By Adam Gore/LetsGoICC.com
FULTON – Four All-Star members of the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Region 23 champion Itawamba Community College Lady Indians’ basketball team have signed National Letters of Intent to continue their careers as student-athletes.
“We are really excited for Ty-Nita, Jasmine, Ayanna and Ashley,” said ICC head coach Nanci Gray. “These girls put in a lot of hard work and dedication during their two years here at ICC and it showed with everything they achieved on the court and it’s paying off with the opportunity to continue their careers on the next level.”
Ty-Nita Baker signed with Kennesaw State University after averaging 17.4 points, 6.6 rebounds and 3.3 assists per game to go along with her 45.5 field-goal percentage and 37.4 three-point percentage in her final season at ICC.
“It feels great knowing that I have the opportunity to finish my career with Kennesaw State,” said Baker. “ICC has meant lot to me and has helped me grow over the past few years… it feels good knowing that we are leaving behind another championship for the program to build on for years to come.”
The Houston native earned NJCAA Region 23 and Mississippi Association of Community and Junior Colleges (MACJC) All-State and All-Tournament team honors along with being named MVP of the MACJC All-Star game.
“Ty was an offensive machine and made a lot of great things happen on the floor for us,” Gray commented. “She got so much better during her sophomore season by evolving into an all-around player with her ability to get to the rim and finish or dish it out to create scoring opportunities for everyone around her.”
Kennesaw State is a D1 university located in Kennesaw, Georgia and is a member of the Atlantic Sun Conference.
Jasmine Hampton signed with the University of West Alabama after averaging 7.4 points and 6.0 rebounds per game while shooting 52.9 percent from the floor as a sophomore.
“Coming from a small town it’s very exciting to have the chance to continue playing on another level,” Hampton said. “I’ve loved my time here at ICC and I’m just thrilled to be able to continue my basketball career.”
The Bruce native earned a spot on the MACJC All-Star North team and was a two-year starter for the Lady Indians.
“Hamp was that force inside that made a lot of positive things happen for us over the last two years and was an important piece of the puzzle that helped us win the Region championship and make it to Nationals this season,” Gray commented. “She will bring a positive energy and leadership on top her ability to score and rebound that will really help West Alabama over the next couple of years.”
West Alabama advanced to the Gulf South Conference championship game last season.
Ayanna Lynn signed with Jackson State University after averaging 9.3 points, 4.0 rebounds and 2.8 assists per game during her sophomore season at ICC.
“I’d like to thank God for this opportunity because this is something I’ve wanted to do since I played high school basketball,” said Lynn. “It feels good being able to go back closer to home and play basketball, but I am going to really miss ICC.”
The Indianola native earned NJCAA All-Region 23 Tournament Team honors and was named to the MACJC All-Star North team.
“Ayanna is a great floor leader and is a kid of really good character,” Gray said of Lynn. “She is intense and competitive and I really think Jackson State really got a gem of a point guard in signing her.”
Ashley Wiley signed to play basketball at William Carey University after averaging 5.8 points, 4.4 rebounds and 1.3 assists per game to earn a spot on the MACJC All-Star North team in her final season at ICC.
“I’m really excited for the opportunity God has given me to keep playing basketball,” Wiley commented. “I’ve learned so much from Coach Gray and Coach (Robin) Porter that has help prepare me for this opportunity and life in general that I will always be grateful for my two years at ICC.”
Ashley will join former Lady Indian Vechatita Bonner (Waynesboro) as a member of the Lady Crusaders’ basketball team.
“William Carey really got a steal in signing Ashley,” said Gray. “She did so many things that didn’t show up in the box scores that helped us be able to win a state and region championship. She is the ultimate leader and is willing to do whatever it takes to help make the team the best it can be no matter if it’s scoring, creating opportunities for her teammates or playing lock down defense.”
The quartet finished their highly-successful two-year careers at ICC with a 46-13 record while winning the 2012 MACJC North Division and State championships along with the 2013 NJCAA Region 23 championship to earn the Lady Indians a spot in the NJCAA National Tournament for the first time since 1975.
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