Lady Hoopsters Pick Up JuCo All-American

Coach Sharon Fanning and her staff have been out on the recruiting trail looking to add some size in the 2008 signing class. The Lady Bulldogs picked up a "Big" commitment when Southeastern Illinois College's Chanel Mokango made her pledge to be a Lady Bulldog.

Mokango, a native of Kinshasa, Congo, led the Southeastern Illinois College Lady Falcons to a fourth place finish in the NJCAA Women's post season tournament last season.

Chanel is being recruited by newly hired assistant coach Greg Franklin, the former head coach at Southeastern Illinois College.

"She decided on Mississippi State last Friday," said Falcon's head coach Franqua Bedell. "Mississippi State had the edge because they had Coach G (Greg Franklin) who was here. She was bring recruited by LSU, Rutgers and several other schools. You could just go down the line. Every school in the country was interested in her."

Mokango took her official visit to Starkville earlier this month.

"She took her visit back when Mississippi State played LSU in football," said Coach Bedell. "They really liked it there a lot. There were some other player who were there on a visit and they all had a really good time together. They thought Mississippi State was going in the right direction, so that made a big difference. For her she sees no difference in an LSU and Mississippi State or any other school. To her it's just about the people and that is what made the difference."

The "They" Coach Bedell is referring to is comprised of Chanel and her good friend and teammate Rima Kolanda. The two have been together since they were young girls growing up in the Congo. It appears there is a good chance the two will continue to play together at the college level.

"I expect they will both commit to Mississippi State," said Coach Bedell. "They are gone right now to go and compete in the African Cup, but I know they are all really excited about Mississippi State."

The 6-4 and a half inch, 155 pound Mokango averaged just over 14 points per contest in her freshman campaign for Coach Franqua Bedell's squad. Her efforts earned her 2nd team All-American honors by the NJCAA and honorable mention All-American honors by Kodak.

"She plays everything from the two through the five for me," said Coach Bedell. "She is very athletic and long. She is a shot blocker and a scorer. She can shoot the three. She kind of reminds you of a Kevin Garnett type. She gets better putting the ball on the floor everyday. She just creates havoc. Her size is a little misleading. She is a lot stronger than people realize, because she is a thin young lady. She is capable of doing a lot of things that can change the game on both ends of the floor."

In addition to her All-American selections, Chanel was tabbed All-Region and named to the All-tournament teams from Region 24 as well as the NJCAA national tournament.

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