MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (November 12, 2014) – West Virginia University women’s basketball coach Mike Carey announced the signing of six student-athletes to National Letters of Intent (NLIs) for the 2015-16 season.
Anja Martin (San Antonio, Texas/John Paul Stevens), Tynice Martin (Atlanta, Ga./Southwest Atlanta Christian Academy), Katrina Pardee (Cedar Park, Texas/Vista Ridge), Yassemeen Sa’Dullah (Burbank, Calif./Burbank), Lauren Saiki (Monterey Park, Calif./Mark Keppel) and Marlena Schmidt (Eighty Four, Pa./Ringgold) make up the 2015 class.
“I am very happy with the class,” said Carey. “Based on need, we went out and got individuals that fit best what we do here at West Virginia University. We were looking for individuals that had high-energy and leadership. All of these student-athletes are great in the classroom. We are continuing to build this program.”
Anja Martin is a 5-foot-11 combo player out of San Antonio that averaged 14.7 points, 5.5 rebounds and 2.8 steals as a junior to lead John Paul Stevens to their first region tournament berth. She was named to the 2014 San Antonio Express-News Girls Basketball Super Team. Additionally, Martin played AAU basketball for TeamXpress with fellow WVU signee Katrina Pardee.
“Anja can play several positions. It’s great to get people in here that can play more than one position because you never know what’s going to happen during the season such as injuries,” Carey noted. “It’s great to have a combo player that can play several positions. She plays with a high motor and with a lot of energy.”
Tynice Martin, a guard from Southwest Atlanta Christian Academy, was rated No. 16 nationally by ESPNU HoopGurlz. The Atlanta native spent her first three years of high school at Southwest DeKalb. In 2013, she scored 15 points and pulled in 16 rebounds to help the nationally-ranked Panthers win the 2013 Georgia Class 5A State Championship. The 5-foot-11 guard was named to the Georgia Class 5A All-State First Team, DeKalb All-Metro First Team and to the All-Metro Atlanta Second Team last year. Additionally, Martin played for the perennial AAU power Atlanta Celtics.
“Tynice is a very powerful guard,” said Carey. “She is very physical and has a lot of energy. She can score and rebound very well. She is another young lady that can play more than one position because she is so physical when she plays.”
Pardee is rated as the 22nd-best guard in the 2015 class by ESPNU HoopGurlz. The Cedar Park, Texas native garnered First Team All-District and All-Region honors last season. As a sophomore, the 5-foot-9 guard guided the Lady Rangers to a district and area championship. Pardee was a teammate of Anja Martin’s for the AAU TeamXpress.
“Even though Katrina didn’t play AAU this season because of injury, I was able to see her a lot last year,” Carey said. “She has a high motor and a lot of skill. She can just stroke the basketball. She is one of those players that you better stay out on. If you give her a window, she can hit the three on you. She can also take it off the dribble and create. She gives us that shooter on the perimeter that we needed.”
Sa’Dullah was listed as the No. 31 point guard by ESPNU HoopGurlz. She was rated as the sixth-best prospect in California’s 2015 class by All Star Girls Report. The Burbank, California native averaged 20.3 points in league play to earn Co-MVP honors in the Pacific League. The 5-foot-7 guard, garnered All-California Interscholastic Foundation Southern Second Team honors in 2014. During the regular season, she averaged 18.3 points, 5.3 rebounds, 3.3 steals and 2.3 assists for the Bulldogs. Sa’Dullah was a member of the Cal Sparks AAU program.
“She is another one that can play more than one position,” said Carey. “We are not going to lock her in anywhere. She’s going to bring a motor. She understands the game of basketball on the floor.”
Saiki, a native of Monterey Park, California, missed the majority of her junior year due to a season-ending knee injury. All Star Girls Report listed Saiki as California’s 13th-best player in the 2015 class. As a sophomore, Saiki tallied 12.1 points and dished out 12.2 assists per game at Mark Keppel High. She garnered Second Team All-CIF honors. Prior to her injury last season, Saiki was named MVP of the Magnolia Park Optimist Club Tournament. This summer, she was part of the California Storm Team Taurasi squad that won the inaugural Nike Elite Youth Basketball National Championship.
“Lauren distributes the ball very well. She is a true point guard,” noted Carey. “She passes the ball as well as any point guard I’ve seen in years. She can also score, which keeps you honest. She’s going to be hard player to trap and press. Lauren is very aggressive on both ends.”
Schmidt, a 6-foot-6 forward, brings a strong inside presence for the Mountaineers. Last season, the Eighty Four, Pennsylvania native averaged nearly 12 points, eight rebounds and five blocks per game for Ringgold High. She achieved All-Section 4 Team and Observer-Report All-District Second Team accolades in 2014. Schmidt’s team was 13-1 when she grabbed five or more rebounds. She participated in AAU basketball with the Washington Impact.
“We are excited to have her,” said Carey. “She has high academics, high character and a strong work ethic. Her best years are ahead for her. Once we get her in the weight room and in skill development, she is going to be a very good player for us.”
Via WVU Sports Information