WKU Lady Toppers add six for 2020-21 campaign

Lady Toppers’ Whitney Creech (5) steals the ball from Lady Techsters’ Amber Dixon (10) during the WKU versus LA Tech game at E.A. Diddle Arena on Mar. 7, 2020. Lady Toppers won 71-67

WKU women’s basketball head coach Greg Collins announced Tuesday that the team will be adding six newcomers for the 2020-21 season.

Ally Collett, Jordan Smith, Jenna Kallenberg, Selma Kulo, Hope Sivori and Kayla Harris have all signed to join the Lady Toppers for their next campaign.

WKU signed Collett, Kallenberg, and Kulo in 2019 on early Signing Day and then snagged Smith, Sivori and Harris this spring.

Collett, a 5-foot-7-inch guard from London, Ky., is the No. 1 2020 prospect in Kentucky according to scouting services Pure Prospects and Exposure 2.0.

Collett joins WKU following one of the most successful high school careers in the commonwealth, coming off of back-to-back 13th Region Player of the Year nods (2018-19 and 2019-20), despite missing a chunk of her senior season due to an injury.

The London native is one of only three girls in KHSAA history to record 1,000 career assists and she leaves South Laurel High School as the all-time leading scorer with over 2,600 points.

“I am proud and thrilled that Ally will be in a WKU jersey this year. She is a tremendous player with a super skill level and a tireless work ethic. She can shoot the three, handle the ball, and get her teammates good shots,” Collins said. “Ally’s been through tough games and overcame adversity. Coach Souder challenged her and helped Ally to get prepared. She’s a winner and an incredible teammate.”

Collett is a four-time 13th Region First Team member and claimed the 50th District Player of the Year honors four times as well. She was tabbed All-State First Team in 2018-19 and 2019-20 and was named to the Second Team in 2017-18 as a sophomore.

Smith, a 5-foot-10-inch guard from Philadelphia, was named to the 2019 Friends School All-League First Team after leading her team to the FSL Championship game.

Smith and her team were previously FSL champions in 2017 and 2018. The Philly native was also named a McDonald’s All-American nominee in 2020.

“Jordan is so smart. She’s a really talented, long guard,” Collins said. “She has the ability to impact both ends of the floor. On offense, Jordan sees the floor well and has a great ability to get to the basket and finish. Like Ally, she’s overcome an injury and her best basketball is in front of her. I think Jordan has the potential to become a really special player as a Lady Topper.”

Kallenberg, a guard prospect out of Maryville, Tenn., was a 4-year starter at William Blount High School.

She was ranked one of the top 12 in the Class of 2020 in Tennessee by Rick Bolus and top 15 regionally by Elite 80.

The Maryville native earned All-District honors twice and was named to the Blount Press Row All County Team.

“The first thing you notice about Jenna is that she has what seems like unlimited shooting range,” Collins said. “Then, you realize she’s a really high IQ player who can make a lot of great plays for her teammates. Like the other players in her class, Jenna is a highly motivated worker. She’s been coached well. She knows the game. I am so glad Jenna is a Lady Topper!”

Kulo, a 6-foot-4-inch forward hailing from Lawrenceville, Ga., led Brookwood High School to its first appearance in the State Quarterfinals ever and was named to the GACA Class 7A All-State Team along the way.

Kulo averaged 2.7 blocks per game in her junior season with Brookwood.

“I am super excited about Selma,” Collins said. “Selma gives us another young, strong post. She led her high school team to the best season they’ve ever had. She also had an invitation to play for the Bosnian National team. Selma has a great presence inside blocking shots and rebounding. Plus, she has a good shooting touch and runs the floor really well. She’s a committed worker, like the rest of the class, always trying to improve.”

Sivori, a 5-foot-5-inch guard out of Louisville, Ky., averaged 18.4 points per game as a senior at Mercy Academy, leading her team to back-to-back 6th Region titles in 2018 and 2019, including a trip to the State Championship game in 2018.

The Louisville native also picked up All-Region honors. Sivori was tabbed as a McDonald’s All-American nominee.

“Toughness and energy, that’s Hope,” Collins said. “She can score in bunches. She can handle the ball. I like that Hope has played with and against great competition in high school and AAU. Hope is another player who has an incredible work ethic. She always expects to win.”

Harris comes to The Hill from Cochise College where she spent two seasons. A 5-foot-10-inch guard, she previously attended Spring Valley High School in Las Vegas.

Harris led her team to a state championship and was named the MVP of the tournament. She was tabbed All-State two times and earned Super 7 honors.

“We are looking forward to adding Kayla’s experience and talent to our team,” Collins said. “She is a skilled player that did a little bit of everything for her junior college team. She’s a good passer, ball handler, and rebounder, plus she can hit the 3. She was the glue that made her team’s chemistry positive. Kayla will be a great addition to our roster.”

The Lady Toppers roster is officially updated for the coming season, and Collins believes they’ve added the perfect mix of talented, hardworking, team-first players to help elevate the team to new heights this winter.

“Each young lady in this class exemplifies high character, great work ethic, and a ‘team first’ attitude to winning,” Collins said. “We were looking for great players who are also great teammates. We are adding talent and depth at each position. Equally important, we are adding to the culture of winning and winning as a team. Our fans are going to have fun watching how hard they play and how much they enjoy one another.”

Women’s basketball beat reporter Evan Culbertson can be reached at [email protected] Follow Evan on Twitter at @evan_culbertson.