April 12, 2007
(San Francisco) - University of San Francisco head coach Tanya Haave announced the signings of Cecily Johnson, (San Pablo, CA) Necolia Simmons (Deer Valley, CA) and Danesha Wright (Oakland, CA) to National Letters of Intent (NLI) during the late signing period to play basketball for the Dons in 2007-08. The trio of highly touted junior college standouts, join three decorated prep players landed during the early signing period - Jacquelyn Boka-Timmerberg (San Francisco), Jordan Kuzma (Oxnard, CA) and C'Era WalkingChild (Burien, WA).
These are the first signings for Haave, in her first season on the Hilltop and she believes all will make instant impressions for the Dons in 2007-08
"I couldn't be happier with this recruiting class," Haave said. "This group has a great blend of experience and they possess a passion for the game and bring tremendous talent and energy to the floor. These are the kind of student-athletes we want to bring into our program at USF. They will be a strong foundation for the present and future of this team."
USF 2007-08 LATE SIGNINGS
Necolia Simmons, 6-1, Forward (Deer Valley, CA/San Joaquin College) - Headlining Haave's first class is Simmons, a 2007 WBCA/Kodak Junior College First Team All-American at perennial national power San Joaquin Delta under the tutelage of head coach Gina Johnson. A 6-1 forward/center, Simmons averaged 16.2 points and 8.8 rebounds per game in leading Delta to the California Junior College Quarterfinals. The 2007 NorCal Junior College Player of the Year is a 2005 Deer Valley High School graduate.
Haave on Simmons: "I am extremely excited about Necolia joining our program. She's a versatile player with an exceptional work ethic. She is passionate about the game of basketball and will make a huge impact on the program."
Johnson and Wright were junior college teammates at Ohlone College and lifted the Renegades to a 25-6 record in 2006-07, the best mark in school history under head coach Elizabeth Stanley.
Ceciley Johnson, 6-2, Center (San Pablo, CA/Ohlone College) - Johnson earned second team All-NorCal honors as a sophomore after transferring from Talahassee Community College. A 2005 graduate of Oakland's Albany High School, Johnson averaged 13.3 points, while converting on .500 from the field and added 10.3 rebounds per game as a sophomore last season.
Haave on Johnson: "Ceciley is a true post player with a strong back-to-the-basket game. She will step in and immediately share the load for us in the post. She adds a much needed physical presence. I envision her teaming with Lisa Olden to give us more versatility in the post."
Danesha Wright, 5-4 Point Guard (Oakland, CA/Ohlone College) - Nicknamed "Lil D", Wright turned in a strong sophomore campaign after transferring from South Plains Community College (TX). A heavily recruited floor general, Wright averaged 20.5 points, 4.4 rebounds, 8.2 assists and 4.7 steals per game to lead the Renegades. A 2007 All-NorCal First Team selection, Wright was a league player of the year runner-up to Necolia Simmons.
Haave on Wright: "Lil' D has all the skills you look for in a point guard. She handles the ball well, is a quality shooter from the perimeter and has a great feel for the game. Her personality, energy and passion for the game are exactly what we want from the point guard position."
Haave on the 2007-08 Late Signings: We are truly excited about this group of players and how they can impact this program both on and off the floor. They all come from successful junior college programs and bring outstanding energy and enthusiasm to the floor whether it be in practice or game situations. They will fit in with the winning philosophy we are building at USF."
USF 2007-08 EARLY SIGNINGS
Jakkie Boka-Timmerberg, 6-3 Center/Forward (San Francisco, CA/Urban HS) - A highly decorated local prep player, Boka-Timmerberg completed her standout career at Urban as a three-time all-league selection and captured San Francisco Examiner First Team honors and San Francisco Chronicle Honorable Mention selection after averaging 14.5 points and 11.2 rebounds per game as a senior. A two-time all-area pick, Boka-Timmerberg was rated among the top-15 Division V players in California and one of the top-10 in the Bay Area prep ranks after averaging a double-double in back-to-back seasons for the Blues.
Haave on Boka-Timmerberg: "Jakkie is the first player to commit to us. I am really excited about having someone from the area compete here in the city. She has 3-point range with a solid perimeter game and is very long. Her shooting range will really help us."
Jordan Kuzma, 6-0 Guard/Forward (Oxnard, CA/Oxnard HS) - Kuzma averaged 13.5 points, 13.7 rebounds and 2.7 blocks per game as a senior in helping Oxnard High School to the Pacific View League title. An All-CIF selection, Kuzma shared PVL MVP honors and earned second team All-Area honors from the Daily Breeze.
Haave on Kuzma: "Jordan comes from a successful program and has an excellent mix of perimeter and post skills. Her versatility really fits into the offense we are running. She displays an impressive amount intensity and passion for the game and Jordan knows what it takes to win.
C'Era WalkingChild, 6-0, Forward (Burien, WA/Kennedy HS) - A two-time Seamount King League and District MVP after averaging 12.7 points and 8.0 rebounds as a senior, WalkingChild was a four-year varsity starter at Kennedy High School and propelled the Lancers to three league and district titles. WalkingChild helped JFK to three berths in the Washington State 3A Playoffs, highlighted by a quarterfinal appearance in 2004-05.
Haave on WalkingChild: "C'Era will bring a strong presence to the power forward spot. She is a very physical player with good size and can post up, or square up and face the basket. She has a great work ethic and will be a great addition to our team."
Haave on the Early Signings: "This is a great, dynamic group. I am excited about the energy level they bring and the winning attitudes they display in practice and game situations. I believe they will enjoy terrific careers on the Hilltop and will help elevate the quality of our team."