Mishawaka – Bethel University Women’s Basketball Head Coach Doug Porter is pleased to announce the signings of 12 student-athletes to national letters of intent for the 2020 class.
Nyla Asad hails from LaPorte, Indiana and prepped at LaPorte High School. Nyla is a 5-6 guard who averaged 16.3 points, 4.7 rebounds, and 2.6 steals per game. She is the daughter of Adeeb Asad and Jennifer Evans and plans on studying Nursing.
“I chose Bethel because it was the best fit for my family and I. Bethel is a university committed to excellence and has top ranked academics,” said Asad. “This school has a tradition of transforming men and women and preparing them for their calling in life. Bethel University has a wonderful women’s basketball team and I’m looking forward to making an impact on the team from day one.
Asad earned IBCA Honorable Mention All-State honors and was named First Team All-Area honors as a senior. She was named the Most Improved Player in the Duneland Athletic Conference (DAC) by the Northwest Indiana Times as a senior. She participated in the Nike Rise Academy and the Nike Tournament of Champions in Chicago. She helped the Lady Slicers to two Sectional championships and a DAC title. Off the court, she was a member of the National Technical Honor Society and earned enough credits to graduate from high school after her junior year.
“Nyla is a solid athlete, and a good leaper with the kind of explosiveness that we need at the guard position,” described Porter. “At 5-5, she still averaged five rebounds and 16 points per game last season, which shows that she can get off the floor and score in traffic against bigger opponents. Beyond that, she’s tough, confident, and has a tremendous work ethic. We are delighted to have Nyla joining the Pilots next season!”
Alayna Clifton hails from South Bend, Indiana and prepped at Community Baptist Christian School. Alayna is a 5-6 guard. She is the daughter of Randy and Ruth Clifton and plans on studying Secondary Education.
Clifton earned First Team All-Hoosier Plains Conference honors and Academic All-Conference honors. She was a team captain and earned the team’s Hustle Award.
“Alayna has had great success in high school, and brings a solid work ethic to our program,” stated Porter. “As she develops within our up-tempo style, I think her best days are still ahead of her!”
Jesette Ezernack hails from Beach Park, Illinois and prepped at Warren Township High School. Jesette is a 5-6 guard and is the daughter of Donald Ezernack and Serey Ith.
“I chose Bethel because of its distance from home, location near South Bend, their affordable costs, beautiful campus, and the awesome coaching staff” said Ezernack. “After I visited Bethel I knew it was where I was meant to be.”
“Jesette missed much of her senior year with an injury, but we know from seeing her last fall before her injury that she has the floor vision, passing skills, and quickness to be an immediate contributor for us,” explained Porter. “I love the way she pushes the ball in transition, and believe she’s going to become a quality college point guard!”
Brielle Harrison hails from Warsaw, Indiana and prepped at Warsaw Community High School. Brielle is a 5-11 forward who averaged 11.6 points and 6.3 rebounds per game. She is the daughter of Sherlock and Jennifer Harrison and plans on studying Criminal Justice.
“I chose Bethel because I like how nice and caring the coaching staff is and the players are,” said Harrison. “Bethel isn’t too far from home too which is another plus.”
Harrison earned First Team All-NLC honors as a senior and Second Team honors as a junior. She was named to the Ink Free News First Team as a senior and Honorable Mention as a junior. She recorded over 600 career points and 500 career rebounds at Warsaw. Off the court, she was an Honor Roll student.
“Brielle brings solid post-up fundamentals and scoring ability to our power forward spot,” affirmed Porter. “We love her aggressiveness around the basket, but she also has a tremendous first step when facing up. Defensively, Brielle is a perfect fit, bringing quickness and energy to the front of our press!”
Jamie Lawson hails from Elkhart, Indiana and prepped at Jimtown High School. Lawson is a 5-10 guard who averaged 10.2 points and four rebounds per game. She is the daughter of Reginald and Dianna Lawson and plans on studying Biology.
“I chose Bethel for its unique atmosphere and opportunities that it presents,” said Lawson. “The experience felt personalized and I felt at home while I was on campus. Bethel will allow me to continue practicing my faith with fellow students. Also, the education and personal attention I will receive at Bethel will help me to achieve my goals in a future career. Basketball is a sport that I love, and I am excited to continue playing. The coaches and the players made me feel as if I am a part of the team already. Overall, Bethel will offer me the opportunity to grow as an individual in all aspects and areas of my life.”
Lawson was named the Team MVP all four years and scored over 700 points in her career at Jimtown. She was named the Elkhart Kiwanis’ Athlete of the Season as a sophomore and was an All-Star selection for the USIN tournaments as a junior.
“The thing I love about Jamie is her tremendous upbeat attitude,” admired Porter. “She’s got great character, plays well around the rim, and works hard on the boards. We look forward to seeing her develop at a post position for us.”
Kallie McElroy hails from Taylor, Michigan and prepped at Inter-City Baptist High School. She is a 5-8 guard who averaged 19.9 points, 9.0 rebounds, and 4.0 assists, and 4.8 steals per game. She is the daughter of Steve and Stephanie McElroy and plans on studying Elementary Education.
“I was looking for a Christian college that was mission-oriented because I feel called to the mission field of Africa, and Bethel is a perfect fit,” said McElroy. “It gives me the opportunity to pursue my desire of going to the mission field. I will be able to pursue a degree in the area of elementary education and to play basketball at a competitive level. I have asked the Lord to open some very specific doors in regard to the college I attend, and Bethel is His answer to all of them.”
McElroy is the leading scorer in program history with 1,529 career points. She was named the MIAC Conference MVP and earned Dream Team honors all four years. She also earned All-State honors as a senior and Honorable Mention honors as a junior. She helped her team to four straight Conference and District championships. Off the court, she is an Honor Roll student.
“Kallie has had an outstanding high school career, and we believe she could make an immediate impact with the Pilots,” explained Porter. “She’s a scoring guard who can also rebound and pass, and her defensive intelligence and anticipation should fit well into our run and press system!”
Abbey McKibbin hails from Elkhart, Indiana and prepped at Elkhart Christian Academy. She is a 5-11 forward and is the daughter of Brian McKibbin and Sarah Johnson. She plans on studying Elementary Education.
“I love that it’s close to home and I’m excited to get to go to the same school as my sister,” said McKibbin. “Most importantly, I’m so excited to get involved with the amazing Christian atmosphere at Bethel!”
McKibbin was named All-Area Second Team and Indiana All-State Second Team. She was a team captain and earned the team’s Eagle Award. She helped ECA break the school record for most wins since joining the IHSAA. Off the court, McKibbin is a Scholar Athlete, High Honor Roll student, and captain of the Academic Super Bowl team.
“Abbey has shown herself to be a strong rebounder in high school and has a tremendous love for the game,” said Porter. “She has a good work ethic and a team-first attitude. She plans to play volleyball as well at Bethel, and we are delighted to have Abbey joining us next season!”
Alexis Mead hails from Greenwood, Indiana and prepped at Greenwood Christian Academy. Alexis is a 5-9 guard who averaged 12.4 points and 3.5 assists per game. She is the daughter of James and Kelly Mead and plans on studying Nursing.
“I initially chose Bethel because of their basketball program,” said Mead. “After visiting the campus, I realized it was a good fit for me. I met a lot of great people, including the coaches and a couple members of the team. I loved that the staff talked openly about their faith, and I feel like it’s a place where I can grow as a person and be challenged.”
Mead was named Small School All-State as a senior and was a two -time Indy Star AP All-State Honorable Mention. She scored 1,304 career points. She earned Second Team All-PAAC honors. She was selected to the IGBRR/IUSA All-Tourney teams and the Indiana Elite North vs. South Basketball All-Start teams. Off the court, she was a member of the National Honor Society, Congress of Future Medical Leaders, and earned awards for ‘A’ Honor Roll and Attendance.
“Alexis has had great success with her high school program, and we believe she will develop into a solid guard in our program,” stated Porter. “She’s an outstanding young lady, and we are thrilled she’s chosen to join the Pilots!”
Halle Shipp hails from Leesburg, Indiana and prepped at Warsaw Community High School. Halle is a 5-3 guard and will have three years of eligibility remaining after transferring in from Earlham College. She is the daughter of Eric and CJ Shipp. Shipp prepped at Warsaw Community High School. She plans on studying Psychology at Bethel.
“I chose Bethel because I really like the emphasis put on growing spiritually as well as academically,” said Shipp.
Shipp shot over 46-percent from three at Warsaw and was the winer of the team’s Drop the Hammer award. She helped the Lady Tigers to a conference runner-up finish. Off the court, Shipp was a member of the National Honor Society, a DARE Role Model, and Honor Roll Student.
“We are happy that Halle will be transferring to Bethel,” said Porter. “She’s an outstanding young lady with a solid fundamental background from her high school experience at Warsaw, a small but quick guard who is well suited to our up-tempo system.”
Alison Smith hails from Michigan and prepped at Georgia-Cumberland Academy in Calhoun, Georgia. She is a 5-8 forward and is the daughter of Parke and Shereen Smith. She was a co-captain of her team. Off the court, she was a member of the National Honor Society.
“I chose Bethel because my sister attended a few years ago and she only said good things,” said Smith. “I believe I can successfully continue to play basketball and be a nursing major in one of the best programs.”
“Alison is a solid inside player who will contribute to our developmental squad, as well as an outstanding student with the kind of character we love to see,” said Porter.
Alaysia Stewart hails from Aurora, Illinois and prepped at West Aurora High School. Alaysia is a 5-8 forward. She is the daughter of Allan Stewart and Asia Zollicoffer and plans on studying Nursing.
Stewart helped West Aurora win a conference title as a freshman. Off the court, she was the recipient of the 3.5 or Higher GPA Athletic Award every year—holding a 4.0 GPA for seven semesters—and the Blackhawk Pride Award for being an excellent student in and out of class.
“Alaysia is a quality athlete with a tremendous upside whose best days are ahead of her,” described Porter. “She adds depth to our power forward spot and has the quickness to run and defend in our system. She’s a top student and a quality young lady, and we are delighted to have Alaysia as a Pilot!”
Jazmen Watts hails from South Bend, Indiana and prepped at Riley High School. Jazmen is a 5-8 forward who averaged 21.8 points, 5.8 rebounds, and 3.7 steals per game. She is the daughter of Michael and Debra Watts and plans on studying Dentistry.
Watts became the sixth girls’ player at Riley to score 1,000 points in high school—finishing with 1,332 to rank fourth in program history. She earned Second Team All-Conference as a senior. She earned an IBCA/Subway Player of the Week award and Team MVP honors, leading Michiana in scoring. Watts was selected to the Hoosier Basketball Magazine Top 60 workout as a senior and participated in the McDonald’s Michiana High School All-Star game as a junior. Off the court, Watts was a member of the National Honors Society and National Tech Honors Society.
“Jazmen adds an element of explosive quickness to the wing that fits perfectly in our run and press style,” explained Porter. “She’s a proven scorer, but also brings a solid overall game as a rebounder and defender. We think Jazmen will make an immediate contribution to the Pilots!”