Staley Inks Early Signees for Top-10 Class
Monique Willis

Posted Nov 20, 2008


COLUMBIA – University of South Carolina head women’s basketball coach Dawn Staley announced that Ieasia Walker (Copiague, N.Y. / Copiague) and Monique Willis (Savannah, Ga. / A.E. Beach) have signed National Letters of Intent to attend the University and play basketball for the Gamecocks.

Both players will have four years of eligibility beginning with the 2009-10 academic year. The duo’s signing prompted The Collegiate Girls Basketball Report to rank South Carolina’s the ninth-best recruiting class in the country.

“I feel very fortunate to bring to the University of South Carolina Ieasia Walker and Monique Willis,” Staley said. “Both of these young ladies are equally great people. We can’t wait for the day they put on their South Carolina uniforms.”

Walker is rated as high as the 17th-best player in the 2009 class by Blue Star Basketball. The All-Star Girls Report tabs her as the 19th-best, and Hoopgurlz.com tips her as the 10th-best point guard in the class. The 5-foot-8 Long Island product posted 19.4 points, 8.7 rebounds, 7.4 assists and 5.1 steals per game in 2007-08, leading Copiague to the Suffolk Class AA semifinals. A three-time All-Suffolk County and all-conference selection, she earned a spot on the New York State Sports Writers Association Class AA All-State Third Team.

“Ieasia is a consummate point guard,” Staley said. “She has the qualities that I look for to manage our team. She has a natural feel for the game and will instantly make us better when she steps on campus.”

At 5-foot-8, Willis is rated No. 24 in the 2009 Class by All-Star Girls Report, and Blue Star Basketball has her at No. 59. She helped the A.E. Beach Bulldogs to the program’s fifth-straight Region 3-AAAAA championship in 2007-08, posting a double-double with 14 points and 15 rebounds in the title game. For her efforts her junior year, Willis earned a spot on the Georgia Athletic Coaches Association All-Class AAAAA South team.

“Monique is a player that somewhat went under the radar,” Staley said. “We are extremely pleased that she chose us over other SEC and ACC schools. She is electric on both sides of the ball. She brings a level of athleticism that is second to none.”


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