By Staff Report.
Head women’s basketball coach Itoro Coleman announced the four-member signing class for 2011-12 on Friday. The class is headlined by Natiece Ford, a 6’2” player from Holly Springs, NC, who is ranked as the #47 player in the country according to ESPN/HoopGurlz.
The Tigers have also signed three-star guards Nikki Dixon and Chelsea Lindsay, as well as Texas sharpshooter Kelly Gramlich.
“I am so excited about our 2011 signees,” said Coleman. “Natiece, Chelsea, Kelly and Nikki have demonstrated the work ethic, toughness and competitiveness it takes to be successful.”
Ford is known for her versatility, as ESPN HoopGurlz has her ranked as the #6 post player in the nation and #47 overall regardless of position, and gave her a four-star moniker and 93/100 grade on their evaluation system. The Holly Springs, NC native is also ranked as the second-best prospect in the state of North Carolina, after posting a strong summer on the AAU circuit. She is on the ballot for selection to the McDonald’s All-America game as well. Ford has been named to numerous all-tournament teams, and was named the team’s defensive player of the year in 2009-10. She would like to major in business.
“We really like her ability to score,” said Coleman. “She is effective putting the ball on the floor, can finish around the basket and knock down the three. She is a very good passer and has floor vision much like a point guard.”
Kelly Gramlich is a senior at 5-A LC Anderson High School in Austin, TX. In her junior season, the 5’10” guard averaged 22.9 points per game and was named to the 5-A All-State team by both the Texas Girls Coaches Association and the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches. Gramlich was also named All-Region and All-District and was the Texas Class 5A State Three Point Champion. Entering her senior season, Gramlich has 1,270 career points, and is in the top 5% of her graduating class, and is a member of the National Honor Society.
“Kelly Gramlich can flat out shoot the ball,” said Coleman. “She has a quick release and doesn’t need long to get her shot off. In addition, she is a great teammate and has outstanding leadership potential. She is going to bring so many positives to our team from a maturity standpoint both on and off the court.”
Chelsea Lindsay is rated as the 64th-best point guard prospect in the nation by HoopGurlz, and is a three-star selection by the same service. The 5’6” point guard from Hillside High School in Durham, NC. Lindsay averaged 17.1 points, 3.7 rebounds, and 3.7 assists per game as a junior. She was a Pac-6 all-conference selection. She played in the 2009 state championship as a sophomore. She intends to major in Accounting when she arrives.
“Chelsea Lindsay is a tough, hard-nosed competitor. She is a true point guard and very quick with the ball in her hands. Her speed and athleticism allow her to really get after it defensively.”
Nikki Dixon is a 5’10” wing/guard from Milton High School in Georgia. Dixon is known for her ferocity on the defensive end and her versatility offensively. Her Georgia Pistols Elite AAU team won a National Championship in 2008, and the 2010 team featured eight players committed to play at Division-I schools. Dixon was a first-team All-Metro Atlanta selection from North Fulton County after her high school reached the final four of the 5-A Georgia State Championships.
“Nikki Dixon has great versatility to go along with a tremendous knack for getting the job done,” said Coleman. “She can play all three guards positions, which works well within our offense. Her wingspan allows her to get a lot of deflections and steals on defense.”
“The excitement about Clemson Women’s Basketball is obvious around the basketball community,” said Recruiting Coordinator Yolett McPhee-McCuin. “With Coach Coleman’s return, there is added interest in the program because she was a winner while here as a player. Fans trust that she and her staff will do whatever it takes to bring awareness to these recruits and get them the true ‘Clemson Experience!’ Young ladies have an opportunity to be trailblazers at Clemson as well as in the community, along with getting a great degree. These opportunities place us in position to attract tremendous student-athletes and establish ourselves as strong competitors in our conference and throughout the country. Our quest to become a national power will begin to be realized.”