SLU Women's Hoops Squad Signs Three

ST. LOUIS — Saint Louis head women's basketball coach Shimmy Gray-Miller announced today that three high school players have signed a National Letter of Intent to play for the Billikens next year.

The 2009 SLU class is comprised of 5-6 point guard Jacy Bradley (Florence, Ky./Boone County), 6-2 forward Mallory Eggert (Chicago Heights, Ill./Marian Catholic) and 5-7 guard Ashley Hanlen (St. Louis/St. Joseph's).

"We had specific needs for our 2009 class, and one of those needs was to bring in tough kids from winning high school and AAU programs," Gray-Miller said. "Toughness and passion were the two primary qualities we desired with this class. All three of these future Billikens are competitors and gym rats who hate to take days off or time away from the game. You win championships with players like that.

"These student-athletes know exactly what we are about and how committed a player has to be to enjoy success at this level," Gray-Miller said. "Our 2009 class understands the demands of being a student-athlete, and all are proven winners on the court and in the classroom. They will be excellent complements to our current players.

"Recruiting is a total team effort," Gray-Miller said. "My current players and assistant coaches are excellent, thorough recruiters who worked hard to attract these quality student-athletes."

Bradley averaged 15.0 points, 6.5 assists, 4.0 rebounds and 3.0 steals as Boone County's team captain last season while shooting 49 percent from 3-point range and 78 percent from the free-throw line.

She was named to the Kentucky Junior All-Star team and was tabbed Northern Kentucky Junior All-Star Most Valuable Player and 9th Region MVP. Bradley, who has averaged more than 6.0 assists for her career, was a first-team All-Conference selection for a third consecutive season and also a first-team choice by the Kentucky Post and Kentucky Enquirer a year ago.

"Jacy is a coach's point guard," Gray-Miller said. "She is a strong leader on the court and will do whatever is required to win. She doesn't just show up for games, she is committed to winning year round – in practices, open gyms, the weight room and especially in the off-season.

"Jacy is vocal and expressive, and she plays with a swagger that I love and relish in a point guard," Gray-Miller said. "Saint Louis fans will fall in love with her intensity and moxie. What she lacks in size she makes up for with heart. I cannot wait to see Jacy in that No. 1 Billiken uniform next season."

"The entire Boone County High School community celebrates with Jacy Bradley and her family in her decision to continue her education and basketball career at Saint Louis University," Boone County head coach Nell Fookes said. "It is a great fit for Jacy because she will have an opportunity to receive an outstanding education while pursuing her dream of playing Division I basketball. We are extremely proud of Jacy and the way she continues to represent Boone County High School. Saint Louis University is getting an outstanding basketball player and a quality person."

"Jacy Bradley will be an excellent addition to the Saint Louis basketball family," said Cincinnati Heat coach Andy Fishman, Bradley's AAU mentor. "In all my years coaching high school and AAU girls' basketball, I have yet to coach a young lady who is more committed to improving her game or more dedicated to her teammates. Jacy makes all who are associated with her team better, and she has an innate ability to lift her team. She does not take days off and is the ultimate gym rat."

Eggert contributed 13.0 points and 9.0 rebounds per game and shot 60 percent from the field last season, helping Marian Catholic post a 23-6 record and capture the regional championship. The Spartans were 29-4 and finished third at the Illinois Class AA state tournament in her sophomore season. In AAU play, Eggert's Illinois Wolverines team finished fifth in the nation two years ago.

"Mallory is one of the toughest players I have had the pleasure to recruit," Gray-Miller said. "She is a fierce competitor who relishes physical contact and muscling opponents on the blocks. My nickname for her is Rocky, and she might be tougher than the movie character. She doesn't just do all the necessary dirty work no one else likes to do, she enjoys it. She plays the game with obvious passion.

"Mallory is excited about being a Billiken, and she put a lot of thought into her decision, which I love," Gray-Miller said. "She and her family came to campus at least three times during the recruiting process, and I know she wants to be at Saint Louis University. She is an intelligent student-athlete and a hard worker. Mal comes from one of the top high school programs and academic schools in Illinois, and she will be well prepared when she arrives next fall."

"We are excited that Mallory has chosen Saint Louis University as the place to continue her outstanding career," Marian Catholic head coach Annie Basic said. "She works hard on and off the court and represents the Marian Catholic program tremendously. We are glad she is receiving an opportunity to extend her career at such a great university that will prepare her athletically and academically. The best part is that she is surrounded by great people on SLU's staff, and we could not be more excited."

Hanlen averaged 8.3 points as a junior while shooting 42 percent from beyond the arc and 82 percent from the free-throw line. She helped lead St. Joseph's to a third consecutive district title and third place at the Missouri Class 5 state tournament last season. Hanlen, whose brother Drew is a freshman on the Belmont (Tenn.) University basketball team, has 109 3-pointers in her high school career.

"Ashley was the first of our 2009 class to commit, and she is the earliest commitment I have ever had as a coach," Gray-Miller said. "Saint Louis University has everything she was looking for in the comfort of her backyard. She is committed to helping her hometown team achieve great success.

"I have followed Ashley's progress since my arrival here," Gray-Miller said. "I knew I would love to coach her one day, and that day will arrive next year. She is a tremendous outside shooter, and she has a high basketball IQ that will allow her to play some point guard as well as off guard for us. Ashley can fill it up from the outside, and that ability will give her an opportunity to earn minutes right away.

"It is exciting to finally land a local player from one of the top high school programs in the state," Gray-Miller said. "To have two Division 1 basketball players from the same family says a lot about the Hanlens and their commitment and dedication to hard work."

"I could not be happier for Ashley and Saint Louis University," St. Joseph's head coach and former Billiken Julie (Goessling) Matheny said. "She is an outstanding, gifted student-athlete who will be attending a remarkable Jesuit university. I am proud that another St. Joe Angel will have an opportunity to wear the Billiken uniform. It will be fun to watch Ashley progress, and we wish her and the team continued success."

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