Penn Women's Basketball Recruit Roundup: Class of 2019

With the season on the horizon for Penn women’s basketball, it only seems appropriate to take a look ahead at the future of the team. With coach Mike McLaughlin’s prowess for successful recruiting – all four of his classes have produced the Big 5 Rookie of the Year – it doesn’t come as much of a surprise that the commits for the Class of 2019 have been strong so far.

Without further ado, let’s take a look at the five verbal commits.

Kristen Daley (6-foot-0, G, Weston, Ma.) – A standout performer for The Rivers School over the past three years, Kristen Daley comes from a family of basketball players. Daley has earned three All-ISL selections and two All-New England selections through her three years of high school ball. Though she played point guard primarily in high school, the Massachusetts native is projected as more of a wing player at the college level.

Princess Aghayere (6-foot-1, F, Reston, Va.) – The most recent commit in the Class of 2019 (and by far the recruit with the coolest name), Princess Aghayere will add to an already deep stable of post players for the Quakers. While at South Lakes High School, Aghayere has already shown a strong ability to crash the boards. As a junior, she was named to the 2013 Virginia AAA All Northern Region first team.

Jameira Johnson (6-foot-3, F, Tamytown, Md.) – With reigning Ivy League defensive Player of the Year Sydney Stipanovich and highly touted recruit and now-freshman Michelle Nwokedi already with the program, one might figure that recruiting post players would be less of a concern for McLaughlin and co. Yet with Aghayere and Jameira Johnson, the team will find itself with two more forwards capable of dominating the glass. At McDonogh High School, Johnson established herself as a strong inside presence and helped lead her team to a 29-2 record last season.  Though we aren't sure if she's achieved her goal of dunking yet, the athletic forward should help bolster an already-strong frontcourt.

Ashley Russell (5-foot-10, G, Braintree, Ma.) – Russell – who committed in June – helped lead her high school (Braintree) to a state championship by averaging 13 points, 11 rebounds, five assists and four steals per game. She is currently Massachusetts’ reigning Gatorade Player of the Year. With the graduation of Alyssa Baron and Meghan McCullough, the Quakers are certainly in need of strong ball handlers for the future and Russell seems to fit that mold.

Deja Jackson (5-foot-9, G, Grinell, Iowa.) – The third guard in a well-balanced Class of 2019, Deja Jackson was listed as a forward for her junior season and was named first and second-team all-state by various news organizations. As a junior, Jackson averaged a team-high 18.9 points per game and tied for the team lead in assists with 41. While she'll likely find herself playing more guard than forward at Penn (especially amid all the taller forwards McLaughlin has brought in), Jackson will hopefully provide some of the scoring touch that helped her lead Grinnell in recent years.


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