Photo of Khiarica Rasheed courtesy of Jonathan House
FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. – With a senior class of six, the Northern Arizona women's basketball team will be need of reinforcements next season, and on the eve of the 2016-17 season opener, they got just that on Thursday. Interim head coach Robyne Bostick is proud to announce the inking of four National Letter of Intent signees – Kaprice Boston (Everett, Wash.), Abbey Jensen (Yuma, Ariz.), Lauren Orndoff (Medford, Ore.) and Khiarica Rasheed (Portland, Ore.) – who will all be true freshmen.
"I really like the class that we signed," Bostick said. "They're players who fit into what we want to do. We want to push the ball a little more and four of these players can fit into that style."
"These four players represent hard work," added assistant coach and recruiting coordinator Karlie Burris. "They're players who love being in the gym and want to get better every day. They're going to have very successful careers in the Big Sky Conference and will develop throughout their four years at NAU."
Boston is a 5-10 guard who averaged 11.7 points and three assists per game last season at Lynnwood High School. Boston earned All-WESCO Second Team honors and helped her team finish third in Washington's 3A State Championships last season, one year after her team hoisted the state championship trophy. Also a two-time all-conference volleyball player at Lynnwood, Boston holds the record for the highest vertical at her high school.
NAU's lone in-state signee in this class is Jensen, who has starred at Kofa High School in Yuma. Jensen, a 6-1 forward, earned All-State Division III Honorable Mention honors during her junior season in which she averaged a double-double with 13.6 points and 12.3 rebounds per game. Jensen was also named to the Division III All-Division team and like Boston, she is an accomplished prep volleyball player having earned Arizona Division III Section I Player of the Year last year.
The Lumberjacks dipped into the state of Oregon for their final two additions starting with Orndoff from South Medford High School. Orndoff averaged 13.6 points per game last season, which garnered her first team all-conference accolades. The 5-10 guard also was selected to the Mail Tribune All-Star team as a junior and has been a member of a team who has not lost a conference game in six years. Orndoff also competed in the triple jump as a freshman on her high school's track team.
Rasheed has excelled at Oregon's Grant High School where she was the Portland Interscholastic League Player of the Year last season. Rasheed is a two-time All-League First Team player and has been a big part of her team's back-to-back league championships. A 5-11 wing, Rasheed averaged 13.9 points, 7.2 rebounds and 1.5 steals per game last season. She was also a four-year letterwinner on Grant's volleyball team in addition to also competing in track & field and softball.
Kaprice Boston – Everett, Wash./Lynnwood HS
Bostick: "Kaprice is a combo-guard and she's a defensive specialist. She's a tough player who does all the little things. She's a great on-ball defender, she rebounds and she goes after every loose ball. That's what gets us excited."
Burris: "Kaprice takes pride in her defense. You don't see that often as of late, so watching her play off of one of the best players in the state of Washington – Mikayla Pivec who is at Oregon State this year – was really nice. She knows what it's like to play a high level and along with her defensive piece, she'll be a tall guard in the Big Sky and that's a rarity."
Abbey Jensen – Yuma, Ariz./Kofa HS
Bostick: "Abbey is a player who runs the floor really well and she rebounds really well. Last year she was top 15 in the state in double-doubles, and she's the type of post player who can do the dirty work. I like her work ethic and she's always in the gym doing the things she needs to do to get ready for the next level."
Burris: "Abbey is constantly working whether it's on the court or in the weight room. She's going to surprise some people because she wasn't heavily recruited, but she's going to have a nice career because she can get up and down the floor."
Lauren Orndoff – Medford, Ore./South Medford HS
Bostick: "Lauren comes from a very successful high school program and she's a three-point shooter. We'll be able to utilize that next year, and she's versatile to play either the one or the two. She can handle the ball and get to the basket. As a taller guard, her length will allow her to guard some of the other guards in our conference."
Burris: "Lauren has done it all for her high school team. During her time at South Medford, she's played with quality teammates. She can play the one through the three, and she can definitely shoot. It'll be nice to have a tall ball-handler and someone who can feed the post and be a multi-threat."
Khiarica Rasheed – Portland, Ore./Grant HS
Bostick: "Khiarica is another combo player who can play the swing three or the four. She's athletic and can score from the high post area. She can also get to the basket with her athleticism."
Burris: "Khiarica was a late addition for us. She's someone who is going to develop and is hard-nosed. She's going to continue to grow and that work ethic is going to be really good for our team."