GCU women’s hoops program reels in more local talent

Grand Canyon University in West Phoenix has become a haven for local high school athletes who want to continue playing, but also want to stay close to home.

The Antelopes’ women’s basketball program filled more than half its roster this season with Arizona products.  And this year’s recruiting class has a major tilt to local talent.

Four of the five recruits in the 2011 class are from the area, although a couple of the latest to sign spent time in other college programs before landing back at GCU.

Coach Trent May just announced the addition of three players to the 2011 recruiting class.  Jazmyn Foster is transferring in from D-I New Mexico State, but played her high school ball at Thunderbird HS in Phoenix, and Stevie Kamp, who played at Mountain View HS in Mesa, arrives via Nova Southeastern University in Florida, a D-II school.

“Stevie brings a competitiveness that is rarely matched,” said May in announcing the additions to the Lopes program that has won three of the last four Pacific West Conference titles.  “We look forward to her making an impact the day she steps on campus.”

Kamp, a 5-11 forward, will be a junior who has had some serious seasoning at the college level.  She started 24 of 28 games for Nova this past season and was the team’s leading rebounder, with seven boards per game, and set a school record for offensive rebounds (11) in a game.  She’s also an offensive threat; she had five double-doubles this season, including a 16-point, 13-rebound effort.

Foster is a 5’6″ sophomore guard who won three 4A state titles while at Thunderbird HS and was ranked No. 26 in the country at her position.  She signed and played one year at NMS and started 11 of 15 games.

Joslynn Frazier, who rounds out the trio just added, is a 6’0″ forward who can run the floor and put points on the board.  Frazier is out of Sacramento, Calif., but put in two seasons at College of the Canyons, a community college in Santa Clarita, where she averaged 14 points and 12 rebounds.  But her 28 points against Baker College shows she can light up the board on occasion.

In addition to these April signings, Grand Canyon will also be putting two more local athletes on the floor next season.  Maylinn Smith from Mesquite HS in Gilbert and Jenna Pearson from Gilbert Christian HS were signed right out of high school during the early signing period.

Smith is a 5’9″ guard/forward who averaged 16 points and 5.6 rebounds to catch the GCU coaches’ attention after her junior year.  Pearson, a 5’11” post player, averaged 19 points and 7.3 rebounds prior to signing and led Gilbert Christian to a 1A state championship.