Sailfish Add Eight For 2013-14 Campaign
August 16, 2013
Written By: Kyler Ludlow, Graduate Assistant for Athletic Communications
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. – It has been a busy summer for Palm Beach Atlantic women’s basketball coach Carlos Palacio, as he has hit the recruiting trail hard with the goal of raising the bar for the Sailfish basketball program for the 2013-14 season. The Sailfish are happy to announce the addition of eight new players to the program for next season.
Incoming freshman Taylor Buchanan hails from Fort Frye, Ohio, where she leaves behind a basketball legacy at Fort Frye High School. The guard lettered all four seasons, was a two-time team captain, and led her team to the most wins in school history and a Final Four appearance in her senior campaign. Perhaps even more impressively, Buchanan boasted a 3.94 GPA while earning her Associate’s Degree from a local community college.
Coach Carlos Palacio says of Taylor, “Taylor has a discipline that is not often found in athletes her age, and her obtaining an AA degree before graduating high school shows that discipline. She is committed to improving her game every day and we expect her to contribute at multiple positions as a freshman."
Also moving south to continue her career is Jenny Eickhorst. The 5’8” guard from Franklin, Wisconsin, averaged 11.5 points per game in her senior campaign, while knocking down a team-high 50 three-point field goals. The four-year letter winner from Franklin High School also exceled in the running realm, lettering four years in cross country, and qualifying for the State Championships 400 meter race during track season.
Coach Palacio claims, “Jenny is combo guard that has the ability to play both ends of the floor. Her energy and relentless attacking on defense fits our style and her ability to knockdown the three will be a huge asset to this team"
The last freshman to join the back court is Nikkira Brown. Brown is a point guard from Georgia who averaged 10 points, five rebounds and four assists per game for Salem High School in Conyers, Georgia. The 5’3” guard exceled on the court and in the classroom, earning team MVP honors as just a sophomore while maintaining a 3.53 grade point average.
According to Coach Palacio, “Nikkira is a pure athlete who has the ability to control the tempo of the game with her quickness and speed. She is going to bring a passion and intensity to the team that we were lacking last year"
The last out-of-state freshman to join Palm Beach Atlantic this season is Alecha Gibbs. Gibbs, a Pearl, Mississippi native, played her high school ball at Richland High School, where she averaged 14.8 points and eight rebounds per game. Standing at 5’11” and able to play multiple positions, Gibbs looks to make an immediate impact for the Sailfish.
Coach Palacio remarked, “I am very excited to have Alecha join the PBA basketball family. She is a unbelievable athlete and her size and athleticism are going to allow her to have a huge impact as a freshmen."
Arianna Cumbie is an incoming freshman who automatically gives the Sailfish added size in the front court. The 6’2” center averaged 10 points per contest while bringing down seven rebounds per game during her career, helping her alma mater, Dr. Phillips High School, to three consecutive state titles. Her team appeared in the ESPN National High School Invitational three times, winning the event in 2011 and 2013. Cumbie was also an All-State Honorable Mention member in 2011.
Coach Palacio says about Arianna, “Arianna has a rare combination of size and skill. Her ability to stretch the floor with her shot on offense and be a defense presence makes her a vital part of the foundation of our program moving forward.”
Joining Cumbie in the front court is Palm Beach County native Ayanna Holmes. Holmes is 2013 graduate of nearby Dwyer High School, where she averaged a double-double for the season with 13.5 points per game and led the team in rebounds with 11.5 per game. She helped lead the Panthers to District and Regional Championships in her senior season, while being named a Palm Beach County First Team All-Star.
Coach Palacio claims, “Ayanna has an incredible motor and great work ethic. She has competed at a very high level with Dwyer High school and her athleticism is going to allow her to contribute at multiple positions for us."
With six freshman joining a young returning squad for Palm Beach Atlantic, it became imperative to find a few transfers to fill out the roster with experience. That experience will come from Kasie Parker and Jazmyne Green.
Parker joins the Sailfish after playing three seasons at NCAA Division I St. Joseph’s University. The 5’8” shooting guard battled through injuries and played a reserve role in her time with the Hawks, averaging 3.4 points in 9.1 minutes during her final season. The Orlando, Florida native attended Lake Howell High School and won a Class 5A State Championship in 2009.
Coach Palacio adds, “Kasie is an electric athlete who can score in a variety of ways. We are very excited to have her leadership and experience as part of the rebuilding process at PBA. She will be an impact player on both ends of the floor, as well as a mentor to our young underclassmen."
The other transfer joining the Sailfish is Jazmyne Green. Green comes to Palm Beach Atlantic from Illinois State after one season. Prior to her time as a Redbird, Jazmyne attended Sante Fe Community College, where she averaged five points per game and three rebounds per game. She was injured after 10 games as a junior and then last year had a shin injury and took a red-shirt. She has a degree in business and will be beginning her masters in leadership at PBA.
Coach Palacio states, “Jaz brings alot of experience to PBA, and her size and athleticism are going to be a huge asset to our program. We feel we can use her to create mismatches at both the 3 and 4 positions. We need her to come in and help guide our young athletes as they transition into college athletes."
Palm Beach Atlantic is excited for the 2013-14 season, and will travel to Baylor University to kick off the season on Wednesday, October 30.