STORY & PHOTOS BY GLENN NELSON
Rutgers continued its magic of capturing some of the Northeast's top guards by earning a verbal on from Khadijah Rushdan, the "other" star from Wilmington, Del., who is No. 10 in the HoopGurlz National Hot 100.
We say "other" because the girl's basketball player most often associated with Wilmington on the national level is Rushdan's Delaware rival, Elena DelleDonne, who leads HoopGurlz's rankings for 2008.
Still, Scarlet Knights coach C. Vivian Stringer is enjoying a great week. She was inducted into the International Women's Sports Hall of Fame on Monday night. And Friday morning she received a commitment from one of the absolute best of a strong crop of point guards in the 2007 class.
Last year, Stringer recruited what was deemed by HoopGurlz as the No. 3 signing class in the country. That class was built around guard Epiphanny Prince, the No. 10 prospect in 2006 who scored a record 113 points in a single game, as well as guards Dee Jernigan of East Chicago, Ill., and Brittany Ray of the Bronx, N.Y.
A powerfully built and explosive guard, Rushdan excels at finishing, oftentimes acrobatically, in traffic. She also sees the floor and makes connections very well, and is an effortless shooter out to the three-point line. She averaged 11 points, six assists and three steals while shooting 57.1 percent from the field, including 44.4 percent from the three-point line, in four games for USA Basketball during the 18U Americas qualifying tournament last summer.
Rushdan is said to have chosen Rutgers over LSU and Maryland. Her verbal leaves No. 3 Jantel Lavender of Cleveland, Ohio, and No. 8 Vicki Baugh of Sacramento, Calif., as the only uncommitted prospects in HoopGurlz's top 10.
Andrea McGuirt, a four-star guard from Duluth, Ga., verbaled last weekend to Indiana. Ranked No. 74 in the HoopGurlz National Hot 100, McGuirt is the Marist School
teammate of Drey Mingo, the five-star prospect who has committed to Maryland. McGuirt, 5-9, is a tough point guard with very good distribution skills who also can shoot it with range and gets after it on defense. ... Four-star guard Brittney Thomas of Bolingbrook, Ill., has committed to Michigan State. An invitee to the USA Basketball U18 trials, Thomas is a 5-10, hyperactive and ultra-enthusiastic lead guard who can handle, shoot and distribute - all with aplomb. ... Katherine Graham, a physical, 5-11 guard from Ramsay High in Birmingham, Ala., committed to LSU on Wednesday. Graham is a very athletic floor leader who can take over games with her shooting, passing and defense. ... Ashley Thomas, a 2008 prospect from Loyola Academy in Wilmette, Ill., verbaled to Wisconsin last weekend. The 6-2 forward had surgery last May to repair a torn anterior cruciate ligament, but is in the final stages of rehab and is scheduled to resume basketball in about two weeks. ... Jasmine Tate, a 6-2 forward out of Wenonah High in Birmingham, Ala., has verbaled to Clemson. Tate is an athletic shot-blocker and rebounder who runs the floor well. ... Chanel Chisholm, a 5-11 guard from North Babylon on Long Island, N.Y., has verbaled to Vanderbilt. Chisolm averaged 21 points, eight rebounds, five assists and two steals for North Babylon during her junior season. ... Samantha Child, a 6-foot wing from Tualatin, Ore., has committed to San Diego and coach Cindy Fisher. Child chose San Diego over Alabama, Boise State, Loyola Marymount, and Portland. She also was recruited widely in the West and by most of the Ivy League schools.
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Glenn Nelson is the publisher of HoopGurlz.com and the editor-in-chief of Scout Media (www.Scout.com), an online sports network and magazine-publishing company and subsidiary of Fox Interactive Media. Glenn also founded and coached
the Dragons and Northwest HoopGurlz select girls basketball teams. He previously was a longtime, national-award-winning basketball columnist and writer for The Seattle
Times. His work also has appeared in several national magazines and books. He is co-author of "Rising Stars: The Ten Best Players in the NBA" (Rosen Publishing, 2002). He
can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.