By Adam Gore/LetsGoICC.com
RIPLEY – Itawamba Community College continues to build one of the state’s most impressive recruiting classes for the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Region 23 champion Lady Indians as Coach Nanci Gray announced the addition of Ripley High School standout Jayla Chills on Monday.
“I’m very excited to be playing at ICC,” Chills said. “I like the school a lot and the coaches are really nice and I really liked their gym. I just want to do whatever it takes to help the team be better next year.”
Chills, a 5’9 guard, averaged 16.7 points, 4.9 rebounds, 3.8 steals, 3.1 assists and 1.2 blocks per game during her senior season for Coach Katie Bates and the Lady Tigers.
“Jayla has been a big part of our success,” said Coach Bates. “We’ve been in the state tournament the past four years and was a big part of that as a starter for four years. We are excited to see where she is going to be able to go from here.”
She was named Mississippi’s MVP in the Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Girls Basketball Game in March and was named to the Clarion Ledger’s Dandy Dozen before the start of her senior season.
“She is definitely a great scorer, very good defender, good passer, her transition game is really well, but the biggest thing will be taking her winning attitude, her no quit and hard work attitude over to ICC to help continue the winning tradition they have had established over the years,” said Bates.
As a junior, Chills averaged 17.6 points, 5 rebounds and 3.1 assists to lead Ripley to the Mississippi High School Activities Association (MHSAA) Class 3A championship game after averaging 11.1 points per game to help the Lady Tigers win the 2011 Class 3A state title during her sophomore season.
“Coach Bates has done a tremendous job at Ripley,” commented Gray. “Jayla is coming from a really strong program and we are excited about having her be a Lady Indian next season.”
Chills was a four-year starter at Ripley High School and played a pivotal role on the 2010 and 2012 squads that finished runner-up in the Class 3A state tournament and was the leader of the Lady Tigers’ run to the state semifinals this past season.
She was named to the All-North Half three times along with being a three-time All-Division selection, including earning Division MVP this past season. She was selected to the MAC North-South All-Star game and named Best Offensive Player as a junior.
“This tremendous day for Lady Indians basketball,” said Coach Gray. “When you look at what we signed prior to today is an outstanding list, but to top it off with an athlete the caliber of Jayla has us really excited about next season.”
Chills is the seventh member of the Lady Indians’ 2013 signing class joining CC Costilow (South Pontotoc), Nikki McMilan (Pontotoc) Anna Rosenbaum (Pontotoc), Justice Martin (HW Byers), KK Kneeland (Center Hill) and Ricki Hooker (Olive Branch).
For more information on ICC basketball and the eight other intercollegiate athletic programs, follow ICC Athletics on Twitter (@LetsGoICC) and visit www.LetsGoICC.com.