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Bulldogs Welcome Three in Class of 2023

The Yale Women's Basketball Class of 2023: Klara Astrom, Jenna Clark and Ayla Elam.
The Yale Women's Basketball Class of 2023: Klara Astrom, Jenna Clark and Ayla Elam.

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – The Yale women's basketball program welcomes three members of the incoming Class of 2023 to the roster for the 2019-20 season. The group includes two guards and a forward, bolstering a core group of returnees that helped the Bulldogs to 16 wins last year -- tied for the third-most wins in school history.

The members of the Class of 2023 have excelled on the court, with each earning all-league honors multiple times -- and one earning an all-state selection. They have been a part of highly successful programs, including one who played for a school that won four league titles and was state runners-up twice and another who led her team to the state semis for the first time in school history.

The newcomers also bring plenty of leadership experience, as all have been team captains for two years and one was school president. They have a wide variety of extracurricular interests, including traveling to different countries to perform community service.

The three first-years will add to a core group of returnees from last year for Allison Guth, who enters her fifth season as the Joel E. Smilow, Class of 1954 Head Coach of Women's Basketball. The Bulldogs return five players who made 20 or more starts this past season, and next year's returnees accounted for 89 percent of the points the team scored this past year.  

Here is a look at the newest Bulldogs:

 

Klara Astrom

5-9
Guard
Menlo Park, Calif.
Pinewood School
Team Taurasi Cal Storm EYBL Club Team

Pinewood School: Four years of varsity basketball at Pinewood -- captain junior and senior years … First team all-league sophomore, junior and senior years … First team All-Bay Area Mercury News junior and senior years … Most outstanding player Iolani classic Nike tournament (Hawaii) senior year … First team West Coast Jamboree Tournament senior year … Central coast section scholar athlete of the year senior year … Second team all-state (California) junior year … High school Athlete of the year junior year … Hardest worker team award junior year … San Diego Classic MVP junior year … Second team All-Bay Area Mercury News sophomore year … La Jolla Country Day Tournament MVP sophomore year … Coaches team award sophomore year … Honorable mention all-league freshman year … Lynn Riches Athlete of the Year (awarded for community, leadership, academics and athletics) … Team won four league championships in her time there … Team was CA Open NorCal champions in her junior and senior years and runners-up her freshmen year …  Team was CA Open State runners-up her junior and senior years … School president, part of associate student body … Traveled with part of her school to Thailand senior year -- helped build a multipurpose room for a preschool, handed out food to the elderly and taught kids how to speak English and swim.

Notes: Originally from Stockholm, Sweden … All-star team in Nordic Championship playing for U16 Swedish National Team during her freshmen year of high school … First in her family to go to college in the United States … Enjoys traveling to different countries for community service, immersing herself in different cultures and working with children.

Why Yale? "I chose Yale because I fell in love with the team and coaches as soon as I stepped onto campus. The thing that struck me most about the team was their humor and how they turned any situation to a positive. Coach Guth believes in her players and that's why I would want to play under her great leadership. Yale also comes along with a distinguished name and countless opportunities off the court. I absolutely cannot wait to be a part of the Bulldog family."

 

Jenna Clark

5-7
Guard
Pittsburgh, Pa.
Thomas Jefferson High School
WPA Bruins

Thomas Jefferson High School:  Basketball captain junior and senior year … First team all-state 2018-19 … Three-time WPIAL Class 5A all-section … Two-time Class 5A all-conference … Two-time first team PA Big 56 all-section … 2019 Trib 10 All-Star Team … Named Trib HSSN Player of the Week … Ninth leading scorer in the WPIAL 2019 … Voted Top 10 Miss PA Basketball … 1,000 point scorer … Set school's career assist record (412 assists) Led team to 2019 WPIAL 5A championship playoff game -- first time in 39 years … Led team to 2019 PIAA state semi-final game -- first time in school history … Team finished third in the state … 2018 WPIAL 5A Section Champions.

Notes: Participated in Read Across America events … Involved in donation drives and volunteer events through National Honor Society … Volunteer assistant coach youth girls' basketball.

Why Yale? "Yale has everything I am looking for in a college and more. The education is exceptional, the campus is beautiful and rich in history, and the opportunities to develop personally and academically are endless. Coach Guth's energy and passion convinced me that an Ivy League championship is within reach, especially with the talented players and coaching staff that are in place.  I'm excited to be a part of this team and contribute where I can."

 

 

Ayla Elam

6-1
Forward
Woodside, Calif.
Choate Rosemary Hall

Choate Rosemary Hall: Semifinalists in Class A New England Prep Championships during her postgraduate year.

Miramonte High School: Semifinalists in Division 1 California State Tournament during her senior year. 

Head-Royce School: Attended sophomore and junior years … All-league Bay Counties East Division both years … Two-time team captain and MVP … Led team in scoring and rebounding as a junior.

Menlo School: Attended her freshman year … Competed in basketball and track and field.

Notes: Attended four high schools in five years: The Menlo School (Atherton, Calif.) freshman year, The Head-Royce School (Oakland, Calif.) sophomore and junior years, Miramonte High School (Orinda, Calif.) senior year, Choate Rosemary Hall (Wallingford, Conn.) postgraduate year. 

Why Yale? "After attending four high schools, it was very important to me to find one college that truly felt like home. I found this feeling immediately at Yale, in the people and in the campus itself. Moving around so much in high school made it impossible to fully integrate myself into any one of my schools' communities, which makes me even more excited to fully dedicate the next four years of my life to Yale."

 

Report by Sam Rubin '95 (sam.rubin@yale.edu), Yale Sports Publicity