LAS CRUCES, N.M. (Nov. 15) - Head coach Mark Trakh announces that five high school players have signed National Letters of Intent to join the Aggies in the fall of 2013. Trakh is in his second season with NM State and has led the Aggies to a 1-0 start to the 2012-13 season.
Joining the Aggies in 2013 are Tamera Williams of Centennial High School (Las Vegas, Nev.), Brianna Freeman of Harker Heights High School (Killeen, Texas), Vanessa Garner of Archbishop Mitty High School (Milpitas, Calif.), Moriah Mack of Reagan High School (San Antonio, Texas), and Brandee Walton of St. Mary's High School (Surprize, Az.)
"I'm thrilled to have these five new athletes come in next year. We are really upgrading athletically," Trakh said. "These kids can run and really jump. They need to work on their outside shots a bit, but they're really good athletes. We've got a lot of really great forwards and guards that are so athletic and can defend. These girls can run, so with what we have coming back, we think that we can be a very athletic, pressure team text year and that's exactly what we want."
Williams, a 5-9 senior at Centennial High School, showed success in her junior season as she was named the Las Vegas Review-Journal's High School Female Athlete of the Year. She averaged 10.8 points, 4.7 rebounds and 3.0 steals last season and helped the Bulldogs to a Sunset Region title after a 29-3 season. She was named to the third team all-state for her work on the hardwood.
"Tamera (Williams) is very athletic. She runs a top-25 100-meter dash in the nation in high school track," Trakh said. "She's ultra athletic, gets up and down the floor, can defend and is just a fantastic athlete."
Freeman is a senior at Harker Heights High School. The 6-1 forward helped her team to a 35-2 record during her junior campaign and averaged 11.9 points per game. She also averaged 5.1 boards with one assist and a block per game. Her season high 27 points came late in her junior season with an 84-44 win over Lee High School (2/13).
"She's a big forward, four player or out of Texas. She is very athletic and can get those three's. She's long and lean and can really get to the basket," Trakh said of Freeman.
With her club team, Garner was named San Jose Cagers first team all-WCAL in her sophomore season. She also garnered all-West Catholic League Honorable Mention and was a two-time honorable mention all-CCS by the San Jose Mercury News and AMHS Best Defensive Player. The 5-8 guard helped the Monarchs to a 28-5 record.
"Just like Walton, Garner comes from one of the most established high schools in the country," Trakh said. "She plays for Sue Phillips there and have won all kinds of state championships, including last year, so she is the starting point guard on a defending state title team. She is going to give us the savvy we need at point guard. She can really shoot the three."
Mack commits to the Aggies after a 34-5 record at Reagan High School her junior season. She helped the Rattlers to 11-1 in league play while averaging 10.2 points per game. Back in March, Mack and the Rattlers worked to make it to the semifinal game of the Texas State Championships before being knocked out. She was part of the league championship team and managed 6.1 boards per game with 2 assists on average.
"Mack is going to be a great addition for us next year. She can really play on the defensive side and is probably one of the best defensive players in San Antonio. She is a great athlete that can run and can move across the court; she can really defend on the open court," Trakh said.
Walton helped elevate her team to a 2011 state championship. The 5'11 forward worked to help the St. Mary's Knights to a perfect 30-0 last season and finish with an Arizona state title in 2012.
"Brandee (Walton) plays on a high school team that hasn't lost in about two years. Her team won the USA Today National Championship," Trakh said. "All five players off her high school team received Division I scholarships, so she comes from a great program. She is really good and will be a great three-point shooter for us."
The Aggies are back in action on Nov. 20, against I-25 rival New Mexico. Tipoff in The Pit is set for 7 p.m. Keep up with Aggie women's basketball by visiting www.nmstatesports.com
Trakh's Newest Aggies
Brianna Freeman, 6'1 F, Harker Heights High School, Killeen, Texas
Vanessa Garner, 5'8 G, Archbishop Mitty High School, Milpitas Calif.
Moriah Mack, 5'8 G, Reagan High School, San Antonio, Texas
Brandee Walton, 5'10 F, St. Marys High School, Phoenix, Ariz.
Tamera Williams, 5'9 G, Centennial High School, Las Vegas, Nev.