Women's Basketball In Talent Search

Get inside for the latest on the Crimson Tide's women's hoops recruiting efforts with a prospect in the Northeast.

Kristy Curry accepted the formidable assignment of raising Alabama women's basketball from the bottom tier depths of the SEC. Incremental progress on the court of competition has resulted in seven conference wins, tying for the most since the 7-7 league finish during the 2001-02 season. Two of the significant victories include a first ever program win at Memorial Gym in Nashville over the no. 25 ranked Vanderbilt Commodores and a road defeat of the 8th rated Kentucky Wildcats in Lexington.

Alabama success to date has been in great part credited to good coaching. But any bench jockey within a bounce pass proximity to a truth serum telling mirror will candidly concede the critical activity linked to future success is winning the recruiting battles. The Alabama staff is aggressively tending to the task scouring the country for talent, including the unlikely state of Connecticut.

Kristy Curry and Tide Assistant Shereka Wright visited a prominent Nutmeg State high school program in late September. They ventured into the heart of UConn Husky territory to assess the interest of Kiah Gillespie.

The 6-1 versatile swing player earned 2013 All-State honors for Capital Preparatory Magnet School (Hartford), the defending Class S Champion. Coached by Tammy Millsaps, the undefeated No. 1 seeded Trail Blazers (23-0) jumped two divisions higher to Class L for this year's CASCIAC Girls Basketball Championship Tournament. They have a bye and are awaiting a first round matchup scheduled for Friday.

'BAMA Magazine/BamaMag.com met with Kiah Gillespie after a regular season victory over visiting Archbishop Williams (Braintree, Mass.) on February 20. UConn's Geno Auriemma, Seton Hall's Anthony Bozella, and Rutgers assistant Tia Jackson were among the coaches observing the action that evening. The talented top 50 prospect averages 22.4 points per game, 10.4 rebounds, 3.8 assists along with 1.8 steals and 1.4 blocks. Dan Olson, noted owner/director of Collegiate Girls Basketball Report, ranks Gillespie the 6th best power forward and 36th overall in the 2015 class. She runs the floor well, possesses a soft touch, and has a gifted pair of hands suited for the game.

Commenting on Alabama, Gillespie said, "I really do like the coaching staff. They are very nice. They sounded like they had a lot to offer. I was really impressed with them."

Assistant Coach Shereka Wright is the main contact for the Alabama staff. "I haven't spoken to her (Wright) in a while. I should probably reach out to her. I really enjoy talking to her. She is really nice."

Gillespie has a favorite color. "Red because I think it is a bright, vibrant color and it makes me happy," she said.

Born in Waterbury, Conn., and a resident of Meriden, she has never visited the state of Alabama but that might change in the coming months.

Gillespie prefers to play the two or three position at the next level but is amenable to contributing at any spot on the floor in the name of winning.

She is in the recruiting spotlight. She said, "I get a call pretty much every day. Sometimes, it gets overwhelming. I try to gauge when I'm going to call them and set up times with them. You have to remember. I have other things to do. I have practice, school work, and I have my family. I try to give them all the same opportunity to speak to me."

Watch and listen to the video of Kiah Gillespie. She describes her skills, discloses a self-proclaimed nickname, and reveals her future academic and athletic intentions.


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