LUBBOCK, Texas - The Texas Tech women's basketball program has announced the signing of four high school players to National Letters of Intent. Kelsi Baker (Mesquite, Texas/John Horn H.S.), Antiesha Brown (Clovis, N.M./Clovis H.S.), Haley Schneider (Lubbock, Texas/Monterey H.S.) and Ebony Walker (Albuquerque, N.M./Sandia H.S.).
"Today is a special day for our program as we take another step toward reestablishing this program to the level we all expect," said head coach Kristy Curry. "I have to credit Shereka (Wright), Brooke (Stoehr) and Kelly (Curry) because they have done an outstanding job of assembling a solid high school class which complements our 2008-09 class. This class is ready and poised to impact our program on the court and in the classroom."
A native of Mesquite, Texas, the 6-0 forward Baker is the 12th-ranked power forward in the country by ESPN HoopGurlz, as well as the No. 71 overall player. As a junior, Baker averaged 17.7 points and 7.2 rebounds at John Horn High School. She was also District 12-5A Most Valuable Player as a junior and the District 12-5A MVP as a sophomore. As a freshman, Baker was selected District 12-5A Newcomer of the Year.
"One of the biggest factors impacting my decision was the respect the players have for Coach Curry on and off the court," Baker said. "Having a close relationship with the coaching staff is very important to me. I had an immediate bond with the players. As a team, I feel we will be able to accomplish great things in the Big 12."
"Kelsi is an impact at the forward position that we expect to contribute early in her career," Curry stated. "She is a hardnosed competitor who loves both ends of the floor. She is a true student of the game who possesses a will to win that is second to none. We recruited her from the minute we got to Tech and her loyalty throughout the process speaks volumes about her character."
Brown, a 5-10 guard from Clovis, N.M., averaged 17 points, 6.7 rebounds and four steals at Clovis High School as a junior. Also as a junior, Brown was named District 4-5A Most Valuable Player, second team all-state, Plateau Holiday classic MVP, Gallup Invitational Tournament MVP. As a sophomore, she was selected District 4-5A MVP and second team all-state, while being named MVP of the Plateau Holiday Classic and to the all-tournament team at the Polk-Key City Classic. Brown was also named all-district and MVP of the Plateau Holiday Classic as a freshman.
"Since my eighth grade year, I have always wanted to be a Red Raider," stated Brown. "I met Coach Curry at a summer camp at the end of my eighth grade year and really liked her personality and the coaching style. Texas Tech is part of the Big 12 Conference, and to me it is the most competitive women's conference in basketball. Playing in the Big 12 will be a learning experience for me, but I think I am up for the challenge. Lastly, Tech is close to home and has an awesome athletic training program."
"Antiesha is a tremendous athlete who possesses a mid-range game that sets her apart on the perimeter," Curry said. "We love her work ethic and the personality she brings on a daily basis to all her endeavors. We feel like she has a tremendous upside and her best is ahead of her as a player."
The Lubbock native Schneider is a 6-5 center, who averaged 10 points, 10 rebounds and five blocks as a junior at Monterey High School. She was named District 2-5A Defensive Player of the Year, while being named first team All-South Plains and to the Panhandle Plains Super Team as a junior. Her freshman year she was selected District 2-5A Newcomer of the Year. Schneider is also a National Merit semi-finalist.
"Texas Tech has a respected engineering program, which is my career choice thus far, and I personally have a lot of respect for Coach Curry and the women's basketball program," said Schneider. "We feel like Haley is the sleeper in this class," stated Curry. "She brings size and a basketball IQ that will be a tremendous addition to our team. She played extremely well on the summer circuit and really thrived against a high level of competition. She is a model student athlete and will bring high standards to this program that will be infectious to her teammates."
The 6-2 forward Walker, who hails from Albuquerque, N.M., is the 25th-ranked power forward in the country by ESPN HoopGurlz. While at Sandia High School, Walker averaged 16.2 points and 8.7 rebounds as a junior and was named first team all-state, all-district and all-metro, and Metro Player of the Year. As a sophomore, she was all-state, all-district and all-metro. Walker was selected second team all-district as a freshman as well.
"I chose Texas Tech because I felt very welcomed and the people are very nice," Walker said. "I will get a good education as well. This is a great opportunity to play on the next level."
"Ebony brings size and athleticism that can really add depth to our frontcourt," said Curry. "She has a physical frame and possesses the ability to score down low and step out on the perimeter and hit the three."