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SDSU Women's Basketball Signs Quartet to NLIs

SDSU head coach Beth Burns announced the signing of four high school stars to National Letters of Intent.
SDSU head coach Beth Burns announced the signing of four high school stars to National Letters of Intent.

Nov. 14, 2012

SAN DIEGO - San Diego State women's basketball head coach Beth Burns announced the signing of Ariell Bostick, Chloe Johnson, Alyssa Lawrence and Briteesha Solomon to National Letters of Intent. The four high school seniors will join the Aztecs for the 2013-14 campaign.

Bostick signs with SDSU out of Bishop O'Dowd High School in Oakland, Calif. Coached by Malik McCord, Bostick, a 5-4 point guard, led the Dragons (30-3) to the 2011-12 CIF Division III state championship, while finishing the season ranked third in the state and seventh in America.

"As a speedy, push, push, push lefty point guard, Ariell is a great fit for our preferred style of play, which is FAST," Burns said. "Ariell is a gifted ball-handler and is eager to follow in the long line of great Aztec point guards. She really has a passion to pass, and makes everyone around her better. Off the court, Ariell is very artistic, writes raps, and poetry, and is considering a major in music at SDSU. Her mom, Courtney Bostick, and her dad, Greg Bostick both live in the Bay area. Ariell played club ball for Kelly Sopak of the Cal Stars."

Bostick enters her final season at Bishop O'Dowd after averaging 10.0 points, 5.0 assists and 4.7 steals as a junior. She makes her signing official as a three-star recruit, according to ESPN HoopGurlz.

"Ariell has a ceiling that is tremendously high," Bishop O'Dowd High School head coach Malik McCord said. "SDSU will get the best out of her. She is a human highlight film. She has great body control, is a great defender and is a really good point guard. She took on the challenge of getting better and she has. Ariell is a great leader and has matured a lot on and off the court. She has come a long way. Ariell doesn't back down and has learned to run a team. San Diego State is getting a monster competitor."

"She is a pleasant kid, who is upbeat and positive, and keeps it light," Cal Stars head coach Kelly Sopak said. "She is an electric point guard and the quintessential playmaker. She makes plays and is a pass-first point guard. I never coached someone who is more coachable, who always wants to learn and improve. Defensively, she is a stopper, has quick feet and doesn't allow dribble penetration."

"I am very excited to have signed my NLI," Bostick said. "It felt like family when I went on my visit and I am very thankful for the offer and grateful for the opportunity. I love the coaching staff. I feel like when I arrive at San Diego State, it will feel like home. The coaches will definitely make me a better player, a better person and help me grow into a young lady. I can't wait to start 2013-14 and start off on the right foot."

Johnson signs with Aztecs out of the storied St. Mary's High School program in Phoenix and Arizona Warriors club team. The 5-7 guard has guided her team to back-to-back Arizona state titles and a national championship a year ago as her squad held a No. 1 ranking throughout the campaign. Over the last two seasons, Johnson helped St. Mary's post a 58-2 record, including a perfect 30-0 record in 2011-12.

"As a member of the consensus No. 1 high school team in the country, coached by Naismith Coach of the Year, Curtis Ekmark, Chloe's pedigree is all about competing and winning," Burns said. "Chloe has a strong personality, and a strong frame as her current bench press of 220 pounds speaks to! A 5-7 point/combo on the floor, Chloe is an aggressive player, a great leader, and usually will guard her opponents' toughest player. She will excel in our system and her tenacity will get her on the court early. Chloe's mom, Sonia Brown, and her large extended family look forward to many San Diego road trips to watch the Aztecs! Chloe plans to attend law school after college."

"I'm very excited for signing day," Johnson said. "Building relationships with the coaching staff and getting to know the players made the recruiting process fun. Visiting campus, I really enjoyed the family atmosphere, the California weather, which is nothing like my home town in Arizona, the run-and-gun style of play, and the all-around environment as a whole. At that moment, I was sure that SDSU was the right place for me.

"I chose San Diego State, not just because of those reasons, but because of its tradition and the amazing upside there is to look forward there. I don't care about rankings, conferences, or big school, little school, I just want to align myself with people of ability and character. After visiting SDSU, the players there are the people that I want to be around. I'm excited to become and Aztec and after today all I have to say is Fear the Spear."

"Chloe is a fantastic player and person," Ekmark said. "She is very strong and athletically gifted. She has worked on her game for four years and gotten better each year. Chloe is not only strong, but she does the little things. She is a great communicator, who has an unbelievable voice, and is one of our leaders. Chloe is very smart and will do well in the classroom and that allows her to pick things up quickly on the court as well."

A testament to Johnson's work ethic off the court is shown by her 4.0 cumulative grade-point average and her being named the 2012 Boys & Girls Clubs of Metropolitan Phoenix Youth of the Year, which is the Club's highest honor.

Lawrence hails from The Ursuline School in New Rochelle, N.Y., and will head west prior to the 2013-14 academic year. The 6-1 forward completed her junior campaign a year ago by averaging 12.1 points and helping her team to a co-league championship. At season's end, Lawrence earned all-conference and all-section honors. She inks with San Diego State as a three-star recruit and the No. 106 guard in the nation, according to ESPN HoopGurlz.

"Alyssa Lawrence is an East Coast girl with a West Coast soul," Burns said. "Alyssa is a versatile small forward who does all the little things. Alyssa understands the game, really rebounds both ends, has great length and strength, and will bring some of her East Coast attitude to the West Coast!

"Alyssa is interested in being a psychology major at SDSU next fall. Alyssa's parents are mom, Arlene, and dad, Larry Lawrence of Yorktown, N.Y. Larry played basketball at Dartmouth and had a long career in pro ball in France. Alyssa's Uncle, Walker Lawrence, is a 20-year Marine veteran who spent most of his career in San Diego and is now retired and living in Vista. Under Keith Gilchrist of the NJ Sparks Basketball Club, Alyssa has competed against the nation's best and won several tournaments this past summer."

"Alyssa is a tremendous athlete with next-level skills," Gilchrist said. "She has a high basketball IQ and is a hard worker who is very coachable. I believe she is going to take off at the next level because she is just scratching the surface with her ability."

"Alyssa is one of the more athletic girls in our league and in our section," The Urusline School head coach Beth Wooters said. "Alyssa has tremendous ability and will do great things in San Diego. The coaches will have a great opportunity to take her to the next level."

Solomon, a local product from Mission Bay High School, will play her college basketball close to home with her signing today. The 5-9 guard is coming off a season in which she averaged 24.4 points, 12.7 rebounds, 3.3 assists, 9.1 steals and 3.7 blocks en route to earning all-CIF San Diego Section first-team honors, MaxPreps honorable mention all-state accolades and Cal-Hi all-state junior first-team recognition. She led Mission Bay to the CIF San Diego Section Division III title and guided them to the semifinals of the state tournament.

"Briteesha Solomon, a 5-9 combo, was our first commitment, a San Diegan, and a `must-get' for the Aztec staff," Burns said. "A fantastic, versatile athlete, who can score in a variety of ways, `Teesha excelled both at Mission Bay, and with Terri Bamford and the Wiggins Waves. Briteesha has a passion for basketball, and it shows. Her vertical jump is as high and wide as her smile, and Briteesha, supported by her family (mother Lisa Solomon), will be a crowd favorite in Viejas Arena next season."

"'Teesha is a high-flying combo guard who knows how to score," Bamford said. "She is a tremendous athlete, who is quick and explosive, one of those players you can't take your eyes off of. "'Teesha is a leader and a pleasure to coach!"

A true sign of her all-around game is her performance vs. Pleasant Grove High School last year. Solomon went for 39 points, 13 rebounds and 12 steals, which factored into her being a three-star recruit by ESPN HoopGurlz.

"I chose to sign with San Diego State because I wanted to stay close to family and friends," Solomon said. "I love the SDSU coaching staff and the way they coach. I really liked the campus and how everyone is involved in activities. Coach Burns is a good person and doesn't treat her players just as student-athletes; she cares for them as people."

"We went into this recruiting period knowing our 2012-13 Aztec seniors were extremely talented beyond the obvious level of experience," Burns said. "So from day one, as a staff, we sought confident, hard-nosed, talented people who wanted to accept the challenge of competing for early minutes in a championship program.

"The first two pieces of the puzzle fell into place last Spring with the signing of current redshirts 6-4 Cierra Warren (Louisville) and 6-2 Deidra Smith (Boston College). That really allowed the staff to narrow our high school focus to all perimeter players. Cierra and Deidra are accomplished, mature basketball players who have been impactful since their arrival in San Diego this past summer. Next season, they will support current Aztec sophomore Ahjalee Harvey as she will be surrounded by young guards.

"With that said, we are thrilled with the four newest Aztec high school athletes that are joining our team, and are confident that the impact of all six new competitors will be far reaching next season. We strive to bring the brightest and the best to SDSU, and I believe our University and our fans will appreciate the potential of this class to win championships and be productive students and citizens. I truly appreciate the recruiting efforts of my all-star staff, and they would echo my thanks to the many SDSU professors, deans, and support staff, which helped us showcase our great University. Teamwork wins."