Women's Basketball signs four Texas standouts to National Letters of Intent
Nov. 14, 2012
AUSTIN, Texas -- Four high school hoops standouts have signed National Letters of Intent to play basketball next season at The University of Texas, head coach Karen Aston announced Wednesday. Nekia (neh-KEY-uh) Jones (Beaumont, Texas), Kelsey Lang (The Woodlands, Texas) Brianna (bree-AH-na) Taylor (Houston, Texas) and Lilley VanderZee (Granbury, Texas) will join the Longhorns for the 2013-2014 season.
"This class is the start of something really great here at Texas," Aston said. "Our staff has signed a terrific class in a short period of time, and everyone is excited to welcome with open arms four young ladies from the state of Texas that were bred in traditional powerhouses in girls basketball."
Jones is ranked No. 58 overall on the 2013 HoopGurlz/ESPNU 100 Recruiting Rankings. The 5-11 forward from Beaumont Ozen High School averaged 11 points, nine rebounds and eight assists per game on an Ozen team that went 34-1 and advanced to the 4A Region III championship game last season. For her efforts, Jones was named to the 20-4A All-District First Team under head coach Tammy Walker-Brown. In addition to her talents on the court, Jones also excelled in the discus throw and shot put, finishing second in both events at the 2012 UIL Track & Field State Meet. Jones plays for the Texas Preps Elite AAU team under head coach Adrian Washington.
"Nekia is a diverse player that can play multiple positions. She can swing from the forward to guard positions, and she is a very good passer that also shoots the three very well," Aston said. "Nekia brings a lot to the table, from an energy perspective and leadership perspective. We were very impressed with her leadership capabilities from what we saw this summer."
Lang is a 6-5 center for The Woodlands High School and is ranked as the No. 14 post in the country by HoopGurlz. During her junior season, Lang averaged 14 points, eight rebounds and four blocks per game. She was named to the 14-5A All-District First Team and also earned Academic-All District honors under head coach Dana Bruton. Lang led the Lady Highlanders to the 5A regional semifinals and to a 32-3 overall record in 2011-12. Lang plays alongside Jones for Texas Preps Elite.
"Kelsey brings a post presence to the Forty Acres," Aston said. "She obviously addresses the five position with the absence of Cokie Reed next year. She has tremendous size and strength, and a unique ability to also shoot from the outside. She has a really great shooting touch, and as most post players do, Kelsey will continue to improve at this next level."
Taylor, a 5-9 guard, is ranked as the No. 46 player in the country at her position by HoopGurlz. The Houston product led Spring Dekaney High School to a 40-2 record last season and an appearance in the 5A State championship game. As a junior, she averaged 10.4 points per game, 4.0 rebounds and 2.9 assists per game. Taylor also earned First Team All-District 13-5A honors and was named to the Academic All-District team last year under head coach Stacey Stroman. Taylor plays for the Cy-Fair Nike Shock and head coach Al Coleman.
"Bre can play multiple positions and we're really excited about what she brings to the table from an athletic standpoint at the wing," Aston said. "She is a perfect fit for our style, and that is evident in her ability to defend and get out and run in the open floor. We love the energy that Bre is going to bring our program."
VanderZee, a 6-4 post, was the District 7-4A Offensive Player of the Year for the 2011-12 season. During her junior campaign, VanderZee averaged 21 points per game, eight rebounds per game and 2.7 blocks per game under head coach Leta Andrews. She also helped the Lady Pirates advance to the 4A Region I semifinals, averaging 25 points, 13 rebounds and four blocks per game in last year's state tournament. VanderZee plays for the Texas Dream Team and head coach Van Hughes.
"Lilley came to camp this summer and we all fell in love with her personality and her passion for the game of basketball. She is what I call `a player who will bring her lunch pail to work every day' and one I love because of her ability to make everyone around her better because of the passion she plays with. Lilley, for her size, can also shoot from the outside and is very fundamentally sound," Aston said.
2013-2014 Texas Women's Basketball Recruiting Class