UU women’s basketball coach Haley Ducey announced the addition of five future Blue Knights to the program last week, rounding out the largest group of newcomers under the second-year coach.
Three freshmen: Jada Love (Cincinnati, Ohio/Colerain HS), Sylvia Hudson (Sidney, Ohio/Sidney HS) and Weston Minnich (Centerville, Ohio/Centerville HS), will join two junior transfers: Brooke Dunlevy (Bradford, Ohio/Edison CC) and Mikayla Ward (Ypsilanti, Michigan/Owens CC), in attending Urbana University starting in the 2016-17 academic year.
Those five will join early signees Morgan Mattimore (Delta, Ohio/Delta HS) and Taylor Griffiths (Fayette, Ohio/Fayette HS) to complete the seven-player class.
“Words can’t describe how excited I am for next season,” Ducey said. “We already have such a great group of ladies and adding these seven talented players will be a tremendous boost to our team, both on and off the court.”
Love, a 5-foot-6 point guard, brings a versatile skill set to the Blue Knights after playing four years on Colerain’s varsity squad. As a senior, she averaged 8.8 points, 4.1 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 1.2 steals per contest.
Hudson joins the UU program following a historic high school career, where she became Sidney’s all-time leading scorer with 1,556 points on 63-percent career shooting. The 5-foot-9 forward racked up numerous accolades during her career, and led her team to a 23-1 record last season. She appeared on the all-state team and was selected as the Ohio Southwest District Player of the Year twice, First Team All-Southwest District four times, GWOC Player of the Year twice and was an All-GWOC performer all four years. Hudson also pulled down 717 career boards and dished out 124 career assists.
Minnich, a 5-foot-11 shooting guard, was tabbed a Second Team All-GWOC performer her final two years at Centerville. As a senior, she averaged 7.1 points, 3.0 rebounds and 1.2 assists per game while helping the Elks finish 16-8 overall. Minnich also picked up second-team honors at the ‘Classic in the Country’ tournament and from the Jim Dabbelt Report (All-Area Dayton Team).
Dunlevy, a 5-foot-8 shooting guard, brings valuable college-playing experience to UU as a 1,000-point scorer at nearby Edison Community College. There, she led the conference in scoring as a freshman (25.2 PPG) and earned first-team all-league and all-region honors during her sophomore campaign. She also garnered the OCCAC Player of the Week Award on two separate occasions in 2015-16.
Ward, a 6-foot-2 center from Owens Community College, adds much needed height to the roster and will also bring valuable experience after making two JUCO national championship appearances. At Owens, she was a part of a class that racked up the most wins ever in a two-year span (63) and captured two regional championships. Ward also picked up academic all-conference accolades twice at Owens.
The Blue Knights are expected to return eight letterwinners from last year’s squad that secured a trip to the MEC quarterfinals, including first team All-MEC honoree and rising junior Danie Shafer (16.6 PPG, 4.7 APG). UU will also return sophomore Megan Beachy (13.3 PPG, 2.7 RPG), junior Jazmyn Haley (10.2 PPG, 8.0 RPG), junior Stefanie Davis (7.8 PPG, 4.1 RPG, 3.1 APG, 2.3 SPG), sophomore Erin Morrow (5.3 PPG, 4.5 RPG), sophomore Jennifer Alflen (3.1 PPG, 1.1 RPG), sophomore Ariana Harper (1.8 PPG, 1.7 RPG) and senior Alyssa Kennedy (1.1 PPG, 1.1 RPG).