Fred Batchelor adds nine freshmen to the Lady Hawks roster this season.

Oct. 3, 2012

PRINCESS ANNE, Md. -- University of Maryland Eastern Shore women's basketball coach Fred Batchelor has announced his recruiting class. He will add nine freshmen, hailing from six different states, to the Lady Hawks roster for the 2012-13 season.

"This is largest incoming freshman class in my tenure as head coach of the Lady Hawks," says Batchelor, "I am grateful for the opportunity to remold and develop our program to be more effective and efficient as we work to embody stronger character on and off the floor. This freshman class will serve as the foundation for a successful future for UMES women's basketball."

TeAmber Burke - Freshman - 5'10" - Guard - Washington, N.C. (Oakwood School)

Burke comes to Princess Anne after a strong career at the Oakwood School, becoming the first ever female athlete from her school to sign a letter of intent to play collegiate athletics. She was the team captain for the Eagles the past two seasons, leading the team to a pair of state Final Fours, including a championship game appearance in 2011. Her senior season, Burke earned Coastal Plain Independent Conference MVP and NCISAA All-State honors after averaging 27 points per game, including scoring at least 21 points in all but one game, serving as a center and guard for the team.

"She has the potential to be a high volume scorer. She is a very effective mid-range shooter."

Ashleigh Claybrooks - Freshman - 6'0" - Forward - Manassas, Va. (The Miller School)

The first ever All-Central Virginia Player of the Year at the Miller School, Claybrooks comes to UMES as the 124th ranked forward in the Class of 2012 by ESPN. The two-time All-VISAA First Team forward led the Mavericks to two straight VISAA Division II state championship games, including taking the title in 2011, and a combined 51-11 record in those two seasons. She had the most points and rebounds for the squad last season, finishing with 12.8 points and 8.5 boards a game.



"She will provide us with a physical post presence and inside depth. She is a strong rebounder with good hands. She must work to expand her game beyond the post."

Taryana Kelly - Freshman - 6'3" - Forward/Center - North Brunswick, N.J. (N. Brunswick HS)

Kelly suits up for Batchelor's squad as a strong post player from New Jersey. Standing 6-3, she averaged 11 points and eight rebounds per game her senior season, including seven double-doubles, helping North Brunswick High School to a first-ever Greater Middlesex Conference regular season title, championship appearance and second straight semifinal berth with a 20-8 record. She also had at least one block each game for the Raiders, totaling 97 on the season, including eight contests with five or more rejections.

"With her size and toughness inside, she will make our post play very competitive night in and night out. Her ability to score around the basket is her greatest strength."

Jameelah Pickard - Freshman - 6'0" - Guard - Greensboro, N.C. (Oak Ridge Academy)

Following in the footsteps of Amber Cook, Pickard comes to UMES representing the city of Greensboro. For Eastern Alamance High in the 2009-10 season, she was the leading scorer for the Eagles, being named District 6 NCBCA Second Team All-District and Times-News Second Team All-Region, leading the team to a third straight state tournament appearance. She played her final high school season at the Oak Ridge Military Academy, helping the Cadets to a 25-7 record and earning a top-10 team ranking in the state of North Carolina.

"Jameelah is player with a strong mid-range game. Her ability to score from inside the 3 as well as get to the basket will assist us in our versatility."

Jaylaa' Stewart - Freshman - 6'0" - Forward - Burington, N.C. (Williams HS)

Stewart joins the Maroon and Gray after being one of the best rebounders in the state of North Carolina in high school. A career 1,000-point scorer at Williams High School, she led the Bulldogs with over 10 points a game and was the team's top rebounder last season, being named the Times-News All-Region Player of the Year. The team captain led the squad to a state championship berth and a 26-4 season. Leading the defensive effort, the team allowed less than 60 points in all but one game during the 2011-12 season.

"This is a high-energy kid whose strength is rebounding outside of her area and doing the little things that assists in making the team more efficient."

Kiana Sturgis - Freshman - 5'10" - Guard - Pocomoke City, Md. (Pocomoke HS)

Sturgis will stay home on the Eastern Shore and suit up for the Lady Hawks this season. A four-time conference All-Star, she was the MVP of the Bayside South her senior year, finishing her high school career with over 1,000 points and 1,000 rebounds. She was part of a Warriors team that made two straight state championship games, including winning the school's only state title in 2008 with a 23-1 record, being the only freshman on the team.

"She is a very athletic guard that is most effective in transition. Her versatility will allow her to play the one, two & three position."

Chalyse Taylor - Freshman - 5'3" - Guard - Louisville, Ky. (Eastern HS)

Taylor becomes the first player from Kentucky to play for UMES under Fred Batchelor. The starting point guard for the Eagles, she averaged 12 points, six assists and three steals per game last season, being named to the All-District Team and the school's Most Valuable Player as a senior. Taylor was also honored by the state as a member of the Kentucky All-Academic Team. She also was a star track athlete, competing in the 400m dash and 800m run for Eastern High School.

"Chalyse is a natural born leader that will add toughness, intelligence & savy to the point guard position."

Taylor Thompson - Freshman - 6'2" - Forward/Center - Hillsborough, N.C. (Cedar Ridge HS)

Thompson, a double sport star in basketball and volleyball at Cedar Ridge High School, is set to play basketball for the Lady Hawks. Averaging double digit points in each of her last three seasons, she averaged a double-double a game as a senior with 14.2 points and 12.1 rebounds per contest, achieving 21 doubles-doubles in the 2011-12 season, earning Carolina 12 2A All-Conference. She finished with over 700 points and 500 rebounds for the Red Wolves in her career.

"She provides additional depth in the post. Her ability to play from 12 ft. will enhance our high/low game."

Alexis Udoji - Freshman - 6'4" - Forward/Center - Randolph, Mass. (Cardinal Spellman HS)

Udoji joins the Lady Hawks as one of the top players in New England at the five position. As Cardinal Spellman High School's starting center, Udoji led the Cardinals to the Central Catholic League Championship in 2011, being named the league's Most Valuable Player that season after being named Defensive Player of the Year in 2010. She averaged a triple-double a game in her final three seasons, including 31 points, 16 blocks and 13 rebounds in the CCL title game, helping her be named The Enterprise Player of the Year in basketball.

"She is a game changer on the defensive end. Her ability to block shots, rebound, and run the floor will make her a strong contributor to our overall defensive effectiveness."

The freshmen will see their first action on Wednesday, November 7th at 6 p.m. when the Lady Hawks play an exhibition against Wilmington at the Hytche.

(all quotes attributed to Fred Batchelor)

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