NEW HAVEN, Conn. – Looking to build on the progress made last season, the Yale women's basketball team welcomes four members of the Class of 2021 to the roster for the 2017-18 season. The group includes two forwards and two guards, bolstering a core group of returnees that helped the team to its best win total since 2011-12 last year.
The members of the Class of 2021 have excelled on the court, setting state and/or school records in categories ranging from scoring and double-doubles to three-pointers. They bring tremendous athleticism, including one who was all-conference in track and volleyball in addition to basketball.
The first-years have been a part of highly successful programs, including one who played for a school that was ranked as high as No. 22 in the nation and another who led her team to a state championship.
The newcomers also bring plenty of leadership experience, as all have been team captains. They have a wide variety of extracurricular interests, including working with Miracle Buddies for children with special needs, working with the local refugee community, taking a service trip to help rebuild New Orleans and volunteering with the local church.
The four first-years will add to a core group of returnees from last year for Allison Guth, who enters her third season as the Joel E. Smilow, Class of 1954 Head Coach of Women's Basketball. Four of the six players who averaged 20 or more minutes per game for Yale in 2016-17 return for 2017-18.
Here is a look at the newest Bulldogs:
La Jolla, Calif.
The Bishop's School
The Bishop's School: Captained basketball team as a senior … Finished seventh in nation, second in California and first in San Diego for three-pointers made in a career … San Diego Hall of Champions January 2017 Star of the Month … Selected as an "Athlete of the Year" by the Mighty 1080 AM … First team All-CIF … Set national record for three-pointers in a game with 15, earning a mention on ESPN … Set state and school records for three pointers in a season.
Notes: Spends time volunteering at her church and with children in the community … Mother played basketball at Fort Hayes State.
Why Yale? "It's been my dream since the 8th grade to attend Yale University because of the incredible community. Also, Yale presents the opportunity to play at a competitive D1 school alongside top-notch academics."
Orono Senior High School
Minnesota North Tartan
Orono Senior High School: Team captain ... Set school career records for scoring, double-doubles and three-pointers made … Set school single-season record for three-pointers made … 1,000 point scorer … Top 10 finalist for Minnesota Miss Basketball ... Three-time first team all-state … First team all-metro … Four-time first team all-conference … State tournament first team as a senior … Team MVP ... Won team's Coach's Award senior year ... Led Orono to state championship … Team was conference champions four times and section champions twice ... Three-time academic all-state … Four-time academic all-conference … Started playing on varsity team in seventh grade.
Minnesota North Tartan: Team qualified for Nike National Championships in 2016.
Notes: Coached her younger brother's basketball team … Served as a mentor with community's youth girls' basketball program … Involved with Miracle Buddies, helping children with special needs … High school teammate Danielle Jorgensen is now an Ivy League rival; plays guard at Cornell.
Why Yale? "I chose Yale over other schools in my recruitment process because of the coaching staff's investment in my growth as a player, a student and a person. The team dynamic was also a major selling point here."
Ellen Margaret Andrews
Greenhill School: Texas Association of Basketball Coaches Large Private Player of the Year as a senior … Multiple-time winner of school's female athlete of the year award … First player in school history to score 1,000 points in a season … Basketball team MVP … All-conference in basketball, track and volleyball; captained each team junior and senior years and won coaches' award multiple times in each sport … Won SPC championships in basketball (2014), track (2014, 2015, 2016) and volleyball (2015-16) … Graduated cum laude … Received math and statistics award … Received Bernard Fulton Award as the senior whom the school believes best represents the school's mission … Co-President of the Honor Council … Very active with high school newspaper.
Notes: Currently a contributing reporter for the Yale Daily News … Served the refugee community in Dallas through programs called McShan Reads and Vickery Meadow Summer Reading Academy … Sister, Camille, plays soccer at Bucknell … Father played basketball at Bucknell … Grandfather, David Sears '53, played basketball at Yale … Uncle went to Yale.
Why Yale? "I chose Yale because of the incredibly diverse, intellectual, welcoming and fun atmosphere. I felt that at Yale I could challenge myself athletically, and more importantly, academically, and meet interesting and friendly people along the way. I feel incredibly lucky to attend such a beautiful and historically rich institution, in an incredibly vibrant community of New Haven, and I can't wait to be here for the next four years."
Shaker Heights, Ohio
Laurel School: All-state as a junior and senior … Finished career in double-century club with 1,270 points and 1,014 rebounds … Averaged a double-double senior year (16.7 points, 13.8 rebounds) and added 4.2 blocks per game … Ranked second in state in points per game and rebounds per game as a senior … Had double-doubles in 21 of 25 games as a senior … Team advanced to state sectional playoffs and went 21-4 her senior year … Team advanced to state district playoffs and went 21-3 her junior year, earning No. 22 ranking … Laurel is an independent school, not a member of any league … Co-captain of basketball and soccer teams as a junior and senior … Earned varsity letters in basketball and soccer all four years … Received the Laurel L Award as best student-athlete.
Notes: Took a number of service trips in high school, including one to the 9th Ward in New Orleans to help rebuild houses destroyed by Hurricane Katrina; homes her group worked on were sold at cost to public school teachers who committed to working in the area … Worked with children at Sanibel Sea School on Sanibel Island, Fla., for six years, teaching marine biology and how to help conserve the ocean; originally attended the school as a camper … Brother, Rowan, played football at Johns Hopkins (right offensive tackle).
Why Yale? "I chose Yale over other schools first for its excellent academics, and second for the strong sense of family. From the first moment I stepped on campus I felt welcome. I would say hello to people, ask for directions, and they would kindly offer to help. The family environment within the team was something else that was unique. It seemed and still holds true that we could laugh together, cry together, and just be happy. We aren't just practicing or playing together -- I feel like we are living, in a very positive way, together."
Report by Sam Rubin '95 (firstname.lastname@example.org), Yale Sports Publicity