By Rachel Buck (@GBRachel)
GREEN BAY, Wis. (GreenBayPhoenix.com) – The Green Bay women’s basketball team didn’t have to look far for its class of 2014, signing four players from the state of Wisconsin to national letters of intent on Wednesday.
Laken James (Oconto, Wis./Oconto), Allie LeClaire (Green Bay, Wis./Notre Dame), Jessica Lindstrom (Superior, Wis./Superior) and Jen Wellnitz (South Wayne, Wis./Black Hawk) all committed to Green Bay on Wednesday as part of the second recruiting class in his second stint for head coach Kevin Borseth.
“This is a great class for us,” Borseth said. “I think it’s great to have kids from our area that come in to build our program. We’re able to feed off and utilize the talent in our state which is extremely fortunate for us.
“We have a great deal of athleticism with this class. They are fast, they are explosive, they are quick. They’re kids that are very fun to watch.”
Hometown: Oconto, Wis.
High School: Oconto High School
-Currently holds the Oconto High School scoring record, surpassing 1,000 career points as a junior
-Earned Wisconsin Basketball Coaches Association Division 4 All-State
-Surpassed 1,000 career points last season as a junior-Helped Oconto go 21-5 last season, advancing to the WIAA sectional finals for the first time since 1980
-Averaged 17.2 points, 8.2 rebounds and 4.3 assists last season
-Earned All-Packerland Conference honors for the third time a year ago
-Named Conference Player of the Year as a sophomore
-Helped Wisconsin U17 Blizzard AAU team reach the 16-team championship bracket out of 108 squads at the US Junior National Premiere Invite this past July in Cincinnati
Coach Borseth on James: “She’s a kid that really, really wants to be here. She wanted to be here from the start and now we’re glad to have her on board. She is an extremely hard working kid, very unselfish and a leader by example. Her teams have done well, and she is a key part to their success.”
High school head coach Russ Young on James: “Without a doubt Laken’s greatest attribute as a player is her mental toughness. When confronted with a situation that is not going her way, she is able to re-focus her time and energy to make it better. Her ability to overcome adversity has rubbed off on her teammates and they have adopted the ‘never say die’ attitude that truly defines Laken.”
James on Green Bay: “Choosing Green Bay was easy for me because I have wanted to play there ever since I was little. I love the coaches and the atmosphere at Green Bay. I’m excited to have the opportunity to play with some really talented girls and be a part of the winning tradition at Green Bay.”
Hometown: Green Bay, Wis.
High School: Notre Dame Academy
-Currently the third-leading scorer in program history at Notre Dame with 940 points
-Helped lead Green Bay Notre Dame to a Division 2 state title in 2013
-Two-Time Wisconsin Basketball Coaches Association Division 2 All-State selection
-WBCA Division 2 All-State honoree as a sophomore and junior
-Associated Press Second Team All-State last season-Named Fox River Classic Conference Player of the Year in 2013 in addition to first team all-conference honors
-Also earned first team all-conference honors as a sophomore
Coach Borseth on LeClaire: “Allie was the first player we got a verbal [commitment] from, and another player who has wanted to join us for a long time. Allie is very athletic and quick. She defends the ball well and also has the ability to get to the rim. Coming off of a state championship title with Notre Dame (H.S.), she understands how to win.”
High school head coach Sara Rohde on LeClaire: “Allie’s best attribute is her ability to handle the ball, see the floor and her work ethic. Because of her ability to handle the ball and see the floor, it makes it hard for teams to press and apply pressure. Her work ethic has improved so much over the past few years that she has set a very high standard for what it takes to be successful at Notre Dame Academy.”
LeClaire on Green Bay: “The biggest factor for me when choosing Green Bay was definitely how close it was to home. I have always grown up going to Green Bay women's games and it has been a dream of mine since I was little. The winning tradition also was a factor because I have always wanted to be a part of such a successful program. The coaches and players were very welcoming so that made my decision very easy. I am incredibly excited about hanging out with the players and coaches and getting to know them all better. I am also very excited for practices and games and learning a lot from my teammates.”
Hometown: Superior, Wis.
High School: Superior High School
-Ranked 223 in the class of 2014 by Blue Star Basketball
-First player in school history to commit to a Division I women’s basketball program
-Associated Press All-State First Team last season
-Two-time WBCA All-State Honorable Mention honoree
-Was a unanimous WBCA First Team All-State selection in 2013
-Currently holds school scoring record with 1,470 points
-One of just three players to score 1,000 career points at Superior
-Three-time Lake Superior Conference First Team All-Conference recipient
-Three-time Superior Telegram Player of the Year
-Two-time New Tribune All-Area Player of the Year
-Helped lead the Spartans to first WIAA Division 1 State Tournament appearance in 18 years
Coach Borseth on Lindstrom: “Jessica is an extremely hard worker, very strong and very determined. She is relentless, a rebounding and loose ball machine. Anything that is loose Jessica will come up with it. She is extremely hard to keep off the glass and has a great scoring ability.”
High school head coach Phillip Roe on Lindstrom: “Jessica is the best guy or girl rebounder I have ever coached. She has extremely quick feet, good anticipation, and tremendous vertical speed. Jessica can also beat you from the outside and inside which makes her tough to guard. She is a tenacious defender and a great leader on and off the court.”
Lindstrom on Green Bay: "Green Bay felt like home and the team was so welcoming that right away I knew it felt right. Plus I like the coaching style of Coach Borseth. All the girls on the team were so nice and I knew I could fit in with them. I also know the coaches are the kind that care about everyone on the team and help to make everyone better."
Hometown: South Wayne, Wis.
High School: Black Hawk
-Ranked 124 in the class of 2014 by Blue Star Basketball
-Two-time WBCA All-State First Team
-AP All-State Honorable Mention
-Two-time Six Rivers East Conference Player of the Year
-Also competes in track & field, softball and volleyball
-Won 2013 WIAA Division 3 100m dash title and finished fourth in the 200m
-Played AAU with Wisconsin Academy
Coach Borseth on Wellnetz: “Jen is another very fast, quick and explosive recruit. She’s extremely athletic, and probably as good an athlete we’ve ever had here - since I’ve been here, in terms of being fast, explosive and her ability to get off the floor. She can do all those things, is very driven and also a great leader and very exciting to watch.”
High school head coach Mike Flanagan on Wellnitz: “Athleticism is Jen’s best attribute. Because of her body control and athletic ability, Jen can make plays that many players at her level simply cannot. She runs faster, jumps higher, reacts more quickly, sees the floor better, all things that separate great athletes from other players. Combine that with her motor and you have the potential for something really special.”
Jen on Green Bay: “Green Bay is a great program with a tradition of winning, and I am excited to be able to help continue that tradition. I am excited to play at the next level and learn from the veterans of the program.”
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