Stockton signs three new recruits to 2016-17 team

Stockton+signed+3+new+recruits+to+the+2016+class%2C+including+Brogan+Jones%2C+who+is+ranked+the+15th+best+post+in+the+country+by+ESPN

Stockton signed 3 new recruits to the 2016 class, including Brogan Jones, who is ranked the 15th best post in the country by ESPN

Mackenna Barker, Online Sports Editor

On Thursday afternoon, Tulane women’s basketball head coach Lisa Stockton announced the addition of three players to the 2016-17 recruiting class. Next year, Stockton and company welcome Brogan Jones, Kayla Manuirirangi and Maddison Wells to the Wave.

Stockton described Jones, a 6-foot-4-inch center out of North Little Rock High School, as a high priority for this recruiting class. Jones is currently ranked the 15 best post in the country by ESPN and was an all-conference selection all three years and was selected to try out for the U17 USA Basketball team in 2014.

ESPN’s evaluation of Jones calls her a “strong, physical post presence with interior footwork,” that “competes on both ends of the floor.”

Jones spent this past summer playing with Texas Elite Adidas 17U Simmons, where she won both the Super 64 National Championship Tournament and the Adidas National Championship Tournament as well.

“[Jones] is a strong physical post with great hands and good fundamentals,” Stockton said. “[Jones] has played at a high level of competition with her summer and high school teams which should help her make the transition to the college level. In many ways, she reminds me of former Tulane standout Brett Benzio.”

Manuirirangi, a 5-foot-7-inch guard from Hawera, New Zealand, spent the last two years at New Plymouth Girls’ High School where she led the squad to two straight playoff appearances. In 2014, Manuirirangi headed her team to both a national high school championship where she was named the tournament MVP as well as a 3×3 tournament title as well.

Like Jones, Manuirirangi is no stranger to the national basketball scene. In 2012 she made the New Zealand U16 national squad and then followed that up by captaining the U17 team in 2013 and the U18 squad in 2014. Later that year, Manuirirangi began representing New Zealand with the Junior Tall Ferns (U19). 

Manuirirangi graduates high school this fall and will attend Tulane in the spring, though she will not begin collegiate play until the fall.

“[Manuirirangi] has a wealth of international experience on the New Zealand national teams where she was an effective point guard and team captain,” Stockton said. “[Manuirirangi] brings great play making ability and a deep range shooting touch. Practicing in the spring will give Kayla an excellent opportunity to adjust to our system and get to know her future teammates.”

Stockton rounds out the three recruits with Wells, a 6-foot-1-inch forward hailing from Winter Haven, Florida. Wells makes her homecoming of sorts to the Crescent City, as she was originally from New Orleans before moving to Florida. At Winter Haven High School, Wells helped the team to two playoff appearance in 2013-14 and 2014-15.

 “Originally a New Orleans native, we are excited to bring [Wells] home,” Stockton said. “[Wells] plays at a high level of intensity. She is a power forward, who can face up to score but isn’t afraid to mix it up in the paint. Her strong work ethic on the court is also evident in the classroom where she is competing to be her class Valedictorian.”

Wells honed her skills while playing for Kenny Kallina with the FGB travel team. Kallina describes Wells as a lefty forward who is an aggressive rebounder and a strong defender. Listed as a 4-star recruit by JumpOffPlus Scouting, Wells competed for FGB this past summer in the Tournament of Champions in Suwanee and Nashville, as well as the Summer Basketball Playoff in Charlotte.

“We are excited to add this talented group to our program,” Stockton said. “Each brings a set of skills to complement our team. They are all great competitors as well as outstanding students.”