NORFOLK, Va. – Norfolk State women’s basketball coach Debra Clark announced Monday her five-player recruiting class that will suit up for the Spartans beginning in the 2015-16 season.
The class includes two junior college signees, power forward Michelle Wright (Baltimore, Md./Baltimore City Community College) and point guard Ashante Doby (Palm Beach, Fla./Miami Dade College), who signed this spring. Those two join three early signees from the high school ranks: guards Quiera Gilmore (Charlotte, N.C./Ardrey Kell HS) and Yazmen Hannah (Hickory, N.C./Hickory HS) and small forward Alexys Long (Clinton, Md./Largo HS).
“We’re very ecstatic about our recruiting class for the 2015-16 season,” Clark said. “This is a very talented group that will help our program right away. The fans are going to enjoy watching them play and contribute to our success.”
Wright (5-10) was named the Maryland Junior College Player of the Year and earned first-team all-conference honors after leading Baltimore City with 20.7 points, 9.9 rebounds and 3.6 steals per game as a sophomore in 2014-15. She shot 47 percent from the floor, 33 from 3-point range and 72 percent from the foul line for the Panthers, who advanced to the Region XX championship game. Wright is a Baltimore native who led Dunbar High to consecutive Class A state championships as a junior and senior while garnering first-team All-Metro honors by The Baltimore Sun in both years. She scored more than 1,800 career points in her high school career.
“Michelle is an undersized post player who plays much bigger than her size,” Clark said. “She is an aggressive rebounder with great shooting range for a post player.”
Doby is a 5-5 guard who will have two years of eligibility remaining after a stint at Miami Dade College. As a sophomore in 2014-15, Doby earned first-team All-Southern Conference accolades after averaging 8.4 points, 3.3 assists and 2.4 steals per game. Doby shot 78 percent from the free-throw line and 36 percent from 3-point range while posting a 2.6-1 assist-to-turnover ratio. She played prep basketball at Palm Beach High School.
“Ashante is an experienced point guard with great speed and quickness who can also score,” Clark said. “She has a great understanding of the game and sees the floor well.”
Gilmore is a 5-6 point guard who led Ardrey Kell High School to a 25-3 record and the fourth round of the state 4A playoffs last year. Gilmore averaged 5.6 points, 5.0 assists, 3.1 steals and 2.1 rebounds per game for Ardrey Kell, which went a perfect 14-0 in its conference.
“Quiera is a point guard who pushes the ball well in transition,” Clark said. “She is also capable of attacking the basket off the dribble and is a very solid perimeter defender.”
Hannah, a 5-7 guard, was an Associated Press all-state selection and was her conference’s Co-Player of the Year after leading Hickory to a perfect 27-0 record and the 3A state championship. Hannah averaged 21.0 points, 4.7 rebounds, 4.1 steals and 2.6 assists per game. She finished second in The Associated Press’ state Player of the Year voting and was a first-team all-district selection.
“Yazmen is a two-guard with good range who knows how to score,” Clark said. “She gets out well on the fast break and finishes well against contact.”
Long (5-10) is a two-time All-Gazette honorable mention selection who averaged 12.7 points per game as a senior. She helped lead Largo to a 21-4 overall record and 17-0 conference ledger as a senior, including a spot in the state 2A South Region championship game. After the season, Long participated in the Mid-Atlantic Showcase game of the 2015 Roundball Classic for the top players in the metropolitan Washington, D.C. area. Long is also the younger sister of NSU men’s basketball signee, Alex Long.
“Alexys is a talented small forward who we feel will be able to provide scoring from the perimeter,” Clark said. “She also rebounds well.”
The five-player class joins nine returning players from the Spartans’ 14-16 team that finished 11-5 in MEAC play and advanced to the conference tournament semifinals this past season.
Originally published on http://www.nsuspartans.com/Used with permission