Nov. 11, 2009
The California Golden Bear's Women's Basketball and head coach Joanne Boyle announced the signing of three California athletes to National Letters of Intent. Guards Afure Jemerigbe, Mikayla Lyles, and Lindsay Sherbert will all be wearing the Blue and Gold at Haas Pavilion next season. They look to join Rachelle Federico, Layshia Clarendon, and Eliza Pierre on the perimeter for the Bears.
It is another strong recruiting class for the Golden Bears, ranked at No. 7 overall by Blue Star Basketball and No. 9 by ESPN HoopGurlz. Two of the Cal recruits, Jemerigbe and Sherbert, are ranked in the top-30 overall by ESPN HoopGurlz. Jemerigbe is ranked No. 15 overall and is the No. 2 shooting guard with Sherbert ranked No. 29 overall and at No. 6 among the small forwards. In Blue Star Basketball rankings, Sherbert is ranked as the No. 10 overall recruit and Jemerigbe once again is No. 15. In CalHiSports rankings of the top prep players in the state of California, Sherbert ranks fourth and Jemerigbe eighth. Mikayla Lyles ranks 18th on the CalHiSports rankings and ranks No. 41 in her position on the ESPN HoopGurlz rankings. USA Today ranks Jemerigbe at No. 13 and Sherbert at No. 18.
Afure Jemerigbe, a 6-0 guard, plays at Saint Mary's High School in Stockton, Calif. where the Rams went 31-3 in 2008-09 and defeated Inglewood, 71-62, to claim the California Interscholastic Federation Division II state title. Jemerigbe averaged 15.3 points and 8.0 rebounds per contest and is a three-time All-State honoree. Afure also enjoyed a successful club team career for NorCal Elite.
"Afure is one of the top combo guards in the country," said Boyle. "She is an extremely athletic and physical player with great rebounding skills and the versatility to play multiple positions. She is a slasher who can really get to the rim. Afure knows how to win. She'll be a great addition to our backcourt next season."
Mikayla Lyles is a 5-8 Bay Area guard who plays at Bishop O'Dowd High School in Oakland, Calif. With an impressive knack for knocking down three's, Lyles was named the second best shooter of the summer from the 2010 class by ESPN Hoopgurlz. She helped lead a strong JBS club team this past summer to a No.7 ranking overall by ESPN Hoopgurlz.
"Mikayla can shoot the ball! She can shoot from deep and she gets her shot off quickly. She has an unbelievable release. Her perimeter shooting will help stretch the defense and prevent people from sagging in the paint. She also has a blue collar, gritty game" said Boyle. "She is a player who will find a way to get things done and make good things happen on the floor."
Lindsay Sherbert, a 6-1 guard from Temecula, CA will lead Great Oak High School this season. This summer Lindsay shined on her club basketball team, Cal Swish, which won three July tournament titles, including Nike Nationals, the Nike circuit's crown-jewel tournament. She is a consistent shooter with a game that is solid in nearly every aspect. Her size causes potential match-up problems at either the wing or small forward position.
"Lindsay is one of the more versatile guards I saw all summer," said Boyle. "Her length on the perimeter will add another dimension to our perimeter game both on the offensive and defensive end of the floor. Lindsay can play the two through the four [positions]. She is a nightmare match-up for a lot of teams as she is an athletic shooter who can take people off the dribble and post up smaller guards. She has an incredible work ethic and basketball I.Q that will make her a great college player."
This is the second straight year that Cal has landed a top-ten ranked recruiting class. Last year, Boyle signed seven players in a class that was ranked in the top-five by the major recruiting blogs and websites and ranked as high as No. 1 by at least one publication.
"After signing what was arguably the No. 1 recruiting class in the country last season, we felt it was important to follow up with another strong class that would play with that class for three years and I think we've done that," said Boyle. "These three guards are winners who are excited about contributing to this program and helping to take Cal Basketball to the next level. We expect each of them to have an immediate impact on the program. We believe we are recruiting student athletes that will keep Cal Basketball competing to win a National Championship every year."
The 2009-10 California Golden Bears season gets underway this Sunday, Nov. 15 when Cal hosts Idaho State. Tipoff is at 5:00 p.m. at Haas Pavilion in Berkeley.