RICHMOND, Va. – The Virginia Commonwealth University women's basketball program has announced the signing of four recruits during the NCAA's early signing period. Guard Christina Carter (Thomasville, N.C.) along with post players Aprill McRae (Raleigh, N.C.), Melanie Royster (Bowie, Md.) and Kiana Trice-Hill (Raleigh, N.C.) have signed National Letters of Intent and will join the program for the 2011-12 season.
"My staff did an outstanding job of putting together a recruiting class that is really going to positively impact the future of VCU Women's Basketball," said Rams Head Coach Beth Cunningham. "Tarrell Robinson, our recruiting coordinator, directed the efforts while my entire staff played an integral role. I think this group of young ladies has the potential to be one of the best classes we've ever signed. We couldn't be more excited about this group of individuals that will join us next year."
CHRISTINA CARTER, 5-9, GUARD (THOMASVILLE, N.C./THOMASVILLE HIGH SCHOOL)
Averaged 17.5 points, 6.1 assists, 5.1 rebounds and 3.1 steals per game, earning First Team All-Central Piedmont honors at Thomasville High School last year… Led Thomasville to semifinals of the Class 2A state playoffs in 2009-10, under the direction of Head Coach Lacardo Means … Member of the NC Lady Magic AAU program, coached by Nate Fries… Listed as the 71st ranked player in the nation, according to the Carolina Scouting Services
Coach Cunningham on Christina: "Christina is a very talented point guard with the versatility to be a combo guard for us as well. She has a high basketball IQ and a great feel for the game. She impacts a team with her ability to make plays, score, and create scoring opportunities for those around her. She has the speed, length, and athleticism to be outstanding defensively for us. She's going to be a great fit in our system with what we do on both ends of the floor."
APRILL McRAE, 6-3, CENTER (RALEIGH, N.C./SOUTHEAST HIGH SCHOOL)
Plays for Nicole Sampson-Meyers at Southeast High School, where she helped lead the Lady Bulldogs to a 23-5 record, a Greater Neuse River Conference title and an appearance in the North Carolina regional semifinal last year… Named First Team All-GNRC… Member of the Ovester Grays Triangle Lady Nights AAU program… Listed as the 22nd ranked post player in the nation, according to ESPN Hoopgurlz and ranks as the 30th-best center in the country, according to Dan Olsen College Girls Basketball Report
Coach Cunningham on Aprill: "Aprill might be the most heavily recruited player coming out of high school we have signed since I've been at VCU. She will make an immediate impact with her size, presence, and aggressiveness on both ends of the floor."
MELANIE ROYSTER, 6-4, FORWARD/CENTER (BOWIE, MD/ELIZABETH SETON HIGH SCHOOL)
Helped lead Elizabeth Seton High School to a 24-8 record, while capturing both the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference title and the city title last year… Plays for Coach Jonathan Scruggs at Elizabeth Seton and Robert Hildreth as a member of the Maryland Lady Terps AAU program… Listed as the 37th ranked center in the country, according to Dan Olsen College Girls Basketball Report and ranks as the 104th best power forward in the nation, according to ESPN HoopGurlz
Coach Cunningham on Melanie: "Melanie is an extremely gifted athlete. Her speed is unmatched for a 6'4" post player. She changes the game with her ability to defend and block shots and her aggressiveness on the boards."
KIANA TRICE-HILL, 6-3, FORWARD/CENTER (RALEIGH, N.C./OAK HILL ACADEMY)
Averaged 8.0 points, 11.0 rebounds, 1.0 assists and 1.0 steals per game last year for Oak Hill Academy under head coach Mike Rodgers… Daughter of current VCU assistant coach Trena Trice-Hill… Played for Arne Morris of the Garner Flames AAU program and also spent time with the Boo Williams AAU organization in Hampton, Va… Listed as the 50th ranked power forward in the country, according to the Dan Olsen College Girls Basketball Report
Coach Cunningham on Kiana: "Kiana is a physical, defensive presence that we need. She has a great work ethic and passion to improve. She has an ability to score in a variety of ways. She will really impact our team with her ability to rebound as well."