Troy women’s hoops adds seven players

Published 10:30 pm Tuesday, April 30, 2013

The Troy women’s basketball team upped its signing class by one to give the Trojans seven new faces for the 2013-14 season with the addition of Aissata Maiga on Friday.

Trojans head coach Chanda Rigby says the class as a whole is an impressive one.

“We’ve have a good group of ladies committed to play for Troy next year. We’re excited to get them in school and a part of the program,” she said. “I think each member of the group brings something different, a different intangible. I really feel like several of them can come in and help us right away.”

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Maiga is a rising junior from Bamako, Mali. She played two seasons at Gulf Coast State College in Panama City, Fla.

Known for her defensive abilities, Maiga caught the eye of Rigby two seasons ago with the now-Troy coach was at Pensacola State.

Troy guard Joanna Harden, who played at the junior college level for Northwest Florida State, also faced Maiga and knows what type of talent she brings to the program.

“As a player we glorify offense, it’s refreshing to see an athlete take pride on the defensive end,” Harden said in a release by the university. “Aissata is one of those players that ‘sits down’ on defense. As an offensive player I would rather have Aissata on my team then have her guard me in a game. She will also make me a better player battling her each day in practice.”

Maiga helped lead Gulf Coast State to a 29-6 record and a National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Final Four appearance.

Joining Maiga are three NJCAA All-Americans in Michelle Mitchell (Eastman, Ga. – Darton State), Ronita Garrett (McCormick, S.C. – Georgia Perimeter) and Revonnia Howard (Chicago – Rock Valley College).

Mitchell is a 5-foot-9 guard who was named Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association Player of the Year last season averaging 2.2 steals per game on a Darton State team that allowed just 48.5 points per contest.

As a freshman, Mitchell led Darton State with 17.2 points, 9.6 rebounds and 2.4 assists per game.

Howard, a 6-foot-2 forward, inked her commitment to Troy during the early signing period in November. Howard averaged 12.3 points, 11.3 rebounds and led Rock Valley College, who won the NJCAA national championship last season, in blocks, steals and field goal percentage. In the tournament, Howard recorded a NJCAA record 28 rebounds against Montgomery College-Rockville.

Also signed with Troy are Chant Lewis (Winnfield HS – Winnfield, La.), Kristen Emerson (Prattville Christian – Prattville, Ala.) and Brianna Lancaster (Waynesboro, Miss. – Shelton State).

Rigby says she hopes to announce one more signing in coming days.