Nov. 18, 2005
BERKELEY, Calif. - Lauren Greif, Natasha Vital and Adji Ramatoulaye N'diaye have signed National Letters of Intent to play basketball at California beginning with the 2006-07 season, Golden Bear first-year head coach Joanne Boyle announced Friday.
"It's a good first class for us," said Boyle. "They fill some gaps in positions we need some help. Signing three players will give us more depth. We've had some injuries, and we're typically going eight people at practice. The best thing is that all three of the players we've signed really understand the game. They have high basketball IQs and are very committed to helping us get to the next level."
Greif, a 5-10 guard from Portland, Ore., garnered an assortment of honors during her junior season at Lincoln High School. She was named League Player of the Year, first-team all-state and a Street & Smith honorable mention All-American for the third straight year after posting 19.4 points, 9.0 rebounds, 4.4 assists and 4.8 steals per game. Additionally, she shot 59 percent from the floor. She has ranked in the top five in the state in scoring each of the last three seasons.
"Lauren is really strong," said Boyle. "With Renee (Wright) graduating, we needed another wing to come in and give us minutes. She's a complete guard who can score off the dribble and can shoot from the outside. She works hard on both ends of the floor and will be a player that will get everyone on the court involved. She is unselfish and will be a scoring threat if need be or a player who gets the ball to the right people."
Her performance on the court last season helped Lincoln win the league championship with an 18-0 record, on the heels of the team's co-league crown in 2003-04. As a sophomore, Greif contributed 20.1 points, 9.3 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 5.0 steals per outing. In July 2005, she was invited to the prestigious adidas Top 10 All-America Camp in Suwanee, Ga., and was named to the all-tournament team at the prestigious End of the Oregon Trail Tournament. Greif is also an accomplished prep golfer and soccer player, helping both teams to league titles, and earning two all-state soccer accolades.
Vital, a 5-7 point guard, is ranked No. 55 nationally by Blue Star Index and is ninth on the NorCal Girls' Top 40 list for 2006. She averaged 14.1 points, 5.3 assists and 3.8 rebounds per game as a junior at Lincoln High School in Stockton, Calif.
"Natasha gives us talented depth at the point," said Boyle. "She's quick, very athletic, a great passer and understands the game. Lexi (Gray-Lawson) loves to be a scoring guard for us. Adding Natasha allows us to be able to shift Lexi more to the wing at times. She loves the transition game and will bring more quickness to our backcourt. Natasha is interchangeable at the one or two positions because she has a great feel for the game and can score as well."
N'daiye, a 6-5 center from Dakar, Senegal, attends Keisei High School in Kumamoto-Shi, Japan.
"Rama's style is very much like Kevin Garnett (of the NBA)," said Boyle. "She's long, she's lanky and can run the floor. She has great post moves and can shoot the three. She's very complete. She's only been playing for about four years. Rama brings something different to our team. She's not as physical as Devanei (Hampton). She's more of an open-court player. She can handle the ball in the open court and is a great defender with long arms. She can defend the three, four or five (positions). She's a great shot blocker."