Women’s basketball inks Top 100 recruiting class

Women’s basketball inks Top 100 recruiting class

Messer's first recruiting venture yields group
ranked number one in OVC and 94th in the nation

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. - The first class of recruits signed by first-year Tennessee Tech women's basketball coach Sytia Messer and her staff is ranked among the Top 100 in the nation and is listed as the number one recruiting class in the Ohio Valley Conference, according to one national report.

Messer received signed paperwork Wednesday from four future Golden Eagles.

Molly Heady, Diamond Henderson, Briana Jordan and Candace Parson will make up the 2010-11 freshman class, providing the Golden Eagles both top-notch basketball players and students. Each of the four has found a great amount of success on the court and is an honor roll student at her respective high school.

According to Brett McCormick's All Star Girls Report, Tech's recruiting class is ranked 94th in NCAA Division I.

Heady is a 5-foot-10 wing from Clarkrange (Tenn.) High School. An all-state selection as a freshman (at Monterey High School) and junior, Heady was also named the district MVP a season ago. She led her team to an undefeated 39-0 record last season, winning the Class 1A state championship under head coach Lamar Rodgers.

"Molly is a proven winner and has played for one of the best high school programs in this state," Messer said. "We look forward to her bringing a winning mentality and offensive ability to our team. It is important to us to keep local talent here in the state of Tennessee."

Henderson is a 5-foot-6 combo guard from North Cobb High School in Kennesaw, Ga. She led the state in scoring as a junior, averaging 22.0 points per game while leading her team to the first round of the 5A state playoffs. A first-team all-region selection last season, Henderson plays for head coach Matt Williams.

"Diamond is a versatile guard who can contribute at both backcourt positions," Messer said. "She sees the floor well and offensively is extremely hard to guard. Her scoring ability and competitive mindset are two things that really attracted us to her."

Jordan is a 5-foot-6 point guard who played two seasons at Greater Atlanta Christian High School before transferring to Norcross High School in Norcross, Ga., prior to her junior year. Her senior year will be her second at Norcross under head coach Angie Hembre. Jordan led the team to the Sweet 16 of the 7A state tournament as a junior and was named first-team all-county as both a sophomore and junior.

"Briana is an athletic point guard who comes from one of the top AAU programs in the country," Messer said. "She has competed against some of the best players in the country and stood her ground. We are excited about the athleticism that she will bring to our system."

Parson is a 6-foot-2 post player from Dillard High school in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. She played for hall of fame head coach Marcia Pinder and helped her team to back-to-back-to-back county championships. An all-tournament team selection during Dillard's most recent county championship, Parson also plays for Team Breakdown, one of the top traveling teams in the country.

"Candace is an athletic power forward from one of the winningest high school basketball programs in the country," Messer said. "She is a versatile player who can either play with her back to the basket or face up. We have high expectations for Candace."

The Golden Eagles will begin their 2009-10 season Friday against Alabama at the Islander Tip-Off Tournament in Corpus Christi, Texas. Game time is scheduled for 5 p.m. CST.

Season tickets for all Golden Eagle home games are on sale and are available at the Athletics Ticket Office in Eblen Center or by calling (931) 372-3940. Tickets can also be purchased online at TTUsports.com.