RICHMOND, Va. – After gaining national attention on the recruiting trail last season, second-year VCU Head Women's Basketball Coach Marlene Stollings and her staff made another splash on Wednesday with the additions of forwards Yazmine Belk (right) and Curteeona Brelove (below), who signed National Letters of Intent to join the Rams in 2014-15.
"Yazmine and Curteeona are high quality individuals with strong academic backgrounds who will catapult our program to new heights." said Stollings. "We are thrilled with this talented 2014 signing class."
Belk helped guide Nazareth Regional High School in Brooklyn, N.Y. to the Catholic Class A state title last season after averaging nine points, 11.7 rebounds and 1.2 blocks per game en route to a team MVP accolade. As a freshman, she was named the league's Defensive Player of the Year, while also earning Most Improved honors. Most recently, Belk's Nazareth squad won the Nike Rose Classic, where she was named tournament MVP.
"Yazmine is a coachable, tough, hard working post who will help elevate our program to the next level," Stollings added. "She played AAU basketball with the highly respected Exodus organization out of New York City. Yaz is an exceptional rebounder with great hands who instinctively pursues the ball. She runs the floor extremely well and can score in a variety of ways. Yaz has just begun to scratch the surface on how great she can become. Her best basketball is ahead of her and we are ecstatic to have her in the black and gold."
A two-time Florida Association of Basketball Coaches All-State player at Malone High School in Malone, Fla., Brelove averaged 21.8 points and 16.8 rebounds per game during her junior campaign last season after averaging 19.7 points and better than eight rebounds as a sophomore. The 6'2" forward, who is a two-time defending league Player of the Year and three-time team MVP, chose VCU over the likes of Virginia Tech and East Carolina.
"Curteeona is versatile and can play multiple positions," said Stollings. "She has three-point range as well as low block moves. Meemo has the ability to stretch the defense and keep them honest inside the arc with step backs, post up moves as well as great court vision. We are thrilled to add such an outstanding person and accomplished basketball player to our program."
Despite arriving on campus in June of 2012, Stollings and her staff signed the top recruiting class in the Atlantic 10 and 38th-best in the nation last season, and have followed with another strong class in year two.
"I want to commend our assistant coaches for making this special class possible. Recruiting coordinator Niki Dawkins was responsible for overseeing our second highly touted class since arriving in Richmond. Coach Nik was assisted by Tamisha Augustin and Jill Dunn who, upon their arrival, helped make an immediate impact on our recruiting, our team and community."