Monday, July 11, 2016

FAMU Lady Rattlers Sign Seven Recruits For 2016-17

TALLAHASSEE, Florida – Florida A&M Women’s basketball coach Ledawn Gibson announced recently the signing of seven new players for the 2016-2017 season.

The septet of newcomers include Kennedy Burks (5’11 G/F Grand Prairie, TX, Jamella Smith (5’10 G Chapel Hill, NC) , Ny’Asia Davis (6’3 C Starke, FL) , Dy’Manee Royal (6’0 F Savannah ,GA ) , Ecenur Yurdakul (5’7 PG, Eyup, Turkey), Shakeyrra Morrison (6’0 G/F, and DI transfer Taylor Darks (5’11 W Cincinnati, OH) .

"We are rebuilding this year after losing 72% of our scoring in Khadejra Young and Olivia Antilla, but my staff and I have done a remarkable job in selecting the kind of student athletes we need here at Florida A&M University. I am EXCITED to introduce the new additions to the Orange and Green family.”

Ecenur “E” Yurdakul- 5-7 PG/G

Yurdakul is a 5-7 point guard from St. Fair Community College.

The Istanbul, Turkey, native helped the Lady Roadrunners to a 22-8 record and a Region 16 tournament championship in her one season in Sedalia. Yurdakul shot a team-high 82.6 percent from the free-throw line. Yurdakul missed six games in the second half of the season due to injury, but battled her way back to contribute for SFCC.

GIBSON ON YURDAKUL: “Yurdakul enters FAMU with a lot of experience playing basketball on the international level. While in Turkey she had the opportunity to play against some of the best basketball players in the world. She will play the point guard position but also has the ability to stretch the defense by hitting 3pt shots.”

Shakerrya Morrison- 6-0 G/F

She played high school ball at East Wake High School in North Carolina and Junior College at East Central Community

College and was coached by Crandel Porter.

GIBSON ON MORRISON: “Morrison is a high energy aggressive player. She is a great defender and relentless rebounder who will make an immediate impact on this program. She’s been sitting out a year but there is no doubt she will give us all she has to give.”

Jamella Smith- 5-10 G

At Pensacola State College Smith averaged 13 pts, 4 rbs. A tar heel native with many different accolades, the most memorable is when she led her high school team to an undefeated record (32-0 season).

GIBSON ON SMITH: “She possesses a scorer’s mentality with the ability to perform for us in 3 different positions. She’s a rebounding taller guard who doesn’t mind getting gritty with the post players.”

Kennedy Burks- 5-11 SG

Played for Mansfield Lake Ridge High school averaging 12.4 pts, 5 rbs.

GIBSON ON BURKS: “Burks is a long athletic guard that can score in multiple ways and play multiple different positions. Although she is a freshman, she will be expected to develop beyond her years. Which is fine because she has the ability to do so.”

Ny’Asia Davis- 6-3 C

The 6’3 center played for Bradford High School where she averaged 16 pts and 12 rebs.

GIBSON ON DAVIS: “Davis is a very physical post player that can finish around the rim. Davis has great hands, great court vision for a post player and is relentless on the glass. She will add the extra GURTH that we’ve needed over the years.”

Dy’Manee Royal- 6-1 Forward

The Beach senior led the Bulldogs (18-4) with 12.1 points and 10.8 rebounds per game. The 6-foot forward also participates on the Bulldog volleyball and track and field teams.

GIBSON ON ROYAL: “Royal is a player that likes to get up and down the court. She is an aggressive defender and rebounder that has a very high motor. For her size and position, she has unique scoring capabilities. She is a native of Savannah Ga and wishes to show the conference what Ga has to offer.”

Taylor Darks 5’11 W

Darks appeared in a total of 18 games as a freshman. She was a standout at Walnut Hills High School. She is a two-time All-Eastern Cincinnati Conference (ECC) first team selection, ECC player of the year averaging 16.8 points and 9.1 rebounds per game. Ranked the No.88 guard ESPNW and led her team in scoring. Per NCAA transfer rules, Darks will sit out the 2016-2017 season.

GIBSON ON DARKS: “Darks is a high energy caliber player who could've also obtained a track scholarship because of her athletic abilities. She is the type of player that just keeps going and going and going! She is an over achiever, not just on the court but also in the classroom and we are excited to see her mature in this upcoming year.”

In addition to a seven-woman recruiting class, the Rattlers also return eight players from the 2015-2016 squad, headed key veterans Victoria Nguyen and Alicia McCray.

Redshirt guard Florence Outtara, a 5’10 G (Tiassale, Ivory Coast), who sat out last season, is also scheduled to play.


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