Lady Dawgs Sign All-Star Recruiting Class

STARKVILLE, Miss. - Mississippi State head women's basketball coach Sharon Fanning announced Wednesday that five players have signed national letters-of-intent to play with the Lady Bulldogs in 2006-07. Three signees are from Louisiana: Tysheka Grimes from Baton Rouge, Alexis Rack from Franklin and Bethany Washington from Houma; while Channa Campbell is from Lester, Ala. and Katherine Young hails from Redford, Mich.

TYSHEKA GRIMES, 6-0, Forward, Capitol HS/Baton Rouge, La.
Tysheka Grimes, a native of Baton Rouge, La., attends Capitol High School where she led the Lady Lions to a 4A state championship last season with a 29-9 record. The 6-0 forward averaged 18.0 points per game and 12.0 rebounds per game her junior year. She is a three-time all-District player and twice named MVP of the District. She was named Second Team all-State her sophomore year and First Team all-State her junior year. She was named all-Metro the last two years as well as the MVP of the state championship last season. The three-time Honor Roll student was also an all-District volleyball player for the Lady Lions. She is a member of the Beta Club and National Honor Society.

"Tysheka has a quick first step and is a very competitive player," said head coach Sharon Fanning. "She runs the floor well and is a very versatile athlete. Ty is a good student and is a winner. She was MVP of the state championship team her junior year and led Capitol (High School) to its first state championship since Seimone Augustus departed for LSU. Ty will play both the guard-forward positions and we anticipate an immediate impact for our basketball team."

ALEXIS RACK, 5-7, Guard, Franklin HS/Franklin, La.
Alexis Rack, the 5-7 point guard from Franklin, La., led Franklin High School to back-to-back 3A state championships the 2003-04 and 2004-05 seasons while averaging double digit points all four years of her high school career. She averaged 26.0 ppg and 7.0 rpg her junior season with the Lady Hornets, leading them to a 33-2 record. Last season she was named Louisiana Miss Basketball runner-up and to the Orlando Sentinel 2005 all-Southern Girls Basketball Team, one of only five players selected from Louisiana.

She is a three-time all-District first-team MVP, three-time all-Parish first-team MVP and named all-State first-team MVP her junior and sophomore years and all-State honorable mention her freshman year. Rack was named to the Daily Iberian Best of the Tech first team three straight years, including MVP honors her last two seasons. She was also named the Daily Advertiser/Coca-Cola all-Acadiana first team MVP the last two years. She was named to the LHSAA Sweet 16 All-Tournament team her junior and sophomore years.

An AAU participant, Rack was a member of the Pride of New Orleans 14-year old state championship team, Domino¹s of New Orleans 15-year old state championship team and Baton Rouge Amazons 16-year old state championship team.

In addition to her basketball honors, Rack accumulated volleyball, softball and track accolades her freshman year. She was named a Volleyball all-District honorable mention player, Gatorade Volleyball Freshman of the Year, Softball all-District second team and Girls' Track 3A state runner-up 400-meter relay.

Rack was named the 2005 Homecoming Queen of Franklin High School and is a 2005-06 Delta Sigma Theta debutante. She is the president of the Student Council, senior class and Future Business Leaders of America. She is a member of the National Honor Society and was a recipient of the United States National Science Merit Award her sophomore year.

"Alexis is a true point guard who is a tremendous leader on and off the court," said Fanning. "She sees the floor well, can shoot the three and take you off the dribble. Alexis has a great basketball mind and studies the game. She will make everybody around her better. She has been MVP of the state tournament the last four years while leading her team to state championships. Alexis is a very good athlete, an excellent student and an even better person."

BETHANY WASHINGTON, 5-11, Forward, Vanderbilt Catholic HS/Houma, La.
Bethany Washington, the third signee from Louisiana, is from Houma where she attends Vanderbilt Catholic High School. The 5-11 forward led the Lady Terriers to a 26-8 record last season, advancing to the regionals, on the way to averaging 16.1 ppg and 10.6 rpg. She was named First Team all-District last season as well as District MVP Defense. She was twice named First Team all-Region and all-State for her sophomore and junior years. She is on track to be an honor graduate, earning a 3.5 cumulative GPA and place on the President's Honor Roll. She is involved with Campus Ministry and the Key Club.

"Bethany is a very versatile player with inside/outside skills," said Fanning. "She is a leader both on and off the court and a real team player. Her work ethic and understanding of the game will make her adjustment to college ball a lot easier. Bethany has been taught good fundamentals through her high school program and AAU program. She can play a guard or forward position and is a good shooter, defender and rebounder. We are excited about her athletic ability but more excited about her representing Mississippi State."

CHANNA CAMPBELL, 6-2, Forward, West Limestone HS/Lester, Ala.
The fourth signee, Channa Campbell is a native of Lester, Ala., and attends West Limestone High School. She is in her fifth season with the Wildcats, having played varsity basketball since her eighth grade year. She led the Wildcats to a 17-11 record her junior year campaign, averaging 25.2 ppg and 13.9 rpg. She was named to the Limestone County all-Tournament team, Class 3A Area 15 all-Area and Class 3A all-State. She is a four-time member of the Limestone County all-Tournament team, a three-time Class 3A all-Area player and named Class 4A all-Area her eighth grade year. She was named Class 3A all-State three times, second-team honors her sophomore season and honorable mention her freshman year and three times named to the Northwest Region all-Tournament team. She was twice named to the Decatur Daily all-Area team.

She averaged 23.2 ppg and 9.5 rpg her sophomore campaign. In 2004 she was also named the Birmingham News Player of the Week, Limestone County MVP and Decatur Daily Girls all-Area first team. Her freshman season she was named to the Athens News Courier all-Region team, and Athens News Courier all-Limestone County first team and Limestone County Coaches all-County team her eighth grade year.

In addition to her basketball honors, Campbell is a two-time Class 3A Area 15 all-Area volleyball player and Class 3A all-State volleyball player. She is a member of the Senior Beta Club, Spanish Club and a DAR Good Citizen.

"Channa is a true post player who knows how to pin you on the rim and score," said Fanning. "She can also face up outside and has great passing skills. Channa is a very hard worker, listens well and learns quickly. She is strong and physical which is a presence we need on the inside. Channa is a very good student with tremendous work ethic and will be a great representative on the court, in the classroom and in the community."

KATHERINE YOUNG, 6-3, Center, Cass Tech HS/Redford, Mich.
Redford, Mich. native Katherine Young led Cass Tech High School to fifth place in the city in district tournament 15 last season. The 6-3 center is averaging 12.0 ppg, 6.0 rpg and 3.0 bpg her senior season. She was named Honorable Mention all-City her junior year, leading Cass Tech to a 15-5 record. She has been awarded the Academic Athletes Award the past three years for maintaining a 3.0 GPA. She is a member of the National Honor Society and is involved with the Co-op organization and Business Professionals of America at her high school and the drama ministry at her local church.

"Katherine is a big strong post who doesn't mind contact," said Fanning. "Her size and strength will help us in the paint. Katherine keeps the ball up and works hard rim to rim. She is scrappy and will dive for the loose ball. Katherine¹s best years are ahead of her and we look forward to her making a difference in our post play."

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