Shorter University’s head women’s basketball coach, Jared Hughes, has announced 11 newcomers for the Hawks in one of the largest recruiting classes in the nation. The class will be the first full class under Coach Hughes.
“We are ecstatic about getting these young ladies on campus to mesh with our seasoned group of returners,” said Hughes. “This will be a program-changing boost to Shorter University that will allow our basketball team to achieve the success it deserves. These student-athletes will be the foundation in our quest for NCAA success and the development of high-character student athletes.
Kimberlyn Black, 5’8” Forward
Kimberlyn played at East Paulding under her father, Coach Jonathan Black…4x 1st team All County…1,000 pt scorer…3x All-Region Honorable Mention
Coach Hughes: “Kimberlyn’s natural leadership ability will serve her well on the Hill. She is a playmaker who can attack and guard multiple positions. Her energy on the court is unparalleled, and her positivity will be a great asset to our program.
Chatham Brown, 5’10” Forward
Chatham played at Cherokee High,one of the premier HS programs in Georgia, under Coach Matt Cates…Played AAU with Nike Team Elite…4x Region Champion…2X Defensive POY…All-Region Honorable Mention
Coach Hughes: “We expect Chatham to contribute right away as a tough kid who defends, rebounds, and will sacrifice for the team. Her natural athleticism is phenomenal. She has only known a winning culture during her career, and we’re anxious to bring that here to Shorter.”
Tykeidra Jackson, 5’7” Guard
Tykeidra played at Baldwin High under Kizzi Walker…played AAU with GA Dream Team, Middle GA Impact, and GA Royals…1x Region Champion…3x 1st Team All-Region…3x Defensive Award
Coach Hughes: “Tykeidra gives us a dynamic playmaking guard that can attack the rim and defend the perimeter. We’re excited to see her athleticism translate to the college level.”
Savanna Mason, 5’9” Guard
Savanna played under long-time Coach Roger Nolan at Creekview…played AAU with GA Flames and Tom Mason…1x Region Champion…2x All-Region Honorable Mention…3x Defensive Award
Coach Hughes: “As a GHSA coach, I was fortunate enough to watch Savanna’s growth as a player for several years. She has learned incredible composure at the guard position from great coaches along the way. She will be an outstanding decision-maker and defender for us.”
Ally McCollum, 6’0” Center
Ally played at Phillips HS in Alabama under Scott Veal…played AAU with AL Southern Starz and Bryon Veal…2x 1A ASWA POY Finalist…2019 State Champion…2,000+ career points…named Top 50 Players in Alabama…rewrote AHSAA record books in categories including: pts, rebounds, blocks
Coach Hughes: “We are so blessed to have a post with Ally’s skillset join us this season. She is an offensively-gifted post player with exceptional defensive timing. We are certain her high school success will propel her to a storied college career here at Shorter.”
Julia Peroni, 5’8” Guard
Julia played at Oconee County under Thad Burgess and Philip Manning…named GACA All-State in 2020…All-Area Team…led team to Sweet 16 appearance…1,000+ pt scorer
Coach Hughes: “Julia was one of the easiest players to recruit as she gave maximum effort no matter the tournament, competition, or location. I expect her to have a highly successful collegiate career due to this work ethic. She is an exceptional defender that will be essential to our tempo this season.”
Kelly Pickett, 5’6 Point Guard
Kelly played at Hanceville High in Alabama under Christina Watson…played AAU with AL Blazers under Greg Harrison…1st team All-Area…2nd Team All-State…named Top 50 Players in Alabama…Gameday Weekly ℅ 2020 Athlete…1,000+ pt scorer
Coach Hughes: “Kelly was a highly-coveted prospect from the state of Alabama. She excels both offensively and defensively while simultaneously maintaining a humility like no other. She will be undoubtedly a driving force in our offensive tempo for the upcoming season.”
Kaitlynn Stiles 5’9” Forward
Kaitlynn played at Adairsville High under Michael Roberson and Melissa Winters
Coach Hughes: “Kaitlynn was a late addition to our roster that will fill an essential role in our power forward position. She has shown a desire to compete every day and do the little things that make teams successful.”
McCall Thomas, 5’5 Guard
McCall played at North Forsyth under Eric Herrick and Brad Kudlas and during an incredible 4-year run…3x Region Champion…All-Region Honorable Mention 2020…All-Tournament Team 2020
Coach Hughes: “McCall was part of a tremendous 4-year run by North Forsyth. She shined, even in a highly-crowded and talented backcourt, as one of the top shooters in Georgia. There were many games that her sharpshooting abilities were major factors in victories.
Bailee Usrey, 5’8” Guard
Bailee played at Skyline High in Alabama under Ronnie McCarver…played AAU with AL Southern Starz and Coach Bryon Veal…4x All-Area/All-County…Regional MVP 2018-2019…State Runner-Up 2019…named Top 50 Players in Alabama…Skyline’s All-Time Leading Scorer…2,000+ pts
Coach Hughes: “Bailee comes to us after an incredibly successful high school career in Alabama. She is a complete guard package both offensively and defensively. Her toughness will never be in question as she played several weeks last summer powering through on one foot after a significant injury.
Mariesha Welch, 5’6” Guard
Mariesha spent the last 2 seasons at Point University…played high school at Model High under Coach Sally Echols…4x Region Champion…All-Region Player
Coach Hughes: “The addition of Mo is a special one to both me and the Shorter program. She will bring a local face to the Hawks after a successful career at Model High. She was also an outstanding guard for me at the local youth level. After 2 years of significant injuries, I’m excited to see her back on the floor to complete her career.
These Hawks will join returning point guard Christian Bolden (Snead State transfer), Mekala Fuller (Gulf South Freshman of the Week honoree), Ansley Barge (UT-Chattanooga transfer returning from injury), and Jasmine Gaines (Top 15 NCAA scorer, 23 ppg).