Jayhawks’ 2015 Signing Class Ranked No. 19 in the Nation
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Kansas women’s basketball head coach Bonnie Henrickson announced the signing of four individuals to the 2015 signing class, which has been ranked as the No. 19 recruiting class in the nation by ESPN’s Hoopgurlz. Jayde Christopher, Tyler Johnson, Kylee Kopatich and Aisia Robertson have all signed valid National Letters of Intent (NLI) to play for the for Jayhawks.
“The class being ranked high is a product of where they are each are ranked individually and should give them confidence,” said Henrickson. “I think all four of those young ladies understand and are mature enough to realize that it’s like preseason polls and it’s about coming here and being able to produce. I am more impressed by the competitiveness and basketball IQ of this group than I am with how they are ranked.”
The No. 19-ranked 2015 signing class hails from near and far as half of the incoming class are from the Sunflower State (Johnson and Kopatich), while the other two are headed to Lawrence via the West Coast (Christopher and Robertson). ProspectionNation also has Kansas’ recruiting class ranked in the top 20 in the country and has the Jayhawks selected as the 20th-best signing class. Henrickson signed three recruits that are ranked in ESPN’s top 100 and three from ProspectNation’s 150 Elite.
Jayde Christopher // Guard // 5-8 // Federal Way, Washington // Cleveland High School
A native of Federal Way, Washington, Christopher, a four-star guard according to ESPN’s Hoopgurlz, will become the second Jayhawk from the Evergreen State. ProspectNation ranks Christopher at 14th at her position and 59th overall, while ESPN’s Hoopgurlz ranked Christopher 22nd at her position and 67th overall. Collegiate Girls Basketball Report also has Christopher among the top 25 in the nation at her position, she is ranked 21st and is 67th overall.
The 5-8 guard prepped at Cleveland High School under Stephenie Wheeler-Smith and Jamie Redd. She helped the Eagles win back-to-back Washington 3A State titles in 2013 and 2014. Christopher had eight points, seven assists and three steals in the 2014 title game as CHS became the first school to win back-to-back state championships since the conclusion of the 2008 season.
Christopher is a two-time All-Metro League selection after earning honorable mention accolades as a sophomore and second-team honors during her junior campaign. Last season, Christopher averaged six points and nine assists for the Eagles. She plays club basketball for Tree of Hope under head coach Damion Young.
Henrickson on Christopher: “Jayde is a play-making point guard. She’s a young lady with incredible vision. She is similar, for those that got to coach and watch, Angel Goodrich on that level with the ability to pass and create. She played for a very successful AAU team, Tree of Hope, and played for a national championship in the toughest tournament in the country last summer. She was certainly a big part of why they had success.”
Tyler Johnson // Forward // 6-2 // Leavenworth, Kansas // Leavenworth High School
Johnson, the only forward among the 2014 signing class, is a three-star recruit and local product from Leavenworth, Kansas. Hoopgurlz ranked Johnson at 17th for her position, while ProspectNation selected her 22nd for her position and No. 123 overall. Collegiate Girls Basketball Report had Johnson at 21st for her position and 127th overall.
A 2014 Kansas City Star All-Metro First Team selection, Johnson played for head coach Derek Zeck at Leavenworth High School. She helped the Pioneers to a Kansas 5A state title last season. Johnson recorded a double-double in the state championship game after registering 18 points and 10 rebounds. During the state tournament, Johnson scored a total of 45 points, while grabbing 22 rebounds and seven assists to earn all-state tournament honors.
During her junior year, Johnson averaged 15.1 points, 7.5 rebounds and 1.7 blocks per game. She is also an all-conference volleyball player for Leavenworth. Johnson plays summer ball for the MoKan Elite, which is also coached by Zeck.
Henrickson on Johnson: “Tyler is a really skilled power forward. She will fit well into our high-low game. She is able to score on the block and can play facing the basket. Again, (we are) talking about a young lady who is a state champion. Tyler has had tremendous success in high school. Both Tyler and Kylee play for a high-level AAU team in the summer.”
Kylee Kopatich // Guard // 5-10 // Olathe, Kansas // Olathe South High School
Another local product, Kopatich prepped at the same high school (Olathe South) that produced current Jayhawk Natalie Knight. Kopatich is ranked 14th for her position and 96th overall by Hoopgurlz, while Collegiate Girls Basketball Report has Kopatich at 15th for her position and No. 96 overall. ProspectNation selected Kopatich 32nd for her position and 149th overall.
Kopatich, a highly-decorated basketball player in her first three seasons with Falcons, prepped under head coach Steve Ingram at Olathe South High School. She has earned six all-state accolades from three different publications and three times has been named to the All-Sunflower League team. In 2014, she was selected as the Sunflower League Player of the Year and was a nominee for Gatorade Player of the Year. Kopatich was also a finalist for the DiRenna Award, which is given to the top girls basketball player in the Kansas City area.
In 2013, Kopatich led the Sunflower League in scoring with 17.6 points per game. During her junior campaign, she averaged 12.2 points, 6.3 assists and 3.1 steals per game. Along with Johnson, Kopatich plays summer ball for the MoKan Elite under Derek Zeck.
Henrickson on Kopatich: “Kylee is a highly recognized shooter and underappreciated passer, but not by our staff. I think one of the most impressive things is her court vision, her ability to share the ball. We’ve had her at our camp with elite-level players from all over the country and was able to get those players uncontested shots. She shoots the three really well. From a toughness, competitiveness and basketball IQ, she is really at another level.”
Aisia Robertson // Guard // 5-7 // Richmond, California // Bishop O’Dowd High School
Robertson, a four-star guard from Richmond, California, will be the first Jayhawk to come from the Bay Area and 14th from the state of California. Robertson is ranked 18th for her position and No. 85 overall by ProspectNation, while Hoopgurlz ranks Robertson at 25th for her position and 84th overall. Collegiate Girls Basketball Report has Robertson at 24th for her positon and 84th overall.
A two-time all-league selection, Robertson played for Malik McCord at Bishop O’Dowd High School. She helped the Dragons to a California Division III state title and an open division state title. She also guided the O’Dowd to three East Bay Athletic League (EBAL) championships, two North Coast Section (NCS) championships and two Nor Cal titles. Robertson plays for the Cal Ballaz under Leroy Hurt on the AAU circuit.
Henrickson on Robertson: “Aisia is another combo guard who could spot us some minutes at the point. She can play on the wing because she is a play-making guard. Her length defensively is impressive. She’s played with really successful and talented players on her high school team, so she understands how to play with talent. For her, that won’t be a transition and she’s excited about who she will get to play with. She’s a dynamic scorer, passer, can get to the rim and finish. She has a passion for the game.”
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