per game.
Jackson has been a Scripps Treasure Coast All-Area First Team selection since she was a freshman and added Player of the Year accolades in 2010.
“Brittany Jackson has been a focal point in our recruiting class for three years,” Joseph said. “She is one of the best scoring guards in this class. Her strength is dominating at the guard position and her ability to get to the rim is uncanny. She is an impact type guard.”
Rounding out the class is Kym Ellison, a 5-7 guard from Columbus, Ga., who has been committed to the Jackets since her sophomore year. Ellison earned Region 1 AAAA All-Region and Team MVP honors in 2010 and 2011. As a freshman at Hardaway High School, she led the state in assists, dishing out nine per contest, and helped team to 24-5 record and a spot in the quarterfinals of the state playoffs.
Ellison’s point total has increased each year, from 8.9 as a freshman to 15.3 per game as a junior.
“We are excited to have a student-athlete like Kym in our program,” Joseph said. “She is a steady lead guard that will be able to give us needed depth at the point guard position. She is a very talented passer and has the ability to hit the three. Kym reminds me a lot of Me-Me Walthour and fits our system well.”
Georgia Tech opens the season this Friday, Nov. 11, against Alabama State at 5:30 p.m. at the Arena at Gwinnett, and will also play at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 13, taking on Old Dominion.
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:
Brandon Clay, ESPN HoopGurlz, Peach State Basketball and JumpOffPlus.com
“In their four-player 2012 recruiting class, coach MaChelle Joseph and her staff have assembled a top-10 caliber group. ESPNU HoopGurlz currently has the class headlined by three four-star prospects as the No. 8 class nationally. For a program that traditionally thrives on getting up-and-down the floor in a hurry, this class adds real depth in the backcourt and on the wing as well.”
— RamblinWreck.com —