Florida State University women's basketball head coach Sue Semrau announced Wednesday the signing of four of the nation's best prep women's basketball players to National Letters of Intent. Alicia Gladden, a 5-11 wing from Orange Park, Fla. (Orange Park), Dorian "Shante" Williams, a 5-7 guard from Jacksonville, Fla. (Ribault), Nikki Anthony, a 6-3 post from Pickens, S.C. (Pickens) and Ronalda Pierce, a 6-5 post from Ashburn, Ga. (Turner County) and have all signed to play for the Seminoles in 2003-04.
"The quality of this class is a reflection of the quality of Florida State University as an institution both academically and athletically," Semrau said. "We addressed the needs of our program with the signing of each of these players. They're great athletes but they also are very skilled players. Obviously losing the experience we have in the post next year, Ronalda and Nikki will fill a large need. Dorian and Alicia bring tremendous athletic ability to our backcourt and perimeter play and signing two of the state's top players is a high priority for us. We are very proud that each of these players chose Florida State to continue their academic and athletic careers."
For Gladden and Williams, being teammates will be nothing new as the two have played AAU basketball together since middle school for Sisters With Game, a team that reached the national Sweet 16 the past two seasons.
Williams, perhaps the most highly touted signing in the Semrau era, is a Parade and Street & Smith Magazine first team All-American. She has led Ribault Senior to three state championships and a 112-2 record, including 91 straight victories. In her junior season, Williams averaged 21.1 points, 5.7 rebounds, 8.7 assists and 5.9 steals, earning top honors in the state as Florida's Miss Basketball. The state of Florida Class 4A Player of the Year the past two seasons, Williams also garnered the 2002 Gatorade Player of the Year for the state of Florida and was named a School Sports Magazine third team All-American while also being named to the magazine's All-Southeast first team. The past three seasons, Williams has earned first team all-state, all-city and Gateway All-Conference honors and is also a three-time recipient of the Florida Times Union Player of the Year award. Rated as the #1 point guard in the country by All Star Girls Report as well as the #1-rated player in the state of Florida by Breakdown Magazine, Williams has scored 2,177 points, 558 rebounds, 649 steals, 897 assists and 53 blocks in her career.
Gladden, who averaged 17.5 points and 6.2 rebounds as a junior, was a 2002 All-America Nike Camp selection. Orange Park's women's basketball's most valuable player the past two seasons, Gladden garnered third team all-state honors and was an all-first coast selection in 2001 and 2002. Rated as high as #10 in a pre-summer rating by All Star Girls Report, Gladden, who has scored more than 1000 career points, has earned numerous all-tournament honors. A solid athlete, Gladden also earned 2002 all-conference honors in track and field. Very active at Orange Park High, Gladden, a 2002 National Honor Roll member who has a 3.67 grade point average, was a 2002 Congressional Student Leadership Conference invitee and was a Florida delegate nominee to the International Summit of Young Leaders.
Anthony, who will also play volleyball for Florida State, has earned Street & Smith Magazine honorable mention All-American honors the past two seasons and was named a USA Today honorable mention All-American in 2002. Listed among USA Today's South Carolina Top 25 the past two years, Anthony is a three-time all-state and two-time all-region selection. Named Pickens' women's basketball's 2001 and 2002 most valuable player, Anthony averaged 17.0 points and 12.0 rebounds while shooting 58 percent from the field. A versatile athlete, Anthony has led Pickens' volleyball team to four consecutive state titles while earning all-state and all-region honors four straight years. An honor roll student, Anthony has earned a 3.86 grade point average.
Pierce, who at 6-5 will be the tallest player on the team for the Seminoles next season, has been pegged an Adidas Top 10 All-American. A 2001 and 2002 Street & Smith Magazine honorable mention All-American, Pierce averaged 17.0 points, 14.0 rebounds and 8.0 blocks per game last season. A three-time first team all-state selection, Pierce has been rated as high as #9 in the nation by All Star Girls Report.