McNeese State head women's basketball coach Brooks Donald Williams. (Pankaj Khadka / American Press)
Last Modified: Wednesday, May 16, 2012 5:50 PM
They don’t have trades in college basketball.
But thanks to a strange set of circumstances, there is at least the appearance of that now.
The McNeese women’s basketball team has released signees Kia Wilridge and KeKe Veal from their national letters of intent so they can enroll at Louisiana-Lafayette and play next season. Last week, ULL released signee Allison Baggett from her letter of intent so she could join sisters Ashlyn and Caitlyn at McNeese next year.
Wilridge and Veal were all-state players for new ULL coach Garry Brodhead’s daughter at St. Thomas More High in Lafayette.
“It wasn’t any kind of trade or thought-out plan, even though it looks like there is a trade,” said McNeese coach Brooks Donald Williams. “With Kia and KeKe there was so many circumstances. It is an odd thing. We certainly won’t see it again in this scenario. They played for Garry’s daughter, they played for his new assistant Deacon Jones in AAU. They are intertwined in so many different way with the Lafayette folks.”
Even with the defection of two stars from the incoming class, Donald Williams expects her remaining freshmen to make an impact for the Cowgirls next season.
“It’s a tough break-up because we had so much invested,” Donald Williams said. “I have to make sure we just move on from here. I’m excited about the kids in our program that want to be here no matter what. This does not diminish the impact this recruting class will have on our program.
“Is it a loss? Absolutely. But I still believe this is an unbelievable recruiting class.”
In addition to Baggett, McNeese is bringing in forwards Charity Robinson, Cecilia Okoye, Arianna James and Jasmine Prophet and Jennings guard Jayln Johnson.
Donald Williams said the additional scholarship spot created with Wilridge and Veal leaving will be used in the Class of 2013.
“Now is the time to recruit 2013 as hard as we can,” Donald Williams said. “We don’t want to do anything out of desperation because we’re not in that mode at all. You’ve got an extra spot for the 2013 class, and we move on.”