The John Brown University women's basketball team announced the signing of five student-athletes on Friday, June 8, that will join the Golden Eagles for the 2018-19 campaign.
"We are very excited about the incoming class," said head coach Jeff Soderquist. "All five will be freshmen but have the talent to make an immediate impact. The culture of our team is very important. These ladies all fit the culture we need for JBU to be successful on and off the court. They will also help us compete not only in the Sooner Athletic (Conference), but nationally as well."
"We aimed to increase our inside presence, better our height and athleticism at the wing spot and add a multi-purpose guard. We are very excited for the 2018-19 season and what this journey has in store for us."
Maddie Altman, a two-year captain and three-time CHSAA All-State selection, comes to JBU after a four-year career at Valor Christian (Colo.) under head coach Jessika Caldwell. While an Eagle, the 5-foot-7 guard helped lead her squad to back-to-back CHSAA 4A state titles and landed All-State academic accolades in her junior and senior seasons. Setting career bests in assists (11) and steals (8) as a junior, Altman netted a career-high 17 points in her final season at Valor.
Sierra Bailey joins the Golden Eagles as a three-year letter-winner under head Alma High School coach Codey Mann. While at Alma, the 5-foot-10 guard accumulated 722 career points over three seasons, ninth all-time in program history, while setting a career-high with 27 points in a single game as a senior. The 5-foot-10 guard had an outstanding junior campaign, leading the Airedales to an appearance in the AAA state tournament while garnering All-State and All-Conference honors, in addition to landing a spot on the All-NWA Democrat Gazette second team.
Under James Martin High School (Texas) head coaches Brooke Brittain and Bethany Gonzalez, Haley James finished a three-year career by earning All-District and Defensive Player of the Year plaudits. Named captain in her senior campaign, the 5-foot-11 forward averaged 12.7 points, 8.2 rebounds and just over three assists and steals per game in her final season. James' best outing included a 22-point outburst that was accompanied by 12 boards, seven thefts and a pair of rejections versus Lake Ridge High School as a senior. After helping the Warriors capture a bi-district title as a junior, James led the squad to a second-consecutive appearance in the bi-district championship game as a senior.
Marta Matamala, a native of Madrid, Spain, will make her way across the pond in the fall after a successful amateur career with Rivas Ecopolis, one of the premiere Spanish clubs. In 2014, Matamala helped guide Rivas to the Spanish national semifinals before a quick one-year stint with the Corazonistas club. Upon returning to Rivas, the 5-foot-10 guard helped Rivas capture sixth in the Liga Femenina 2. Billed as a strong passer and effective three-point threat, Matamala averaged 12 points, five boards and five helpers per contest with Rivas.
Kayla Nelson, a 6-foot-1 three-sport athlete from Warrenton (Mo.) High School, will join the Golden Eagles after leading the Warriors to four consecutive district titles and a trio of conference championships. Earning letters in four years under head coach Greg Williams, the forward earned All-Academic honors in each season, and after posting an All-Conference second team effort as a junior, Nelson went on to land conference Player of the Year and first-team accolades as a senior. The four-time All-State selection scored a career-high 31 points and pulled down a career-best 14 rebounds as a senior as she went on to record a school record for most double-doubles.
Sports on 06/13/2018
Print Headline: Five sign with JBU women's basketball