TSU women’s basketball team adds five signees

Published 12:00 am Friday, May 24, 2002

The Troy State women’s basketball program added five players during the spring signing period, grabbing two junior college transfers and a trio of highly touted freshmen, to round out Michael Murphy’s first official recruiting period as the Lady Trojans’ head coach.

Alecia Jones, a 6-foot-2 forward from Dothan (Ala.) High School; Shay Stewart, a 5-foot-7 guard from Moss Point (Miss.) High School; Shasta Cross, a 6-foot-3 forward/center from West Holmes High School in Millersburg, Ohio; Kanika Blackmon, a 5-foot-10 forward from Faulkner State Community College in Bay Minette, Ala.; and Pam Brannan, a 6-foot forward from Cincinnati Technical and Community College, will join the program in the fall.

Murphy said he is excited about his first class.

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"I like the diversity," said Murphy, who took over the Troy State program on April 3. "The variety of positions played and the size of the players we are getting will have a big impact. It’s encouraging and exciting to have a group of players that can help us at all five positions."

Jones, a three-year starter at Dothan High School, averaged 15 points, 10.6 rebounds and four blocks a game this past season and 12.9 points and 10.2 rebounds as a junior to earn mention in the Dothan Eagle’s "Super 12" listing of the best high school players in southeast Alabama both years. Jones also played in the Alabama All-Stars Sports Week basketball competition following her junior season.

Jones is also a member of Dothan High’s track team, specializing in the sprint events of the 200, 400 and 4×400 relay.

Stewart played three seasons at perennial power Moss Point High, starting at shooting guard as a junior and senior. She averaged more than 14 points and seven assists in each of her last two seasons, helping lead the team to a pair of state tournament berths. As a senior, she finished second on the team in scoring and rebounds and led the team in assists. Stewart earned first-team all-state honors this past season.

Cross started three seasons at West Holmes High School, finishing her career as the school’s career leader in blocked shots with more than 190. She averaged six points, eight rebounds and more than four blocks per game as a senior in 2001-02, earning first-team all-conference honors.

Blackmon, a Dothan native, played the 2000-01 season at Faulkner State Community College after a standout, four-year career at Northview High School. She was also a member of the Dothan Eagle’s "Super 12" as a senior, when she averaged 16.4 points and 9.2 rebounds per game. Following her senior year, Blackmon participated in the USA Junior National competition. She also participated in track & field, finishing third in the 400m at the state track meet in 1997.

At Faulkner State, Blackmon averaged nearly 13 points and four rebounds in her only season. She sat out the 2001-02 season and will have three years of eligibility remaining.

Brannan originally signed with the Lady Trojans out of high school in 2000 but did not qualify academically. She enrolled at Gulf Coast Community College in Panama City, Fla., for the 2000-01 season and then transferred to Cincinnati Tech last year. A native of Reading, Ohio, Brannan averaged 6.8 points and 5.6 rebounds per game for the Surge in 2001-02. Brannan played at Mt. Notre Dame High School in Reading, where she averaged 15 points and 10 rebounds as a senior in 1999-2000, to earn All-League honors.

Brannan will have two seasons of eligibility remaining for the Lady Trojans.

Troy State returns eight players from last year’s squad, including four starters.