Coach Doug Bruno announced that Marte Grays, Elri Liebenberg, Ashton Millender, Lauren Prochaska and Meghan Waldron have all signed a National Letters of Intent
Nov. 14, 2013
CHICAGO – DePaul head women’s basketball coach Doug Bruno announced that Marte Grays, Elri Liebenberg, Ashton Millender, Lauren Prochaska and Meghan Waldron have all signed a National Letter of Intent (NLI) and will join the Blue Demons for the 2014-15 season.
“This is an excellent recruiting class. I love the competitiveness, athleticism, versatility and work ethic of all five of these signees. They can all flat out play basketball as well,” Bruno said with excitement about his talented class.
“We have also been able to maintain our local recruitment by signing three excellent Chicago Area guards in -- Marian Catholic’s Ashton Millender, Trinity’s Lauren Prochaska and Wheaton Warrenville South’s Meghan Waldron. Signing Chicago Area Players is, and will always be, our number-one priority.”
“While Chicago area players are our number-one priority, it is also important for us to maintain our national and international connections. Marte Grays is a ‘sleeping giant’ from Detroit’s Martin Luther King High School and Elri Liebenberg is South Africa’s ‘diamond in the rough’ who will travel half way around the world to play for us at DePaul.”
“These are five talented, committed and hardworking young women, who all play multiple positions and will also carry on our strong academic tradition.”
Grays is currently ranked the number-one player in the state of Michigan by the LB Insider College Report. Her Martin Luther King High School team went 21-1 last season and was ranked No. 1 in the state of Michigan. Her high school’s lone loss came in the quarterfinals of the state championship to current Blue Demon freshman ShaKeya Graves’ John Glenn team.
As a junior, the forward averaged 17 points, 10 rebounds, four steal and three assists. Grays also teamed up with Graves on their Michigan Crossover AAU team last year.
“Marte is the steal of this year’s draft,” Bruno said of his Michigan standout.
“She is an excellent all-around combination inside/outside player. At 6-2, Marte will give us the size and excellent footwork to play inside. She also possesses great quickness, speed, length and athleticism. She can also step outside and really drill the three or take her defender off of the bounce.”
Liebenberg comes to DePaul from South Africa where she averaged 22 points, 20 rebounds and five blocks for the Royal Bafokeng Basketball Program.
“At 6-6, long and athletic, Elri will have a chance to develop into an outstanding collegiate post player, who can also run the floor and give us a player with live, athletic hops. Her skill set will also allow her to play facing the basket. Her South African Club Coaches believe Elri has the potential to become a very special American Collegiate Women’s Basketball Player.”
Millender helped Marian Catholic to the 2013 State Championship and hit the game-winning 3-pointer to send the Spartans to the Elite 8. An honorable mention all-state selection, Millender led Marian Catholic with 15 points, four rebounds and two assists and steals per game.
“Ashton is another all-around talent at the guard position. She has a great stroke from deep range and is also an all-around guard with great quickness on both sides of the ball. Ashton also brings a defensive intensity and energy to the game that you rarely see in young players,” Bruno added.
Prochaska hails from the same high school – Trinity -- as Blue Demon sophomore Megan Podkowa. At Trinity Porchaska has helped her team to three-consecutive Girls Catholic Athletic Conference championships. The 5-8 guard averaged 15 points, five assists, and four rebounds and steals per game as a junior and was named an honorable mention all-state selection by the Chicago Sun-Times, Chicago Tribune and an Illinois Basketball Coaches Association (IBCA).
“Lauren is your classic underrated recruit,” Bruno said of Prochaska. “She is an excellent point guard and leader, who brings a toughness and defensive tenacity to our backcourt which has been a mainstay in our DePaul Tradition. Lauren is also a very good passer and will score the ball when necessary.”
Waldron became a 1,000-point scorer at Wheaton Warrenville South High School as a junior. She averaged 19 points, four assists and three steals last season while leading her team to a 29-4 record – a conference championship along with regional and sectional titles. The 5-10 guard is an IBCA and Chicago Sun-Time first-team all-state selection and was also an Associated Press and Chicago Tribune second-team selection. She is also a three-time all-conference selection and a two-time all-area captain.
“Meghan is an excellent all-around guard with great vision, handles and an understanding of the game. She brings versatility, size and strength to play all three of the guard positions,” Bruno added. Meghan also is one of the hardest working and competitive players we have ever signed”
Waldron comes from a basketball family, as her mother – Jean Fitzpatrick – played for DePaul from 1982-86.
DePaul (2-0) returns to the court at 7 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 18 against Illinois State. The game will be carried live on DePaul’s BlueTube with Dave Bernhard and Trish Babcock-McGraw calling the action courtside.