BANNER ELK, N.C. -- Head women's basketball coach Sebastian Wild and Assistant Coach Tasha Taylor announced the addition of five newcomers for the 2010-2011 season.
Natalija Cakarevic, Kasey Haynes, Melissa Jensen, Megan Tate and Paige Whitaker will be the new faces wearing the Lees-McRae Lady Bobcat uniforms in the fall.
"We are very pleased with the addition of these five talented young ladies," Wild said. "All of them have a tremendous passion for the game and a strong drive to leave a lasting mark on our women's basketball program."
Natalija Cakarevic (Belgrade, Serbia - Latham Western High School) is a 5'9" wing, who played her high school basketball in Latham, Ohio at Latham Western High School. She averaged 12.3 points per game during her senior year that earned her All-Conference recognition in the process.
"Natalija is a very athletic player, with a phenomenal skill set," Wild said. "She brings a very aggressive mindset to the floor along with the desire to be great. We will count on Natalija to provide a significant scoring punch to our young basketball team."
Kasey Haynes (Mooresville, N.C. - Lake Norman High School) is a 5'7" guard from Lake Norman High School where she averaged 10.6 points, 3.4 rebounds and 3.7 assists per contest. She also shot 79 percent from the line, 49 percent from the field and 37 percent from beyond the three-point arc. Haynes is a multiple time All-County, All-Conference and All-Region selection while leading her Lady Wildcats to their first ever Regional Semifinal appearance during her senior year. She earned the team's MVP honors in the process. Haynes set Lake Norman school records for free throw percentage, steals, as well as three point percentage while distinguishing herself as one of the most decorated women's basketball players to ever put on a Lake Norman jersey.
"Kasey has an incredibly high basketball IQ, a well-rounded skill set and a tireless work ethic," Wild said. "Even more importantly, she is a proven winner doing what needs to be done to help her team succeed with - or without the basketball in her hand. She will have an immediate impact here at Lees-McRae."
Melissa Diane Jensen (Aarhus, Denmark) is a 6'1" forward that will add size and quality to the Lady Bobcat's front court. Melissa had a remarkable career in Denmark's youth leagues, winning the Under 16 National Championship and receiving the national title game's MVP honors. She also finished second in the Under-18 National Championship a few years later. In addition Melissa succeeded individually and with her team at multiple international tournaments over the years, being named to Denmark's Youth National team in the process.
"Melissa is a very skilled forward that has the ability to operate on the perimeter as well," Wild said. "She is an experienced player with a true passion and a great understanding of the game. We expect significant contributions from Melissa in the years to come."
Megan Tate (High Point, N.C. - High Point Central High School) is a versatile combo-guard who completed her High School career at one of the most successful programs in the state, playing for Coach Kenny Carter at High Point Central. At 5'7" Megan is a "do it all" perimeter player with great shooting range. She compiled numerous accolades including multiple All-Conference and All-District selection leading her team to deep post season runs every season.
"Megan is a very smart basketball player that combines a nice shooting touch with great court vision and passing ability," Wild said. "Having played for Coach Carter, we know she is well prepared for the college game. We expect Megan to have a great career as a Bobcat."
Paige Whitaker (Harrisburg, N.C. - First Assembly) comes to us after scoring 1,670 points for an average of 16.7 points per game during her career. During an incredible high school career that earned her two All-State selections in addition to her four All-Conference selections. Whitaker, a 5'9" wing player, led First Assembly to the deepest play-off run in the program's history as a senior, averaging 16 points, 3.7 rebounds, 3.5 assists, and 3.9 steals per game. She was 47 percent from the floor, 78 percent from the FT line and 35 percent from three-point land.
"Paige knows how to put the ball into the basket. She is a very efficient scorer with great 3point range," Wild said. "She has the ability to contribute in many different ways, bringing an enthusiasm and passion for the game that is second to none."