Jessica January, Antania Hayes, ShaKeya Graves and Meri Bennett-Swanson all signed NLIs
Nov. 14, 2012
CHICAGO – DePaul head women’s basketball coach Doug Bruno announced on Wednesday that Jessica January, Antania Hayes, ShaKeya Graves and Meri Bennett-Swanson and have all signed a National Letter of Intent and will join the Blue Demon program for the 2013-14 season.
“I am really excited about this class,” Bruno said after receiving all of four of the program’s NLIs.
“Jill (Pizzotti), Candis (Blankson), Bart (Brooks), Lisa (Ryckbosch) and Ciara (Johnson) always do a great job recruiting, but in the world of recruiting you don’t always see results.”
“These recruits bring a high-level of talent and competitiveness to our program. This class includes three talented and athletics guards and one very skilled post player.”
January is a three-sport athlete and helped her Richfield High School to the State Championship basketball game as a junior. Ranked No. 74 by HoopGurlz, January is a 5-9 combo guard who surpassed the 1,000 point mark as a sophomore and averaged 26.0 points as a junior. Quick on her feet, January won the 100m hurdles as freshman and brook a 16-year old Minnesota record with her time of 14.33. January repeated her title as a sophomore and took second as a junior.
“Jessica January has great total guard skills and really understands how to play basketball. She is also a great athlete,” Bruno said of the Richfield, Minnesota native.
Hayes, is a 6-1 forward and is ranked No. 36 overall in the HoopGurlz rankings. As a junior, Hayes led Detroit's Martin Luther King High School to the quarterfinals of the Michigan State High School tournament. Last season, Hayes averaged 14 points, seven rebounds and six assists per game.
“Antania Hayes is an exceptional swing player and combines guard skills with the ability to run, defend and rebound,” Bruno added.
Graves, a Michigan Crossover AAU teammate of Hayes, is a 5-9 guard from Inkster, Michigan. She is ranked the No. 46 in her position by HoopGurlz. A proficient 3-point shooter, Graves averages 19 points, eight assists and five rebounds at John Glenn High School.
“ShaKeya Graves is another athletic player who also possess the ability to shoot the three.”
Bennett-Swanson helped Vernon Hills to the Illinois High School Association 3A Championship game. A two-time all-area selection, the 6-3 forward became Vernon Hills’ all-time leading scorer as a junior and heads into her senior season with 1,039 career points and 518 career rebounds.
“Meri Bennett-Swanson has excellent post skills. Meri is a player we believe was under recruited and could develop into the sleeper of this 2013 recruiting class,” Bruno added of his final signee.
DePaul’s 2013 class has been ranked No. 13 by BlueStar Basketball and is No. 17 by the Collegiate Girls Basketball Report.
The Blue Demons (1-1) return to the court at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 17 when they welcome Howard for a game at McGrath-Phillips Arena.