TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (August 24, 2017) - Tallahassee Community College head women’s basketball coach Franqua Bedell has announced his 2017 signing class.
Bedell, who is entering his fifth season as the Eagles’ head coach, signed 12 players who will join rising sophomore returnees Jas Hill (G/ 5’7”/Mobile, Ala.), Japonica James (F/ 5’11”/Mobile, Ala.), and redshirt freshman Nakiah Black (G/ 5’10”/Concord, N.C.).
Seven guards and five forwards make up this year’s class, which features players from five different states (Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Pennsylvania, and New York) and international students from three different countries (Canada, Ivory Coast and Japan).
“The main objective in this year’s class was to recruit individuals who needed JUCO athletically, as opposed to academically. The goal was to find high IQ basketball players and I believe we achieved that.”
Here is a closer look at the Eagles’ 2017 signing class:
Dawn Gipson (G/Jacksonville, Fla./Louisiana Tech)
Coach Bedell on Gibson: “She was part of a highly successful high school team and had a successful high school career before heading to Louisiana Tech. Dawn is very athletic and can be an X factor if she believes in herself and the process she will go through (at TCC). She is very talented on both sides of the ball and we are looking to continue to build that, along with her confidence.”
Ebony Hargrove (F/Eatonton, Ga./Daytona State College)
Coach Bedell on Hargrove: “Unfortunately, she will sit out this year due to transfer regulations. She will be an excellent player for us in the coming years. Against us last year, she was amazing. She has had some bumps in the road but we are going to help her get back on the right track.”
Mari Hill (G/Fukui City, Fukui, Japan/IMG Academy)
Coach Bedell on Hill: “She brings to us a work ethic that I have never seen. She is a point guard with a high IQ. I am looking forward to her energy, passion, and pace, and how she pushes the game. We recruited her by watching her play and scoring 21 points on us last year (at IMG Academy). We will be getting a player we feel will make an impact on both sides of the ball.”
Aliyah Lawson (F/Whitby, Ontario, Canada/IMG Academy)
Coach Bedell on Lawson: “Aliyah brings an explosiveness to the game, but she is currently coming back from ACL surgery so we will see how fast she will regain form. She is a scoring guard and a great person who carries herself like a professional. She, along Mari (Hill) and Soukaina (Tracy), learned that at IMG. She will be guiding and leading our team in many ways.”
Stella Logbognon (F/Abidjan, Ivory Coast/South Plains College)
Coach Bedell on Logbognon: “She brings to us a high level of community college winning experience, playing in the national tournament last year alongside us in Lubbock. She is long, athletic, and talented. She has worked hard in the off-season, getting stronger and improving her footwork. I feel she is going to be another key in the rebounding area by being six-four and will be a threat for us.”
Ayana Mazyck (G/Philadelphia, Pa./Mastery Charter North HS)
Coach Bedell on Mazyck: “Ayana will be a great freshman scorer, and I think she has the ability to score in various ways. One-on-one, she has the knack and ability to create shots. I think that she will bring a scoring mentality that will help us replace some of the points we lost with Lawriell (Wilson) graduating. How fast she learns to develop her scoring at this level will be a key test for her.”
Jamyra McChristine (F/Chicago, Ill./Simeon Career Academy)
Coach Bedell on McChristine: “She comes from a basketball school and has a strong basketball mentality. She has the ability to be one of the top rebounders in the county. She is very physical, strong and can score great around the blocks. I feel that she is a much-needed addition to this team, as she will help Japonica James in the low post with her physicality. She is a great on ball defender as well.”
Victoria Pearce (G/Bay Shore, N.Y./Bay Shore HS)
Coach Bedell on Pearce: “Victoria is a very solid athlete who already possesses a college body. The way she goes about the game shows that she has a high basketball IQ. I think she is going to add an important leadership role to our team by being a general on the floor and an overall great addition to the program.”
Jada Perry (G/Lady Lake, Fla./ Wildwood HS)
Coach Bedell on Perry: “She knows what it takes to win, she helped win a state championship in high school and I like that winning mentality. She will have the opportunity to be a versatile player, both inside and out. Jada is long, athletic, and brings energy and enthusiasm to this team. She also has a contagious laugh that is good for team moral and will hopefully be very impactful for us in her time here.”
Julliun Redmond (G/ Chicago Ill./John Marshall Metropolitan HS)
Coach Bedell on Redmond: “Juju has a knack for seeing people on the floor. She is a very unselfish player though there are times where she gets on a roll and scores a lot of buckets. She played at a high level in high school and now we are trying to get her to understand the potential she has that will allow her to succeed at this level.”
Soukaina Tracy (F/Hanover, Pa./IMG Academy)
Coach Bedell on Tracy: “She suffered a season ending injury last year but is now back and very capable of scoring, defending, and will probably be able to play all 5 positions. Souki is a very smart player and will be the type of athlete who brings a threat on both sides of the ball. She is extremely promising because she can do so much.”
Onyx Freeman-Henderson (G/Atlanta, Ga./Cal State Fullerton)
Coach Bedell on Freeman-Henderson: "Onyx has great size for a guard and will bring toughness and great floor vision. She's an excellent passer who will add a nice dimension to our offense."
In addition to the 12 signees, forward Lyndsey Cranmer (St. Cloud, Fla./St. Cloud HS) has joined the program as a walk-on.
"She is an athlete with great potential to be a very solid player," Bedell said. "She can pass the ball and sees her teammates and now we're looking for her to be more mobile. You can’t teach 6’5" and so we’re looking forward to helping her progress and, in turn, having her help us down the road.