TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) - The Indiana State women's basketball program announced the addition of five student-athletes of the 2013-14 roster on Thursday, pushing the number of new faces for this upcoming women's basketball season to 10.
Indiana State previously announced the signings of Jasmine Grier (Commerce, Ga. / Central Georgia Technical College), Ricquia Jones (Bellwood, Ill. / Seward County Community College), Chelsea Small (Denver, Colo. / American University), Rhagen Smith (Sullivan, Ind. / Sullivan High School) and Stephanie Wittman (San Antonio, Texas / Kansas State University) during the 2012-13 season.
"It is a tribute to our administrative support and our outstanding reputation in regards to academic excellence that we were able to attract some of the best student-athletes from across the country," said assistant coach John Marcum. "Our program has made tremendous strides in becoming more athletic and adding needed depth to an already outstanding group of returning players."
Among the five new additions to the Sycamore women's basketball program are three Division I transfers and two junior college student-athletes. Those joining the Indiana State women's basketball team this season are: Bilqis Abdul-Qaadir (Springfield, Mass. / University of Memphis), Bobbi Beckwith (Alboin, Neb. / Iowa Western Community College), Cierra Ceazer (Topeka, Kan. / Grambling State University), Lashonda Littleton (Dallas, Texas / Chipola College) and Joyea Marshall (Wichita, Kan. / UT Pan American).
Listed below is a synopsis of each of the new players.
Bilqis Abdul-Qaadir – 5-4 – Guard
Springfield, Mass. – University of Memphis – New Leadership Charter School
Graduated with a 3.8 GPA from the University of Memphis in 2013, will have one year of eligibility at Indiana State for the 2013-14 season … 2009 Massachusetts Gatorade Player of the Year and Western Massachusetts Player of the Year as a senior … broke Rebecca Lobo's career high school scoring record (for both boys and girls) in the state of Massachusetts, scoring 3,070 points at New Leadership Charter School … averaged 42 points per game in high school … redshirted in 2009-10 at Memphis before playing in 92 games with 56 starts from 2010-13 … led her team to the postseason every year at Memphis … started 32 games as a sophomore, averaging 7.8 points, 3.4 assists, 3.2 rebounds and 2.4 steals per game as the Tigers won 25 games and played in the Postseason WNIT … set a Memphis record by making 26 consecutive free throws during the 2011-12 season … ranked third on the team last season by averaging 10.6 points per game … added 3.2 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 2.2 steals per game as a junior … named to the Conference USA All-Academic Team last season while earning C-USA Commissioner's Honor Roll selections from 2010-12 … chose Indiana State over Ohio State.
"Bilqis is a proven winner and is one of the best guards in the country," said assistant coach John Marcum. "She is everything that you would want in a student-athlete and will be difference-maker from the minute she steps onto the court. We are thrilled to have Bilqis joining our basketball family and helping us build upon our success from this past season. Her work ethic, character and skill set are uncommon and I have no doubt she make an immediate impact in the Missouri Valley. Her biggest desire is to win a championship and we have no doubt that she helps us in that regard."
Pronunciation: bil-KEES ab-dool ka-deer
Bobbi Beckwith – 5-10 – Guard
Albion, Neb. – Iowa Western Community College – Boone Central High School
Will have two years of eligibility at Indiana State beginning in 2013-14 after transferring from Iowa Western Community College … coached by Jim Turgeon at IWCC, one of the most respected junior college coaches in the nation … one of the top shooters in the NJCAA last season, ranking fifth nationally in three-point field goal percentage (46.2%) and 11th in three-pointers made (74) … led Iowa Western to a 24-6 record in 2012-13, averaging 9.6 points, 2.5 three-pointers and 2.5 rebounds per game … as a freshman in 2011-12, went for 6.2 points per game with 29 treys … was a Second Team All-State selection in 2011 out of Boone Central High School … three-time all-conference selection and two-time all-area honoree in high school … chose Indiana State over Seton Hall and UAB.
"Bobbi is an outstanding guard who can really shoot the basketball," said assistant coach John Marcum. "Her basketball IQ and competitive spirit is very high. She is also a proven winner and a very unselfish player. She is an outstanding student with a 3.5 GPA who wants to major in education. Bobbi will make an immediate impact with her ability to stretch the defense, play multiple positions and her willingness to do all the little things it takes to win."
Cierra Ceazer – 5-10 – Guard
Topeka, Kan. – Grambling State University – Shawnee Heights High School
Will sit out the 2013-14 season after transferring from Grambling State University … will have
two years of eligibility at Indiana State beginning in the 2014-15 season … averaged 11.8 points and 4.6 rebounds per game as a sophomore last season … went for 20 points in four separate games, including a career-high 24 points against Southern on Jan. 6 … posted a 21-point, 11-rebound double-double against Alcorn State on Feb. 4 last season … ranked third on the team in scoring as a freshman, averaging 7.5 points per game … nine double-figure scoring games as a freshman in 2011-12, including a season-high 19 points against Arkansas – Pine Bluff on Jan. 28 … totaled 76 steals over two seasons … played in 60 games with 44 starts over her two seasons at Grambling.
"Cierra is an outstanding young woman with outstanding character and work ethic. She is an explosive small forward who has the ability to play with her back to the basket or on the perimeter," said assistant coach John Marcum. "Cierra has a great mid-range game, can attack off the dribble at will and has been a proven scorer at the Division I level who will bring a blue collar approach to every practice and game. She will make an immediate impact with her athleticism, tenacity and her ability to create mismatches in the MVC. Cierra is majoring in pre-med and has a desire to be in the medical field."
Lashonda Littleton – 6-0 – Forward
Dallas, Texas – Chipola College – Skyline High School
Will have two years of eligibility at Indiana State beginning in 2013-14 after transferring from Chipola College (Fla.) … coached by 2013 national coach of the year candidate Greg Franklin at Chipola, who is
"Lashonda is a special young lady. Her character, work ethic and athleticism will help her to make an immediate impact," said assistant coach John Marcum. "Lashonda is a forward who can stick the face-up jumper, stretch the defense in transition, is great on the glass and pick-and-pop situations. Lashonda is also a great student-athlete with a 3.0 GPA, comes from a great family and knows how to win."
Joyea Marshall – 6-0 – Guard/Forward
Wichita, Kan. – UT Pan American – Wichita Heights High School
Will sit out the 2013-14 season after transferring from the University of Texas – Pan American … will have three years of eligibility at Indiana State beginning in the 2014-15 season … named the Great West Conference Newcomer of the Year and Second Team All-Great West last season … led UTPA in scoring while placing second in rebounding … averaged 8.6 points and 7.4 rebounds as a freshman last season with the Broncs … went for a career-high 25 points at Huston-Tillotson on Jan. 16 … pulled down 16 rebounds at New Orleans on Jan. 26 … narrowly missed a triple-double against Chicago State on March 9, totaling eight points, 11 rebounds and seven assists … five games with at least 15 rebounds in 2012-13 … assisted her Wichita Heights High School team to a 50-0 record and a state championship in 2011-12 … chose Indiana State over Michigan and Wichita State.
"Joyea is a winner who has already proven to be a great player at the Division I level," said assistant coach John Marcum. "She is a forward that can play inside and out, has range out to the arc and is great at attacking the basket and getting to the free throw line. Joyea will create mismatches with her size and athleticism. She also embodies all of the core values we hold dear. She is and outstanding student with a 3.0 GPA who comes from an outstanding high school program and knows how to win."
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