KU women's hoops inks impressive signing class

LAWRENCE, Kan. – Athletic. Explosive. Agile. Scorer’s mentality. Strong.
These are just a few of the terms used to describe Kansas head women’s basketball coach Brandon Schneider’s latest recruiting. Schneider and his staff announced the addition of five signees during the early signing period on Friday.
“We graduate seven seniors, so this has been an extremely important recruiting year for Kansas women’s basketball,” said Schneider. “We feel that each one of these signees bring unique talents and attributes to our team. They are all high character and hardworking young women, who are excited about our vision and will positively contribute to the culture and chemistry of our program.” 

The 2019 signing class is ranked No. 24 in the nation by Blue Star Basketball Report, which is the second-highest ranking among Big 12 Conference programs.
This year’s signing class features Zakiyah Franklin (Winter Haven High School // Lakeland, Florida), Chandler Prater (North Kansas City High School // Kansas City, Missouri), Tamia Davis (SE Raleigh High School // Raleigh, North Carolina), Holly Kersgieter (Sand Springs High School // Sand Springs, Oklahoma) and Chisom Ajekwu (Lawrence High School // Lawrence, Kansas). Jayhawks’ 2019 signing class, which will join the Jayhawks in 2019-20.

She’s ranked No. 60 overall in the 2019 signing class by ESPN and she’s officially a Jayhawk!

Welcome to the KU family, Zakiyah!#KUOr19inals pic.twitter.com/wssOEKUw07

— Kansas Women’s Bball (@KUWBball) November 14, 2018

A 5-7 combo guard, Franklin prepped at Winter Haven High School in Lakeland, Florida. A four-star recruit, Franklin’s ranked No. 60 overall in the 2019 signing class by ESPN.
“Zakiyah is lefty combo guard, who has led Winter Haven High School to three-straight Florida State Championships and is pursuing a fourth,” Schneider said. “Her offensive skill level and defensive mind set will allow her to contribute immediately in our program.”
Franklin helped her high school team win three-straight Florida State Championships and led the Blue Devils to the GEICO High School National Tournament in New York during her junior campaign. In 2017-18, she was selected an 8A all-state selection.
“I chose KU because I saw a lot of opportunities for me to do well there,” Franklin said. “Also, just from talking to Coach Brandon, I’m excited to be in his plans and his vision. The Jayhawks will be my extended family away from home.”

She choose KU over Rutgers, Kentucky, Central Florida and Southern Miss.

No. 73 overall in this year’s signing class by Blue Star Basketball Report, the 2018 DiRenna Award winner and NOW A JAYHAWK!

Welcome to the family, @Channy_Chan25 !#KUOr19inals pic.twitter.com/ZXUhrP3pGx

— Kansas Women’s Bball (@KUWBball) November 14, 2018

Prater, a 5-11 wing, comes to KU from North Kansas City High School. The Kansas City native is No. 73 overall in this year’s signing class by Blue Star Basketball Report.
“We started recruiting Chandler the day we were hired at KU,” said Schneider. “She has been the premier player in our area for several years and earned the DiRenna Award last spring. She’s an explosive wing player, who we expect to make an impact from day one.”
In 2018, Prater won the DiRenna Award, which goes to the best high school basketball player in the Kansas City area. As a junior, Prater averaged 21.4 point per game and reached 1,000 career points. She set the record for most points in a game after scoring 40 against Staley.

She was named conference player of the year three times and was named to the USA TODAY Missouri All-State Second Team at the conclusion of the 2018 season. 

“I chose KU because it’s so close to home,” Prater said. “I’ve been around Kansas supporters and fans my whole life, and I am excited to represent. I know that I’m about to be a part of the come up of something big.”

Prater chose Kansas over Kanas State, Marquette, and Missouri.

She’s ranked No. 44 overall by ASGR Girls Basketball Report and she’s headed to Kansas.

Welcome to the Jayhawk family, Tamia Davis #KUOr19inals pic.twitter.com/BbxdCJGZKJ

— Kansas Women’s Bball (@KUWBball) November 16, 2018

Davis, a 5-7 guard, hails from Raleigh, North Carolina and prepped at Southeast Raleigh High School. She’s ranked No. 44 overall by ASGR Girls Basketball Report.
“Tamia is a two guard, who has the ability to become an elite 3-point threat,” Schneider said. “She has terrific handles and can really see the floor – a perfect fit in our up-tempo scheme.”
Davis earned first-team all-conference honors both as a sophomore and a junior. During her junior campaign, Davis helped Southeast Raleigh High School to Class 4A Championship, finishing as the runner up with a 30-1 record.
“I chose KU because it made me feel like I was home,” Davis said. “Even though my family and friends will be far away, I know the family at Kansas will be there for me. Also, I believe the coaching styles from Coach Brandon, Coach Aqua, and Coach D will make me into the player I want to be.”

She was the first to commit and now the first sign.

Welcome to the Jayhawk family, Holly! Be Original!#KUOr19inal pic.twitter.com/JrIF6hnkzk

— Kansas Women’s Bball (@KUWBball) November 14, 2018

A 5-10 guard, Kersgieter prepped at Charles Page High School in Sand Springs, Oklahoma. She was KU’s first commit in the 2019 signing class.
“Holly was our first commit in what is an extremely important recruiting class,” said Schneider. “She’s a long, athletic wing, who will fit very well in our style of play. We love her ability to defend multiple positions.”
During her junior campaign, Kersgieter averaged 19.0 points, 9.0 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 5.0 steals. She led her high school team to a conference championship with a 24-2 record, her sophomore season ended with a loss in the semifinals at the class 6A state tournament.
During her prep career, Kersgieter has earned preseason all-state honors, named an all-conference first team selection and garner academic all-conference accolades.  
“Growing up, being a KU fan was so exciting,” said Kersgieter. “The reputation of the school, its sports programs and the fans are amazing. The farther I got into the recruiting process, the more I realized I could not pass the opportunity up. That’s why I’m so thankful and thrilled to be a Jayhawk.”

Kersgieter chose Kansas over Oklahoma State, TCU, Tulsa and Texas Tech.

Chisom Ajekwu is staying in Lawrence and is officially a Jayhawk!

She’s ranked No. 117 overall in this year’s signing class by ESPN. #KUOr19inals pic.twitter.com/I1vjhTACsi

— Kansas Women’s Bball (@KUWBball) November 15, 2018

A product of Lawrence, Ajekwu becomes the seventh Jayhawks to hail from Lawrence, Kansas. She’s ranked No. 23 for her position and No. 117 overall by ESPN.
“We’re so excited to keep Chisom in Lawrence for her college career,” Schneider said. “She is one of the top post prospects in the Midwest. Chisom has a college ready frame and will be a physical presence in the paint.”
As a junior, Ajekwu earned Second-Team All-Sunflower League honors after averaging 11.9 points and 10.3 rebounds. She led Lawrence High School to a 17-5 record in 2017-18.
“I chose KU because most of my life, I’ve been a fan of the program,” Ajekwu said. “No other school compared to the family-type energy that KU provided for me. I am extremely excited to see the team’s improvement this season and I know I’ll be a great addition.”
Ajekwu chose KU over Missouri, Tulane, Oklahoma State, Nebraska and Wichita State.





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