Lady Broncos Sign Power Forward

KALAMAZOO — Preparing for the graduation of Kristin Koetsier and Lori Crisman next spring, the Western Michigan University women's basketball coaching staff has landed a post player with great potential.

Head Coach Ron Stewart today announced the signing of Marlena Jackson (Saginaw, MI/Flint Central) to a National Letter of Intent, effective for the 2003-04 season.

A 6-foot power forward who can spot up at center, Jackson nearly averaged a double-double at Flint Central High School last season, posting 12.2 points and 9.0 rebounds per game. She also shot 60 percent from the floor and averaged nearly three blocks a game for the Indians. An honor roll student, Jackson was named to the Flint Journal All-City Team and received All-Saginaw Valley Conference Second Team accolades this past season. A three-sport athlete, Jackson also spent time on the volleyball and softball squads at Flint Central.

"We became aware of Marlena through our assistant coach Autumn Rademacher," said Stewart. "Marlena has very good size, and in the MAC a player of her stature generally can have some success. We felt she could fill some needs for us inside."

"We have a veteran team coming back next year and Marlena gives us an early start on the future. She will benefit from playing alongside Kristin (Koetsier), Lori (Crisman) and Kelly (Koerber), giving us depth at the same time. We're really excited about having her join us and making a solid contribution to the program."

Jackson becomes the fifth member of WMU's 2002-03 recruiting class. The Broncos received commitments from four student-athletes during the early signing in November: Carrie Moore (Southfield, MI/Country Day), Ashley Owens (Forest Park, IL/Trinity), Brittany Tyson (Ann Arbor, MI/Huron) and Nicole Watkins (Cheshire, Ohio/River Valley).

Western Michigan (20-12) captured the Mid-American Conference Tournament title this past season before bowing to Stanford in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. The Broncos return four starters and 11 squad members for next year.

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