Women's Basketball Adds Five Players For 2016-17

Women's Basketball Adds Five Players For 2016-17

SAVANNAH, Ga. - Armstrong State University head women's basketball coach Fala Bullock has announced the signing of five players who will join the Pirates for the upcoming 2016-17 season.

The five incoming players are: 5-7 shooting guard Keyonna Wesley (Pearson, Ga. / Atkinson County HS); 5-3 point guard Brooke Heilman (Cumming, Ga. / Spring Hill); 5-5 shooting guard Aysia Grimsley (Marietta, Ga. / Chattahoochee Tech); 5-11 forward Kasey Drayton (St. Petersburg, Fla. / Rollins) and 5-9 forward Lauren Woods (Raleigh, N.C. / Francis Marion).

Wesley scored 1,563 points in her high school career at Atkinson County HS, earning All-Region honors as well as All-Academic honors as a senior. She helped lead the Rebels to two state tournament appearances in her career.

"Keyonna is a great athlete that loves to score," coach Bullock said. "She can play both the point and shooting guard positions.  She is also great student and leader and we will look forward to developing her game up to the collegiate level."

Heilman is a senior who transfers in from Spring Hill College, where she played in eight games as a junior in 2014-15 for the Badgers. She played for two seasons at Andrew College where she served as the team captain and earned Academic All-Conference honors. Heilman played high school ball at South Forsyth HS, leading the conference in assists as a junior and serving as team captain as a senior. She will graduate in the Spring from Armstrong State with her degree in nursing.

"Brooklyn is a feisty and tenacious defender - she may be small in stature but big in heart and toughness," coach Bullock said. "She will bring an enthusiasm to our program along with an excellent academic background."

Grimsley was the NJCAA's leading scorer at Chattahoochee Tech (all divisions) in 2015-16, averaging 29.8 points per game as a sophomore. She had a single-game high of 51 points against West Georgia Tech on November 21st, 2015, the highest by any JuCo player in 2015-16, and 12 times tallied games of 30 or more points.

She earned second-team GCAA All-Conference honors in 2015-16. As a freshman, Grimsley played at Cleveland State CC in Tennessee, averaging 12.1 points per game. She played her high school ball at Sprayberry HS in Marietta.

"Aysia was the leading scorer in all of NJCAA last season and we will be looking for her to bring that scorers mentality to the Pirate program," coach Bullock said. "She can score in many different ways and is a great free throw shooter."

Drayton joins Armstrong State from Rollins College, where she averaged 3.7 points and 1.7 rebounds per game in 20 games for the Tars as a sophomore. She began her collegiate career at the University of Alabama-Birmingham, where she redshirted her freshman season, then played in 18 games as a redshirt freshman in 2014-15, averaging 1.4 points and 1.0 rebounds in 8.3 minutes per game for the Blazers. She earned Conference USA Commissioner's Academic Team award both seasons at UAB as well as the UAB Academic Team Award.

"Kasey is a long, stretch forward that will help us to open up the inside because of her ability to shoot it outside," coach Bullock said. "She's got experience at the D1 and D2 level, which should come in handy as she grows over the next two seasons."
 
Finally, Woods joins the Pirates from Francis Marion University, where she graduated with her bachelor's degree in biology. She played one season for the Patriots, where she averaged 3.3 points and 1.9 rebounds per game in 2013-14, and she will be attending graduate school at Armstrong State this year. She previously played at Anderson (SC) and averaged 16 points per game at Woods Christian Academy in Raleigh, N.C., as a senior.

"I've coached against Lauren and she is a scrappy player that is very tough minded," coach Bullock said. "Her versatility in her inside-out game should be very helpful competing in the Peach Belt. She is driven by the opportunity to compete again and I believe you will see that in the way she competes."

These five players join six returners from last season's squad that went 16-12 overall and tied a school record for the best start in school history, beginning the season 8-0.