Fortner's Staff Adds Sixth Signee

Carthage, Tex.--The newest member of the Auburn University women's basketball signee class is expected to be an outside scoring threat for Coach Nell Fortner's Tigers.

Joanna Clayden, a 6-0 guard/forward from England, plans to transfer to Auburn from Panola Junior College, where she averaged 14.7 points per game as a sophomore this past season and earned all-conference honors.

Clayden says she selected the Tigers over the University of California-Santa Barbara.

"I decided Auburn was the best place for me," Clayden tells Inside the Auburn Tigers. "I liked the coaching staff and all of the people I met on my visit there." She notes that the Auburn coaches are enthusiastic about the program and that she believes she will enjoy playing at AU.

A native of Lancashire in Great Britain, Clayden says that she that she is interested in becoming an athletic trainer after graduation and notes that was a major factor in her decision to attend Auburn.

"With Louise Emeagi not returning next season, we needed an experienced perimeter player on the wing," Fortner says. "We have great perimeter players coming in with our freshman class, but Joanna offers a strong work ethic and already developed leadership skills, which was very attractive to us. She has had an outstanding junior college career and brings a three-point shot along with her."

As a sophomore, Clayden hit 41.8 percent of her field goals, including 39.8 percent from three-point range (68-171). She helped the Fillies win the Region XIV championship and earn a spot in the national tournament, where she was scouted by the Auburn coaching staff.

Clayden averaged 5.4 rebounds and two assists per game plus she had 45 steals.

As a freshman, she scored 12.9 points per game and made 41.5 percent of her three-point shots.

Describing her game, she says, "I am European style player who likes to shoot the three. My teammates call me ‘Dirk Nowitzki' I am a two-three (shooting guard, small forward)."

Clayden, who is headed home to Lancashire on Friday, says she plans to report to the Auburn campus in August. "I have to work in the summer to help pay for the things I need during the rest of the year," she says.

She is the sixth member of Fortner's first Auburn signing class and joins guard Chantelle Blakely from Nashville, Tenn., guard DeWanna Bonner from Birmingham, guard Whitney Boddie from Florence, center Keshonda "Keke" Carrier from Lake Charles, La., and forward Sherell Hobbs from Huntsville.

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