NEW HAVEN, Conn. – After a 2017-18 season that ended with Yale becoming the first Ivy League women's basketball team to win a postseason tournament, the Bulldogs now turn their attention to building on that accomplishment in 2018-19. They welcome four talented first years to the roster, which also includes 12 returnees from last year's Women's Basketball Invitational champions.
The Class of 2022 includes two forwards and two guards. They have excelled on the court, with all having scored more than 1,000 career points. Their athleticism is reflected in the fact that they have also competed in other sports ranging from soccer to track. All have leadership skills, having served as team captains. They come from successful programs, including one who played for a school that won 104 games in four years and another who led her team to a state championship.
They have a wide variety of extracurricular interests, including working with Adaptive Aquatics for children with disabilities, participating in the teen service organization Teen CORE, supporting cancer survivors, developing holiday shows for hospital patients and volunteering at the local YMCA.
The four first years will add to a core group of returnees from last year for Allison Guth, who enters her fourth season as the Joel E. Smilow, Class of 1954 Head Coach of Women's Basketball. Four of the seven players who averaged 20 or more minutes per game for Yale in 2017-18 return for 2018-19.
Here is a look at the newest Bulldogs:
Lakewood High School
Lakewood High School: Five-star ESPN recruit … Ranked as No. 34 best recruit in the country by ESPN, and sixth-best at her position … Gatorade Player of the Year for Colorado … Team captain as a junior and senior … ESPN Hoop Gurlz Top 40 2017 … Academic all-state 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018 … As a senior, averaged 18.1 points per game, 7.8 rebounds per game and 3.6 blocks per game … As a junior, led team to Colorado state championship … Selected to play in "The Show 2017" (Colorado all-star game) as a senior and as a junior … First-team 5A all-state as a senior and as a junior … Played in CCGS All-Star Game … Selected as All-USA Colorado Girls Team Player of the Year … Nominated for McDonald's All-American Game … Selected as Miss Colorado Basketball … 5A Jeffco Athlete of the Year … 5A Jeffco Basketball MVP … Scored more than 1,000 points in her career … First team all-conference as a sophomore, junior and senior … Did not miss a game in four years … National Honors Society … Link Leader … Also earned four letters as member of the track team … Played the viola in the chamber orchestra.
Notes: Profiled in Denver Post, CHSAA News and on 9News … Identical twin sister, Kira, is part of Princeton women's basketball's Class of 2022 … Started working with Adaptive Aquatics program in 2014, providing pool-based play therapy for children with disabilities … Local key club volunteer … Father, Poul, is a world-renowned geologist … Mother, Susan, is an Ivy Leaguer -- attended graduate school at Columbia.
Why Yale? "For me, the Ivy League was a no-brainer. There is no other conference that provides such a true balance -- with equal focus on winning championships and the pursuit of a world-class education. From the first time I visited Yale, I could feel that the coaching staff and team are truly a family, and that the environment they create is both competitive and conducive to the all-around growth of a student athlete. I can't wait to call this place home!"
Athens Drive High School
Athens Drive High School: Three-time captain … Two-time team MVP … Southwest Wake Athletic Conference Player of the Year 2017 … Two-time first team all-conference … Second team NCBCA all-district 2017 … News & Observer All Metro Team 2017 … Cleveland Classic Tournament MVP … Four-time academic all-conference … Won player of the week honors from Raleigh Sports Club and Max Preps … Two-time Athens Drive Female Athlete of the Year … Scored more than 1,000 career points … RDU High School All-Star … Four-year starter … Also captained soccer team as a junior and as a senior … Four-year starter and academic all-conference selection in soccer … All-conference in soccer as a junior and as a senior … All-region in soccer as a senior … Key Club scholarship recipient.
Notes: Member of Teen CORE, organization committed to teen service in her neighborhood.
Why Yale? "I was told by most people before I visited colleges last year: 'You'll know it when you see it.' Well, I knew it when I saw Yale. The academic opportunities available to Yale students are exactly what I was looking for and I feel at home there. I'm also excited to be working with the women's basketball program staff and to join a great group of players."
Prosper High School
Prosper High School: 1,000 point scorer … TABC all-region as a junior and senior … Team captain as a senior … First team all-district as a freshman, junior and senior … Honorable mention all-district as a sophomore … Elite Academic All-State as a senior, one of only 12 to earn that honor … Three-time academic all-district … Four-year starting point guard … Won team's Playmaker Award all four years … Made all-tournament team at Royce City Tournament (twice), Prosper Holiday Classic (twice), Marble Falls Invitational and Durant, Okla., Invitational … Team won all six of those tournaments … Team totaled 104 wins in four years, making playoffs all four years and advancing to regional finals twice … Three-time Prosper High School Student-Athlete of the Month.
Notes: Select team won multiple tournaments, including Adidas Gauntlet National Championship in Atlanta in summer 2017 … Has volunteered her time with helping underprivileged kids, providing clothes to the homeless, supporting cancer survivors, delivering lunches to veterans and developing holiday shows for hospital patients.
Why Yale? "To me, Yale was an easy decision. For as long as I can remember, going to school at an Ivy League university was a dream of mine. When Coach Guth gave me the opportunity to fulfill that dream by playing for her and her amazing staff at Yale, I knew I couldn't pass up on such an opportunity. With a growing basketball program that is pushing to win championships and a world-renown education with top of the line professors and facilities, Yale is everything I was looking for in a college. I know I will be right at home at Yale, and I cannot wait for the next four years!"
Tabor Academy: First-team all-New England … NEPSCGBA all-star … NEPSAC all-star team … First-team all-ISL … Tabor MVP and Joan Roller Award winner (given for unselfish commitment and outstanding contribution to Tabor's girls' varsity basketball program) … Averaged a double-double in points and rebounds … Averaged two blocks per game … Averaged four assists per game … Led team in shooting percentage … Team captain as a junior and senior… Led team to NEPSAC Division AA title game.
Martha's Vineyard High School: Team captain as a junior … Scored more than 1,000 points in only three years … Three-time all-conference … Three-time Cape and Island all-star … Boston Herald All-Scholastic 2016-2017 season … St. Mary's of Lynn all-tournament team … Averaged 20.8 points, 10 rebounds, three assists and four blocks per game … Three-year starter for varsity lacrosse team.
Notes: Played on Boston Showstoppers, the Zero Gravity National Champions … Showstoppers also won Zero Gravity Super Regional and Run for the Roses Tournament … Has volunteered time helping underprivileged kids at local YMCA and Boys and Girls Club … Volunteered at local businesses to support local economy … Member of Best Buddies Club, Uproot and Special Olympics club ... Member of Safe Rides, which provides all students with a safe ride home on weekends … Spent two weeks on Galapagos Islands partnered with a tortoise refugee center to preserve endemic species' habitats … Mother played basketball at Lafayette.
Why Yale? "Yale presents the opportunity to grow as an athlete, student and person rather than just one or the others. The combination of the school's ambitious reputation, winning culture and inclusive environment made my decision a no brainer. I am honored and excited to be a part of this growing program for the years to come."