Women's Basketball

Elliott, Women's Basketball Sign Four



Nov. 15, 2013

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LOS ANGELES - Second-year Head Coach Charity Elliott announced the signing of a quartet of players who will join the LMU women's basketball program in the fall of 2014.

Adding firepower to the Lions outside shooting arsenal are Deshka Olson, Makenzie Cast, while the Lions will also get a boost in the post from Nkechi Ilang and Breanna Alford.

"We could not be happier about the four young ladies who are joining the LMU women's basketball program," said Elliott of her second recruiting class at LMU. "First and foremost, they are are tough competitors and are committed to excellence in every area of life - both on the court and off.

"They have extremely high standards and goals which are perfectly in line with the expectations we have for our program and I expect great things from each of these young ladies. It's been such a pleasure getting to know them and their families and we are so grateful that they have decided to become part of the LMU family."

Deshka OlsonOlson hails from Salmon High School in Salmon, Idaho, a small town five hours northeast of Boise. As a junior in 2012-13, Olson averaged 25 points per game, earning 2A Second Team All-Idaho and Post Register All-Area First Team honors.

"Deshka is one of those hidden gems that will bring us great toughness and heart along with a tremendous ability to score," Elliott said. "She can shoot 3's, take someone off the dribble and is strong enough to get in and take some contact and finish. She's got the heart of a Lion and will be ready to compete and learn from day one."

Makenzie CastCast comes to LMU from Carondelet High School in Concord, Calif., where she has starred for both her basketball and softball teams. As a junior on her varsity hoops team, Cast averaged 15 points, three assists, four rebounds, two steals and 1.5 blocks per game, leading the Cougars to a 28-4 overall record, a second straight North Coast Section Division II title and the semifinals of the CIF NorCal State Championship. Her list of postseason honors runs long as she was named All-State 1st Team Div II CalHi Sports, All-State 3rd Team CalHi Sports Underclassman, First Team All-East Bay Athletic League, All Metro Team Honorable Mention, 2014 NorCalPreps.com Girls Basketball Top 40, Scholar Athlete of Week Bay Area Preps (Jan 15th 2013) and West Coast Jamboree Jim Capoot Memorial Award Outstanding Player.

"Makenzie is one of the best pure shooters in California and has the quickest release I've ever seen in a high school player," said Elliott. "At Carondelet she has learned how to win. She has also played for two of the best club teams in the country - Cal Stars and East Bay Explosion. Mackenzie had an incredible summer with Cal Stars and we saw more facets to her game than ever before. She is going to bring an expectation of winning and an ability to make an impact on both ends of the floor."

NKIlang, who goes by the nickname "NK," is a native of Nigeria and is currently attending St. Anne's-Belfield High School in Charlottesville, Vir. As a junior in 2012-13, NK averaged 16.4 points and 10.4 rebounds for the Saints, who finished 17-8 overall and 6-3 in league play. She surpassed the 20-point mark in eight games and collected double-digit rebounds in all but eight games, earning first team all-league and second team all-state honors.

"NK is an incredible athlete who has unbelievable potential," Elliott said. "She's long and lean, can run the floor and is a tenacious rebounder. She has such a desire to get better and is a natural leader who I expect to make a big difference in this program, both immediately and in the future."

Breanna AlfordAlford joins the LMU program from Miramonte High School where she averaged 16 points and 12 rebounds per game to lead the Matadors to a 27-3 overall record and a perfect 12-0 league mark. A four-year varsity player, Alford has earned All-Diablo Foothill Athletic League three times. Last season she was an all-state selection, was ranked the 26th best player in Northern California by NorCal Preps and was an All-Metro Honorable Mention selection. Alford recorded a triple double once during her junior season and will look to become the first in school history to achieve 1,000 career points and 1,000 career rebounds this season. Alford was also a teammate of Cats' on the Cal Stars where both were coached by Kelly Sopak.

"Bre is a fierce competitor who simply finds a way to get it done," said Elliott. "She has a knack for rebounding and was one of the most productive posts we watched this summer. Her dream has always been LMU and I have no doubt that she will do whatever is necessary to be successful personally and to make an impact on this program."

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This season, LMU launches its new online ticket system thanks to a partnership with TicketsWest. Individual game, special promotional, and season tickets to the 2013-14 LMU basketball season are on sale NOW through the new online ticketing system and all events can be done through LMULions.com/Tickets. The new print at home features helps you avoid lines and gets you to the game even faster. BUY ONLINE TODAY!

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