McNeese women's basketball inks four to NLI on early signing day

McNeese women's basketball inks four to NLI on early signing day

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - Second year head coach Kacie Cryer announced the signing of four student-athletes to a National Letter of Intent on the first day of the early signing period Wednesday.

Joining the Cowgirl squad will be Barbe High's Divine Tanks, Holden's Kaylee Hughes, Denham Springs Maia Robinson and Zachary High's Rayah Haynes.

"What a tremendous signing class assistant coach Alaina Verdin has put together for our Cowgirl program," said head coach Kacie Cryer. "All four of these girls are not only great basketball players but they are even better people who all take pride in academics, family and making others around them better. As a coaching staff we couldn't be any happier than we are today as we add these four girls to our program."

Tanks, the 6-1 forward is a two-sport athlete (basketball, track and field) for the Lady Bucs that carries a 3.4 GPA in gifted classes at Barbe.  She will join her former high school teammate Koko Daniels who is a in her freshman season on the Cowgirl team.

"We are thrilled to add Divine to our Cowgirl family. She is a local kid who our Cowgirl fans are going to enjoy watching for the next four years. The energy and passion that she brings each time she steps out on the court is special and we are so glad that she choose to be a Cowgirl," Cryer said.

Tanks averaged 7.0 ppg and 9.0 rpg. as a junior and helped Barbe to a Class 5A State Runner-Up finish and earned All-District Honorable Mention honors. She also earned All-District honors in track and field for her accomplishments in the high jump.

"I chose McNeese because of the coaching staff, the wonderful team and also it's the perfect size school to get a great education. McNeese is home for me, which means my family can watch all my home games. I feel good about my decision and can't wait to play as a Cowgirl. My ultimate goal as a Cowgirl is to win a conference championship," Tanks said.

As a sophomore, Tanks guided Barbe to an historical season where they were undefeated and district champions for the first time in schools history. Barbe ranked 4th in the Class 5A playoffs, earned the first playoff win in school history and finished the 2015-2016 season as 5A State Quarterfinalists team.

Hughes, a 5-11 guard averaged 15.3 ppg., 4.3 rpg. as a junior and shot 46.0 percent from the field, 32.0 percent from 3-point range and 76.0 percent from the free throw line.  Hughes was named District MVP, Parish MVP and first team All-State honors. Hughes was granted by greater Baton Rouge Fair and she earned the community service award.

"I chose McNeese because of the people. The coaches genuinely care about their players and teammates all are a big family. They all work for each other to be as successful as each can be on the court and individually. Lake Charles is such a pretty place and I can't wait to spend the next four years there to help contribute to the school's success and earn an education. I look forward to gaining friendships and exciting new experiences. I loved how involved the community was in McNeese. Their excitement and support behind athletics says a lot. I can't wait to be a Cowgirl," Hughes said.

Hughes loves the game of basketball and has tremendous support from her family, school, and teammates. Holden is one big, happy family who all work hard to be the best they can be for themselves and each other. She can't wait to get to Lake Charles, become a Cowgirl and make her family, friends and community very proud.

"We are thrilled to add Kaylee to our McNeese Cowgirl Basketball family. Kaylee is tremendous young lady who will bring another winning mentality to our program. She has been part of a well coached program who has won a lot of games and we cannot wait to add that winning mentality to our program," said Cryer.

Robinson is a 6-2 post who averaged 7.9 ppg., 6.7 rpg. and earned All-District honorable mention honors as a junior.

"Maia is a huge addition to our Cowgirl Basketball program. She is a tremendous young lady who will bring passion, hard work, determination and leadership to our program not only on the court, but also in the classroom and in the Lake Charles community. We are so excited that she will be wearing blue and gold next season," said Cryer.

Robinson's success is not only on the court but academically as well where she holds a 3.76 GPA and is the Parliamentarian of her senior class. Maia plans to major in Mechanical Engineering.

"I chose McNeese because I like the atmosphere and my future teammates. I also love that the coaches are fun to be around. They are building an awesome new arena that I can't wait to play in. I am proud of the decision I've made because I know that I am going to work hard to become a better basketball player while being part of a great program. McNeese is not too small but not too big and that is the best fit for me in a class setting and to meet new friends. Glad to be a Cowgirl," said Robinson.

The 5-6 guard, Haynes averaged 17.1 ppg, 3.2 spg, and 3.0 apg. as a junior season. Haynes earned District MVP, All-Metro, All-State LHSBCA, and second team All-State honors last year.

"We are thrilled to add Rayah to our Cowgirl family. Her energy, passion and heart are what make her special and it is contagious to everyone around her. Rayah is a tremendous young lady not only on the court but in the classroom as well. We can't wait to have her in blue and gold next season," Cryer said.

Haynes is a hardworking, passionate gym rat. She is one of those kids that just has heart and leaves it all out there on the court to win each and every day. Her love for the game is phenomenal.

"I chose McNeese because I personally felt like this was the best choice for me after my visit. I loved the vibe of the players and coaches. Not only that but my future Criminal Justice major has a great program. I am very confident in the choice I have made and when I get there I'm looking forward to great things such as becoming a better person and player. I want to meet new people and adapt to the new atmosphere. I also plan to win a conference championship even though I believe they can win it this year," Haynes said.

2018-19 Early Signees

Devine Tanks (6-1, Forward, Lake Charles, La., Barbe High)

Kaylee Hughes (5-11, Guard, Holden, La., Holden High)

Maia Robinson (6-2 Post, Denham Springs, La., Denham Springs High)

Rayah Haynes (5-6 Guard, Zachary, La., Zachary High)

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