Five RU Signees Named to Prestigious Squad

Five future Rutgers women's basketball players were named to the prestigious McDonald's High School All-American team, it was announced Tuesday afternoon. Rutgers, along with Tennessee, will have the greatest representation at the premier prep game in the land. Five members of the current Scarlet Knights were previously named McDonald's All-Americans.

The tradition at Rutgers continues. It was Matee Ajavon and Essence Carson in 2004. Kia Vaughn followed in 2005. Epiphanny Prince and Khadijah Rushdan continued the trend in 2006 and 2007, respectively. And if that wasn't enough, Coach C. Vivian Stringer and her staff took it up several notches as five future Scarlet Knights were named to the prestigious squad Tuesday evening.

"I've never had five McDonald's All-Americans (at one time). Wow," stated the Hall of Fame Coach, who no wlies only 2 victories shy of the magical 800 for her career.

Brooklyn Pope, by way of Dunbar HS (Fort Worth, Texas), is ranked as the #1 prospect in the land at her position (Forward) according to the 2008 Girls HS Basketball Rankings. April Sykes (Crawford, Miss.), a 30-point per game scorer, comes in just as heralded, having selected Rutgers over numerous offers including SEC heavy weights LSU and Tennessee. Jasmine Dixon, by way of Polytechnic HS (Long Beach, CA), can do a lot of everything and is equally adept on the perimeter as she is handling the ball. Nikki Speed, another 5-star recruit according to, was named Adidas Top Ten All-Star MVP. Chelsey Lee by way of Monsignor Pace (Miami, Fl) is known as an athletic, inside presence that was one of the top overall prospects in the sunshine state.

According to, all 5 players are ranked in the top 10 at their position and in the top 50 overall, in the country.

The Skinny

Brooklyn Pope: [see image to the lower right]

Very fast and athletic. Lacks some footwork and fundamentals but makes up for it with her athleticism. Very emotional player who can ride a high and beat a team on her own or coast and look ordinary. Special player in the open court who needs to develop a left hand for the next level. Can hit the three, especially against better opponents when she's dialed in and focused. Good Shot blocker with major hops. Loves the spotlight, very vocal.


April Sykes: [see image to the lower-right]
Big time scorer who has really improved her passing skills from constant double and triple teams. Strong kid with a quick release and range to the three point line. Effortless stroke from deep. Uses size advantage on penetration. Big upside.

Jasmine Dixon:
Often incredible combination of size, speed and athleticism. At 6-1, can fly with the best of them and has the speed and quickness of point guards. During the summer of '06, she showed an improving perimeter game, which marries perfectly to her ability to attack the rim and finish with authority. Also cranked up her intensity and turned herself into a factor at the defensive end.

Nicky Speed:
Sophomore Season: Averaged 9.5 ppg, 2.3 assists, 2.7 rebounds, 2.1 steals from Marlborough.

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