McNeese Signs Six On First Day of Signing Day - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

McNeese Signs Six On First Day of Signing Day

McNeese head women's basketball coach Brooks Williams has announced the signing of six players. Jasmyn Carswell, Dede Sheppard, Ann Nwosah, Keara Hudnall, Jerica Bolin and Frederica Haywood to National Letters of Intent here Wednesday.
"We are ecstatic about this class," said Williams. "This is as strong a class as we have signed as a whole since 2008 when we signed Ashyln Baggett, Caitlyn Baggett, Raiyawna Gatlin, Ja'Niqua Kendrix and Kendra Wells. I am really excited for our future. Coach Kacie Cryer, our staff and our players did a tremendous job of finding great fits for our program. All of these young ladies have special abilities but they also have great character and a love for the game and all have special needs for our team."
Jasmyn Carswell, a 6-0, forward from Airline High School, is a two time all-district 1-5A selection who averaged 8.4 ppg., 8.2 rpg. and 2.5 spg. as a junior. Carswell played AAU for the Louisiana Lightning."
"Jasmyn is the best back to the goal post player since I have been at Airline (20 years). Her combination of speed, athleticism and range allow her to play much bigger than her 5'11 frame. She's a prolific rebounder and inside presence," said Airline High School head women's basketball coach David Duhon.
Carswell was named the 2013 Indoor State Triple Jump Champion and the 2013 Outdoor Triple Jump State Runner-Up with a school record of 38 ft.- 6 in.
"Jas is a terrific athlete. We are so thrilled about her joining us. She was a fit from the start. She is a great girl. She is extremely outgoing and has such a positive spirit about her. She has a knack to rebound and I love her defensive body and length. She is a very versatile scorer and I am so glad we are going to be a part of her development at the college level. Can't wait to get Jas in blue and gold," Williams said about her Shreveport signee.
"I'm so excited to be coming to McNeese," says Carswell. "All the girls on the team are welcoming and made me feel like I'm already a part of the team. I've been talking to the coaches ever since I was a sophomore and they are awesome. I am so comfortable with all of them. Once I got to visit the campus and saw the surrounding area, it made my decision easier because it's such a cool place! I can't wait to go back to see more games and cheer the girls on this season!"
Dede Sheppard, played at North Caddo High and the Louisiana Lightning AAU team and was a teammate of Jasmyn Carswell,
Sheppard, a 5-8 guard, is a three time all- district selection, three time all-academic and 2012-13 all-state, averaged 22.0 ppg., 6.0 rpg., 5.0 spg. and 4.0 apg. as a junior.
"We are beyond ecstatic that Ledetriha "Dede" Sheppard has chosen to commit and sign with McNeese State University," said Ricky Evans, head girls' basketball coach."She has been instrumental in the success of our program for the last three years and we expect and hope for nothing less this year.
Dede is part of our Rebel family but will be an excellent addition to the Cowgirl family. We look forward to watching her continue to grow and excel at the next level. She will be a great asset to McNeese and we entrust that she will bring McNeese as much success as she has brought us."
"We found a jewel when we found Dede," said Williams. "Dede has something special about her. She is a winner. She is a lock down guard defender and can score in a lot of different ways. She can shoot the three and can pull up for the jumper. Dede has a defensive mind. She likes to play and likes the challenge of guarding whomever she needs to for her team to be successful. I can not wait for Dede to get to Lake Charles!"
"I chose McNeese State because it was everything I was looking for in a college. I know without a doubt that I will graduate from McNeese with my bachelor degree. The basketball team, as well as the coaches were like family to me. Everyone was kind, caring, sweet and so loving. I thank God for blessing me with a full scholarship to McNeese. The most important thing that stood out to me about McNeese was how much they cared about their players receiving an education in the degree they choose," Sheppard says.
Beaumont Ozen's 6-3, center, Jerica Bolin, is one of three Texas hoopsters to ink with the Cowgirls. Bolin averaged 11.0 ppg and 9.0 rpg during her junior campaign, was a two-time 20-4A first team all-district and a 2012-13 Super Gold first team selection. Bolin received all-tournament honors at YMBL, Toast of the Coast, Sandra Meadows Invitational and the Coco Classic.
"We are really excited about signing Jerica," Williams says. Jerica gives us some more size and much needed aggression down low. She reminds me a lot of Tan (Netanya Jones) when she was her age. Jerica fit in so well with our girls when she visited. We are anxiously awaiting our time to get to work with her this summer and be a part of her journey as a college center and presence in the paint for the Cowgirls."
Bolin is ranked #9 academically in the class of 2014 at Beaumont Ozen High School. Bolin attends the same high school as former Cowgirl center and McNeese graduate, Adrienne Minor.
"Jerica earned a position on the varsity team her freshman year in high school and has never looked back," says head girls' basketball coach Tammy Walker-Brown."She has been a joy to coach and mentor these past four years. Jerica was determined to play Division 1 basketball, and we are all excited that she has chosen McNeese. Not only will we get to wear the same school colors, the location is a blessing. Look to see the stands filled with a group from Beaumont, Texas!"
"I knew I had to make a big decision for the first time in my life as to what college I wanted to attend. I just didn't know where but when I visited McNeese I knew it was the college for me. I felt the love ever since the car ride to Cowgirl nation. The team was very close and the coaches care for their girls. The students who just attend the university were very involved and always at the games with a positive attitude. The atmosphere was just great so I had to return to McNeese State University the very next weekend. After my last visit I just had to tell my future coaches I wanted to be a Cowgirl!!! Now I am very excited to be a Cowgirl," said Bolin.
Keara Hudnall, a 6-0 guard from Pearland, Texas, has teamed up with Coach Williams and the Cowgirls. Hudnall averaged 17.7 ppg, 5.9 rpg, 3.4 assists and 3.9 steals per game as a junior season.
"Keara is such a fun player to watch. We are thrilled about her joining us. She is a game changer and a difference maker. Keara has length that can disrupt teams on both ends of the court. She can play any position. I love her versatility. She is a family oriented young lady and we have fallen in love with her and her enthusiasm for basketball and her family. We can't wait to get a hold of Keara and continue her growth as a player, student and young lady," says Williams.
The Pearland star was named by the Girlz Prep Report as a Terrific 20 Player in the Houston area. She was also tabbed her team's most valuable player in 2013 as well as garnering two time 22-5A All-District honors. Hudnall was named to the All- Greater Houston preseason team and was the Terry Tournament and Channelview Tournament Most Valuable Player.
"Keara has been a varsity member since her freshman year when she was a little string bean with a set of eyes on her," said coach Donna Vacek. "Her development and maturity as a player and a young woman has been a tremendous honor to watch and experience. She exhibits such pride and loyalty to her school and her teammates that any coach would be blessed to have her as a player. I wish her such tremendous success in her upcoming basketball years and true happiness in all her days to follow."
"Being at McNeese is like home away from home. The people there are outstanding and the sweetest and coolest people you will meet. I feel McNeese is the place for me because I know they will take care of me and bring me in as if I am one of their own. Together we will take Cowgirl basketball all the way to the top! I'm looking forward to my experience," said Hudnall.
Ann Nwosah, a 6-0 power post from Lamar Consolidated High School, was tabbed as a Terrific 20 in the Houston Area by the Girlz Prep Report.
Nwosah, averaged 16.0 ppg. and 10.0 rpg. as a junior and is a three time all-district and all-academic selection as well as a member of the TGCA 4A All-State team. She was named the 23-4A Newcomer of the Year as a freshman and 23-4A Defensive Player of the Year as a junior.
"We are thrilled about Ann joining us," Williams says. "Ann is a bulldog in the paint and on the boards. She is a true throw back post player. She is a beast and a worker. She loves the game and you can certainly tell in her play. She is a leader on and off the floor and dominates the boards. Ann has watched us play a good bit and believes in our program and our system. We have been waiting for this day for a long time and are looking for Ann to do big things for the Cowgirls!"
"Ann is every high school coach's dream player," says coach LaQueisha Dickerson. "She is the perfect example of "student-athlete" in every sense of the word. She handles her business in the classroom, is involved in the community, maintains two jobs and still manages to earn A's and B's in her AP classes! She just has the "IT" factor. She's a natural born in all aspects of her life. She's the classiest and most coachable player I've ever encountered. It's players like Ann that make coaches appreciate and value their job. What an honor the past three years have been! I'm excited about the opportunity she has in front of her at McNeese. They're getting a jewel!"
Nwosah started her senior campaign with big numbers posting three straight double-doubles (30pts.,16 reb., 24 pts., 16 reb., 23 pts.,15 reb.) in her opening tournament.
"When I committed to McNeese State, many people asked me why I choose it over many other schools," Nwosah says. "My only response to that was why not. I can't think of one thing I don't like about McNeese. The coaching staff and team are amazing! The culture, tradition and family atmosphere is so strong, I couldn't pass up the opportunity to be apart of it. McNeese is my home for the next four years and I couldn't be more excited. I am a McNeese State Cowgirl!"
The final signee of the 2014 class is Mississippi native, Frederica Haywood. Haywood, a 6-1 post, averaged 15.0 ppg. and 12.0 rpg. for JFK High School. She scored 41 points twice last season in the Region 2-3A Tournament and 34 points twice in the 2A North State playoffs. Haywood was the NCAC Conference, Region 3-2A and JFK High School MVP as a junior.
"Fred is a steal," said Williams. "She has a gift to rebound the basketball and she finishes really well around the rim. I think Fred has the world in front of her. She is going to get better and better by the day! I think she can really be a force for our program and in our conference. Fred and her family were perfect fits for our program. She is an extremely respectful young lady and has a fire in her to continue to grow her game. We can't wait to get on the floor with her this summer!"
"Im excited about Frederica selecting McNeese State University as her next home for basketball," says coach Linda Allen. "Her dreams are finally coming true. She always wanted to play at a D-1 school. Frederica told me the McNeese team made her feel like she was part of the family when she visited the campus. Her senior year should be one of her best years."
"I had to trust myself," Haywood says. "I had to trust that I was making the right choice to come to McNeese. I knew that this was the right place for me as soon as I walked in the door. I fell in love with the coaches and team. Loved how they did everything together as a team. I wanted to go somewhere where I could achieve my goals athletically and in my education and McNeese State University is the place for me to do so."
2014-15 McNeese Women's Basketball Signing Class
Jasmyn Carswell 6-0 F Airline HS Bossier, LA
Dede Sheppard 5-8 G North Caddo HS Vivian, LA
Jerica Bolin 6-3 C Ozen HS Beaumont, TX
Keara Hudnall 6-0 G Pearland HS Pearland, TX
Ann Nwosah 6-0 C Lamar Consolidated HS Sugarland, TX
Frederica Haywood 6-1 F JFK HS Mound Bayou, MS
"I can't talk enough about the talent in this class. These guys believe in Cowgirl Basketball and believe they can help better our team and fight for championships. Our staff worked hard to bring in the type of student-athlete that we felt like fit us. We really addressed our rebounding needs and post scoring needs. I am thrilled for McNeese and our Cowgirl fans."
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