Lady Toppers land four recruits next season

Head coach Michelle Clark-Heard speaks with forward Chastity Gooch (30) during WKU’s 78-75 victory over Austin Peay Nov. 9, 2013, at E.A. Diddle Arena in Bowling Green, Ky.

Kyle Williams

Wednesday marked the first day of the fall signing period and the Lady Topper basketball team has announced that four players have already signed National Letters of Intent to play at WKU.

Coach Michelle Clark-Heard said that the new additions to the Lady Topper team exemplify the ever-growing success of the program. 

“The excitement and progress we are making towards winning championships and being a team that can advance in the NCAA Tournament was seen by these players and they bought into the family we are building here at WKU,” Heard said in a statement. “I am excited to officially welcome these players into our WKU family.”

Ivy Brown, a forward from LaRue County High School and the highest rated recruit for the Lady Toppers, is a leading candidate for Kentucky Miss Basketball this season and averaged nearly 23 points per game and 10 rebounds as a junior last year. Brown currently ranks 73rd in ESPN’s women’s top 100 recruiting ranks.

Tashia Brown is an athletic wing player that averaged 22 points, 15 rebounds and two blocks a game in her junior season at Lowndes High School in Lake Park, Ga. Brown received interest from programs in the Southeastern Conference, Conference USA and the Atlantic Coast Conference before deciding to sign with WKU.

Shalika Smith, a forward from Glasgow High School, was selected to the Kentucky Junior All-Star team and earned All-Region honors. Smith recorded 14.5 points per game last season in the post.

Jaiveonna Norris, a forward from Homewood-Flossmoor High School in Chicago Heights, Ill., averaged over 10 points and 5 rebounds a game as a junior and according to Heard, is a versatile sharpshooter.

Heard said the new recruits should aid the Lady Toppers in their move to the Conference USA.

“With this signing class,” Heard said. “We will continue to become more athletic, get bigger at the guard spot and add more depth to our post game. The group fills some of the needs that will help us compete for championships in Conference USA as we make the transition to the new league next season.”