BANNER ELK, N.C. -- Head women's basketball coach Sebastian Wild and assistant coach Caren Fiorillo have announced the addition of five incoming freshmen for the 2009-2010 Lees-McRae College Lady Bobcats Basketball program.
Jessica Blair, Candace Flowers, Icey Patterson, Zukye Smith and Lauren Sorrell will take the hardwood for the Lady Bobcats in the fall.
"We are very excited about the addition of these outstanding newcomers," Coach Fiorillo said. "All five of them were high school standouts on incredibly successful teams and will improve our program in every aspect."
Jessica Blair G/F Independence High
School (Charlotte, N.C.)
Blair comes to Lees-McRae from Charlotte, N.C. The Independence High School star averaged 14.8 points per game and 3.5 rebounds per game during her senior campaign and scored well over 1.000 points for her career. She was one of 12 players picked to represent the East in the Charlotte All-Star Game where she had an incredible game. Jessica earned her team's Most Valuable Player and Best Offensive Player honors. In addition, Blair is a multiple time All-Conference selection in arguably the toughest 4-A conference in the state. She plans to major in sports management at Lees-McRae.
"Jessica is an incredibly talented young lady. She is instant offense and capable of putting the ball in the basket in every imaginable way. We expect her to provide a significant scoring punch to our lineup," Wild said.
Candace Flowers G Mallard Creek High
School (Charlotte, N.C.)
Flowers, also from Charlotte, N.C., played at Mallard Creek High School where she averaged 12 points per game. She can score effortlessly from the perimeter, netting a season high of 30 points in a game and was a 74 percent free throw shooter during her high school career. She carried her team all the way to the state tournament's quarterfinals. Candace compiled numerous individual accolades and was selected to represent the East in the Charlotte All-Star Game. She is a member of the National Honor Society and was named a Charlotte All-Star Student Athlete of the Year.
"Candace is a deadly three-point shooter and will add some depth to our young and talented backcourt," Wild said. "She is a tenacious defender with a lot of speed and quickness."
Icey Patterson G Seneca High School
Patterson will join the Lady Bobcats from Seneca High School in Seneca, S.C. where she was an All-State selection twice. Patterson scored a total of 1143 points in her three years at Seneca, giving her a 14.65 points per game scoring average for her career. Icey's individual honors are virtually endless, as she was named All-Mountain Lakes Conference Player of the Year twice and Western AAA Player of the Year leading her team to an undefeated regular-season campaign during her senior season and an overall record of 62-8. In 2009, Icey was nominated to represent her home state in the annual North Carolina - South Carolina All-Star Game, making her one of the top 10 players in the state. The Seneca standout brings a 4.0 GPA and countless academic accolades to Lees-McRae.
"We consider ourselves extremely fortunate to be able to add a student-athlete of Icey's caliber to our program," Wild said. "She brings an incredible skill set and most importantly, a championship mindset to our basketball family."
Zukye Smith F L.C. Bird High School
Smith starred at L.C. Bird High School in Chesterfield, Va. where she led what is regarded as one of the top programs in the region to multiple state tournament appearances, including a state tournament semifinals berth. Smith led the Skyhawks in rebounding her senior season. Academically, she is a member of the National Beta Club and National Honor Society. Smith plans to major in pre-health at Lees-McRae.
"Zukye will have a great impact on our program immediately. She is very versatile and can play and guard every position on the court," Wild said. "I have no doubt that Zukye will have a special career wearing the Lady Bobcat jersey."
Lauren Sorrell F JL Mann (Greenville,
Sorrell played the final two years of her high school career at JL Mann High School in Greenville, S.C. after starting at Pinson Valley High School in Birmingham, Ala. During her career at JL Mann she took the team to a state championship in 2008 and to the state semi-final in 2009. Sorrell received her team's MVP award during her senior year in addition to being an All-Region selection. She also garnered PAA All-Star Game MVP in 2009. An extraordinarily athletic player, Sorrell averaged a double-double for her career at JL Mann by scoring 12.8 points and grabbing 12.4 rebounds per game.
"Lauren is a proven winner and brings a tireless work ethic to our team that should set a high standard for everyone surrounding her," Wild said. "She combines great talent and amazing athletic ability making her a threat on both ends of the court."