EL DORADO, Kan. – The Butler women's basketball program has inked 13 new players to the program during the NJCAA signing period.
"We have a great deal of excitement about this recruiting class," Coach Mike Helmer said. "The character and abilities of each of these young ladies are of high caliber. We are going to expect big things from this group moving forward."
These 13 new comers will join two returners from a Grizzly team that went 24-7 last season and a program that has averaged 28 wins per year over the last three seasons. The incoming student-athletes and a summary of their accomplishments are listed below.
Janee Arnold / 5'6 / Guard / Tulsa, Oklahoma (East Central High School & University of Houston) Four-year letter-winning guard at East Central High School... Led the team to a 22-5 overall record in her senior year, while helping them obtain a perfect 12-0 district mark and a berth in the state championship game... Scored in double-figures in 20 of 24 contests during her senior year, including pouring in a career-best 38 points in a 53-39 win over Booker T. Washington, where she shot 9-of-12 from the field... Also scored in double figures in six straight games to end the season… Played for Sammy Mack.
Helmer on Arnold: Janee has great energy, with the ability to be a well-balanced player. She can score and defend.
Imari Bell / 5'11 / Forward / Emporia, Kansas (Emporia High School) Led Emporia to a State Tournament appearance and a record of 14-8 her senior year…Was named the newcomer of the year and honorable mention All Centennial League… Averaged 10.1 points and 8.2 rebounds per contest as a senior…Was named to the Wichita Eagle 5A All Class Honorable Mention team… Transferred from Lancaster High School in Dallas, Texas… Received the District 14-A Div. I Co-Most Valuable Player averaged 17.1 points and 11.4 rebounds as a sophomore…selected to the VYPE DFW Top 40 players as a junior 2013-2014.
Helmer on Bell: Imari plays with great energy and is very physical. Plays a lot taller than her listed height of 5'11.
Nakylia Carter / 5'6 / Guard / Oklahoma City, Oklahoma (Putnam City High School) Four year starting point guard at Putnam City North High School… 4 time all-tournament team selection… 2014-15 1st team selection for the Big 10 conference… 2014-15 OGBCA All State… 2014-15 PC North team captain and MVP… Averaged 11.3 points, 2.5 assists, 2.5 steals per games as a senior.
Helmer on Carter: Nakylia is a good point guard. She leads the team and passes well.
Eledria Franklin / 5'5 / Guard / Wichita, Kansas (South High School & Newman University) Played the 2014-15 season at Newman University (NCAA DII)… Appeared in 15 games and averaged 1.2 points per contest for the Jets… Won the 2013-14 6A State Championship at Wichita South High School… Won the 2011-12 3A State Championship at Wichita Collegiate High School… 2013-14 All-State… 2013-14 All City Honorable Mention… Won the High School Heisman Award… Played for Antwan Scales.
Helmer on Franklin: Eledria shoots the ball well and is a very solid all-around player.
Alecia Gulledge / 5'10 / Forward / Bolingbrook, Illinois (Bolingbrook High School) Three year Letter winner at Bolingbrook High School… 2013-14 & 2014-15 Academic Excellence award… 2014-15 Southwest Suburban All Conference… Played for Coach Chris Smith.
Helmer on Gulledge: LeeLee is a very skilled player with nice ability to score and defend.
Kyeria Hannah / 6'1 / Forward / Moore, Oklahoma (Southmoore High School)
Led Southmoore to three straight Oklahoma 6A state tournament appearances… Ranked as a 3 star and an 88 Scouts Grade by ESPN Hoop Gurlz… Rated the No. 74 best Power Forward in the country by ESPN Hoops Gurlz…Named to the 2015 OGBCA and OCA All State Teams as well as the All Big City Team… Hannah was an honorable-mention all-state junior season in which she averaged 15 points and six rebounds for Southmoore... The versatile forward averaged 12 points and six boards as a sophomore, helping the SaberCats to a 22-6 record and state tournament appearance for the first time in school history… Played for Brittney Kannady-Sayes.
Helmer on Hannah: Kyeria is very skilled and has a nice all-around game. She has great IQ, sees the floor and passes well, can score from inside out.
Alex Keller / 5'9 / Guard / Hutchinson, Kansas (Buhler High School) Led Buhler High School to a league championship, Sub State Championship and a fourth place finish at the 4A Kansas State Tournament… Named to the 2014-15 All League first team, All State Tournament team, All State Honorable mention and All Reno County teams… Was a 2015 4A State Champion in the long jump, Runner up in the triple jump, fourth in the 100m dash... Played for Jon McLean.
Helmer on Keller: Alex is a really good athlete very competitive as well. Her athleticism can make her be a tough matchup.
Tamara Lee / 5'9 / Guard / Edmond, Oklahoma (Santa Fe High School & University of Denver) Appeared in 23 games last season for the Denver Pioneers… Scored a career high of 16 points against North Texas on Dec. 28… Two time Oklahoma 6A State Champion at Edmond Santa Fe High School (2010-11 & 2011-12)… Participated with the USA Under-16 National Team… Named to the Tulsa World Third Team All-State Girls Basketball Team, an Honorable Mention All-State Girls Team by The Daily Oklahoman and a First Team Big All City Girls selection by The Daily Oklahoman (2012-13)… Named First Team Vype Magazine Large City and a Preseason Vype Magazine Top-100 Athlete (2012-13)... Was Ranked a 3 star recruit and an 83 Scouts Grade by ESPN Hoop Gurlz in the class of 2014… was named to the 2014 Oklahoman Girls super Five Basketball Team…As a senior, Lee averaged 16.1 points per game, 2.6 Steals per game while shooting 34% from long range and 87% from the Free Throw line… Played for Paul Bass.
Helmer on Lee: Tamara is a good scorer with a great motor. We have loved her great intensity as well.
Hayley Leeper / 6'1 / Guard-Forward / Wichita, Kansas (Campus High School) 2013-14 and 2014-15 6A All State Basketball honorable mention and second team AVCTL Division 1 teams… Honorable mention AVCTL volleyball team… Selected to the Mid-Kansas All Star Classic… State Qualifier in the 4 by 4 track relay… Played for Josh Curtiss.
Helmer on Leeper: Hayley causes matchup problem because she can score inside and out.
Morgan Littlewood / 6'5 / Post / Riverton, Utah (Herriman High School) Won the 2012-13 State Championship at Riverton High School… Transferred to Herriman High School…Played for Coach Jill Ames.
Helmer on Littlewood: Morgan's size will be a nice addition for us. At 6'5 she has great length.
Cassie Pauls / 5'9 / Guard-Forward / Wichita, Kansas (Wichita Northwest High School) Played in two basketball games in 2014-15 before a season ending injury… 2014-15 second team All-City Vollleyball… three time honorable mention all-conference for basketball… Member of National Honor Society.
Helmer on Pauls: We love Cassie's toughness. She has the ability to knock down open shots as well.
Raven Prince / 6'2 / Guard-Forward / Oklahoma City, Oklahoma (Millwood High School) Led Millwood to four straight Oklahoma State Tournaments… Three year starter… 2012 3A Basketball State Champion… Named the 2012 3A Freshman of the year… 2013-14 3A All State… Was named the 2014 Carl Albert Tournament and 2014 Millwood Invitational Most Valuable Player… Averaged 16.3 Points per game as a Senior… Played for Shannon Hayes.
Helmer on Prince: Raven's length and athleticism is a matchup problem for other teams.
Asia Willard / 5'7 / Guard / Conway, Arkansas (Conway High School) Led Conway High School to three straight 7A State tournaments… two time All-conference performer… three year letter winner… 2015 Sandra Meadows Memorial Tournament Defensive Player of the Tournament(Duncanville, TX)… All Defensive Player MVP… 2013-14 7A Arkansas State Champion… 2014-15 7A Arkansas State Runner-up… Played for Janet Taylor.
Helmer on Willard: I'm very excited to see what Asia can do for us. She has the ability to be a shutdown defender. Asia is a very tough physical player as well.