TEMPE, Ariz. – Arizona State University head women’s basketball coach Charli Turner Thorne today announced that Ayanna Edwards and Nicole Iademarco have signed letters of intent to study and play basketball at Arizona State.
A 6-4 center, Edwards will be joining ASU from Sacramento High School in Sacramento, Calif., where she has been ranked among the top 10 players in NorCal for three years. Nicknamed ‘Shaq’ because of her tremendous shot blocking ability, Edwards has been an incredible presence in the paint where she has averaged nearly a double-double in rebounds (10.8) and blocks (9.0) the last two seasons. One of the most sought-after recruits in the country because of her size and versatility, Edwards has been listed as one of ESPN Hoopgurlz Top 100 players in the class of 2014, including the No. 15 center in the country. She has been named first-team All-Metro two years and has led her team to three section titles and a pair of NorCal championship appearances. Last season she earned first-team distinction from The Sacramento Bee.
“Ayanna is one of the top five centers in the country because she has tremendous size, strength and athleticism to go with a great skillset,” said Turner Thorne. “I remember her coach Michelle Massari sending me a clip of her as an incoming freshman and she had an incredible presence but was still developing her skills. She has worked extremely hard and now dominates on both ends of the floor. Her defensive shot blocking is outstanding.
“Shaq, like all of our Sun Devil players is first and foremost an outstanding person and student. She will be applying to ASU’s prestigious Barrett Honors College as a pre-med student. She is also a young woman who just lights up a room with her warm smile and generous spirit. We are absolutely thrilled to have her as part of our Sun Devil Family. We know she will be ready to impact our program immediately.”
Added Massari, who has coached Edwards at Sacramento High, “Shaq is a talented post who prides herself on defense. Her ability to block shots and clog the paint is special. For someone who is 6-4, she is very athletic and can run the floor extremely well. She is a great leader with unlimited potential.”
A 6-1 guard/forward coming out of The Woodlands High School in The Woodlands, Texas, Iademarco earned first-team All-District recognition following a junior season in which she averaged 12.6 points, 5.0 rebounds, 4.9 assists and 3.1 steals. In 2013, Iademarco helped lead her team to a 28-8 record, including a perfect 12-0 mark in district play. The Highlanders would eventually reach the second round of the Texas State Playoffs. Through the first three games of her senior season she is averaging 25.3 points, 8.0 rebounds and 4.0 steals per game. Ranked the No. 36 guard by ESPN Hoopgurlz, Iademarco has earned several honors in her career including All-District First Team (2012-13), All-Montgomery County First Team (2012-13) and All-District Honorable Mention (2011-12).
“(ASU head football coach) Todd Graham and a lot of college women’s basketball coaches have encouraged us to recruit ‘Texas’ kids. Well, we have been, and we got an incredibly talented and versatile forward in Nicole,” said Turner Thorne. “Between her high school and club teams she has played every position from point guard to power forward. Her dominant position is wing where she is a prolific shooter. She is also able to post up and take defenders off the dribble as well as create for others.
“Nicole has great poise, focus, and an awesome competitive spirit. She works just as hard in the classroom as she does on the court, as she will also be applying to our Barrett Honors College. We are so excited to have her as part of our Sun Devil Family.”
Added her high school coach Dana Bruton, “It has been a pleasure to see Nicole grow into an amazing young lady and athlete. She will bring an outstanding set of skills to ASU. We wish her the best and look forward to watching her future success.”