Kieger Inks Her First Recruiting Class
Nov. 18, 2014
MILWAUKEE - Marquette University head women's basketball coach Carolyn Kieger has announced the signing of her first recruiting class. Kieger will add six to her roster for the 2015-16 season as Allazia Blockton, Erika Davenport, Chelsey Gibson, Natisha Heideman, Danielle King, and Amani Wilborn have signed National Letters of Intent and will arrive at Marquette in the summer of 2015.
Kieger's first recruiting class includes four top-150 recruits according to Prospects Nation and three of the top five players from the state of Wisconsin.
"I am thrilled to add all six of these young ladies to the Marquette family," Kieger said. "I could not be more excited for the future of our program and our staff's first recruiting class. Each of these student-athletes brings different strengths to the table, but all embody the character, competiveness and self-motivation that we instill at Marquette.
"This entire class fits perfectly into our up-tempo style of play and will mix in great with our current players. The future is coming fast and is very bright. This group will be extremely fun to watch over the next four years and I look forward to the Marquette community being able share in their journey."
Blockton, Davenport, Heideman, King and Wilborn will have four years of eligibility with the Golden Eagles, while Gibson, a junior college player, will have two.
The Milwaukee native, who is considered one of the top recruits in the state, is ranked No. 91 overall by Prospects Nation and No. 16 at her position by ESPN HoopGurlz. After just three seasons Blockton has recorded 1,630 points and set the single-season scoring mark for Dominican High School with 633 points during her junior year. She averaged 24.3 points per game, 11.5 rebounds and 3.0 assists last season. Blockton has been all-state for the past two seasons and was fourth in the state in scoring during her junior year.
"Receiving the news that Allazia chose to stay home and play at Marquette was a huge moment for our program," said Kieger. "Not only is Allazia a dangerous threat on the basketball floor, she is equally talented in the classroom. She has high hopes of being a neurosurgeon and is extremely focused. It is that type of drive and competitiveness that drew us to her in the first place. She has incredible potential both on and off the floor. I know she will be a tremendous leader for this team and class."
Prospects Nation lists Davenport as the No. 131 prospect overall and ESPN HoopGurlz ranks her at No. 16 in her position. The Girls Midwest Recruiting Report states that she is the No. 4 player in the state of Michigan. Davenport was named the 2014 Associated Press Class A Player of the Year and MLive Detroit Player of the Year as she averaged 22.3 points and 14.2 rebounds per game as a junior. Through three seasons Davenport has amassed 1,070 career points and 743 rebounds and was selected first team all-state in 2013 and 2014.
"Erika is one of the most competitive players I have come across. She fights every possession and pursues the basketball restlessly," Kieger said. "She will bring a demeanor to the court that will elevate her teammates and intimidate opponents. She exudes the standard of toughness that we look for in our program. Erika is the type of teammate who would run through wall for her teammates and is definitely a player you want on your side. I look forward to developing her skills and watching her grow into an elite level forward."
Gibson is a transfer to Marquette from Gulf Coast State College in Panama City, Florida, and ranks No. 23 overall and No. 4 in her position among junior college players according to Dan Olsen's ESPN Collegiate Girls Basketball Report. Gibson averaged 12.7 points and 6.8 rebounds per contest as a freshman and was named to the 2014 Panhandle All-Conference First Team and was an all-freshman selection. She is an explosive shot blocker and rebounder and has a vast scoring arsenal. With five games under her belt in the 2014-15 season, Gibson is averaging 15.2 points per game.
"Chelsey is a player who we have watched develop throughout the years. It is exciting to know we will finally be able to coach and mentor her to help reach her full potential," said Kieger. "She is a fierce competitor that has not even scratched the surface of her full ability. She has a knack for rebounding and finishing around the rim and will complement our style of play with her versatility on both ends of the floor. Her experience will be vital to anchoring the rest of this class."
Heideman ranks No. 74 overall by the All Star Girls Basketball Report and No. 144 overall according to Prospects Nation. The explosive guard averaged 17.1 points, 6.4 rebounds and 3.6 steals as a junior to earn First Team All-Fox River Classic honors for the second consecutive season. She has surpassed 1,000 career points and ranks second on Green Bay Southwest's all-time scoring list. The multi-sport athlete is a nine-time WIAA state qualifier in track field, won the state triple jump title in June 2014, and recently qualified for the state tournament in tennis. Heideman is the sister of MU men's basketball freshman Sandy Cohen.
"Natisha was our first commitment to our staff and was a vital addition to our program," Kieger said. "She has a tremendous ability to score the basketball and is very entertaining to watch. The Marquette community will love her crafty and dynamic style of play. She has a contagious personality and energy that will impact her teammates, coaches and fans. We look forward to her skill set joining our electrifying backcourt."
The Girls Midwest Recruiting Report ranks King as the sixth-best prospect in Illinois and ESPN HoopGurlz has her listed as the No. 31 prospect in her position. She averaged 19.5 points, 7.8 rebounds, 5.4 assists and 5.2 steals per game last season. King played for the Chicago Fire during the AAU season and led her team to a championship at the Battle of the Boro in Tennessee. She is one of the quickest and most explosive guards in the 2015 class and has been the captain of her high school team for three years.
"Danielle is fast and fearless. She is one of, if not, the fastest guard in the 2015 class," Kieger said. "Her speed is a superior attribute, but it is her court vision and ball handling skills that set her apart. She makes everyone around her better and brings out the best in her teammates. We look forward to her pushing tempo and elevating our pace of play. She is an extremely hard worker and we can't wait to add her tenaciousness to our team."
Wilborn ranks No. 84 overall by Prospects Nation and No. 16 at her position by ESPN HoopGurlz. Wilborn led Riverside to a state championship as a sophomore averaging 15.5 points, 5.3 rebounds, 4.9 assists and 3.3 steals per game. She followed that stellar campaign with 16.0 points, 6.8 rebounds and 3.1 steals as a junior. She was the city conference Co-Player of the Year and has played AAU with fellow signees Blockton and Heideman.
"Keeping three of the premier players home in Wisconsin was an integral part to our vision," Kieger said. "Adding Amani to our class was a significant step towards success for our program. She is a multi-dimensional combo guard whose potential is through the roof. Her athleticism and passing ability are already at an elite level. Adding her skill set to our system will be lethal. Her future is very bright and we are excited to watch her grow at home."
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