KENNESAW, Ga. -- The Kennesaw State women's basketball team put ink on paper for four highly touted recruits on Friday, Nov. 16, officially welcoming in the class of 2013.
Taylor Blackmon (Norcross, Ga./Wesleyan HS), Artasia Carnes-Marshall (Memphis, Tenn./Memphis East HS), Kelly Dulkoski (China Grove, N.C./Carson HS) and DeAndrea Sawyers (Nashville, Tenn./Hunters Lane HS) all became Owls after signing National Letters of Intent during the NCAA early signing period for women's basketball.
Blackmon, a 5-6 point guard out of Norcross, Ga., and Wesleyan High School, comes in with an impressive resume, having won three state championships at Wesleyan. A three-year athlete, Blackmon was a key player for the nationally ranked No. 18 prep team according to ESPN, averaging six points, two assists and two steals for the Wolves. In 2012, Blackmon was named to both the All-Region and All-County teams.
Nitra Perry on Blackmon: "Taylor comes from a storied basketball program where she's been a part of championship teams. She's going to be a well-composed player for us who definitely knows how to win. She's coming into the college game with such a high basketball I.Q. already and we're excited to see what she can add."
Carnes-Marshall of Memphis, Tenn., was named one of the top high school players in the state this past season while a starter for Memphis East High School. The point guard averaged 12 points, six assists and four rebounds last year while earning All-Tournament honors in the Martin Luther King Tournament. In 2010-11, Carnes-Marshall was named the Lady Mustang's Top Defensive Player as well as earning the Hustle Award, averaging double-digit points.
Nitra Perry on Carnes-Marshall: "Artasia is a quick kid and she's going to add a new dimension to our roster. She can shoot the three off the bounce and she's got a great jump shot. She's a tenacious defender who just loves the game of basketball. Artasia can get out there and play with the boys and compete and that high-energy is so contagious to the rest of the team. She's just fun to watch play."
Dulkoski brings in a 16.6 points per game average from Carson High School in the basketball hotbed of China Grove, N.C. During her junior season, Dulkoski was named the North Piedmont Conference Women's Basketball Player of the Year as well as the Salisbury Post Rowan County Female Athlete of the Year. The NCPreps.com 3A All-State Player led her high school to a 23-4 record last season while shattering the school record in total points, bringing home an MVP award in the process. With 72 made three-pointers and a 5.7 assists per game average, Dukolski also brings in a high academic standard, ranking fourth in her class as a member of the National Honor Society.
Nitra Perry on Dulkoski: "Kelly is a hard-nosed coach's kid who just knows the game so well. She's mentally tough and can knock down any shot if she gets a little bit of daylight. We're trying to put together a blue-collar team and she's absolutely going to add to that. She's the type of player we're going to love to say represents Kennesaw State and she's definitely going to be popular in the community with all of her community service projects she's involved in."
Sawyers will add a new element for the Owls from the wing, where the Nashville, Tenn., native averaged 17.6 points per game while at Hunter Lane High School in 2011-12 with three assists and 5.1 rebounds per outing. A 5-10 district 6-AAA MVP, Sawyers also earned All-District and All-Region honors after a standout performance last season. In 2010-11, Sawyers averaged 11.3 points, three rebounds and 2.4 assists while again garnering All-District honors and was the district 11-AAA Region MVP as well as the team's top player.
Nitra Perry on Sawyers: "DeAndrea is such a versatile player for us who can play just about anywhere on the floor. She can shoot the three and get to the rack as well and is a game changing type of player when she's on the court. She was the first kid to sign in the class and she's just a winning player who hates to lose. She's so tough to guard and she's going to add another piece to our backcourt and has the potential to be a program changer for us."
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