SLU caps 2018-19 women’s basketball signing class with trio of additions

  • icon
  • icon
  • icon
  • icon

HAMMOND, La. – Southeastern Louisiana head women’s basketball coach Ayla Guzzardo completed her 2018-19 signing class with the addition of three student-athletes who will continue their academic and athletic endeavors as members of the SLU program, it was announced on Thursday.

The newest Lady Lions include guard Celica Sterling (Baton Rouge, Louisiana/Baton Rouge CC/Scotlandville HS), center Aminat Jubril (Lagos, Nigeria/Pensacola State College/New Era Girls Secondary School) and forward Dez’Manique Gaines (Baton Rouge, Louisiana/Madison Prep Academy). Sterling and Jabril will have two years of eligibility remaining, while Gaines will be a true freshman in the coming season.

The trio joins the three November signees – guard Kania Lasker-Rouse (Little Rock, Arkansas/Parkview Magnet HS), guard Jada Marone (Cleveland, Ohio/Berea-Midpark HS) and post Sydney Rivers (Loranger, Louisiana/Loranger HS) to give SLU six newcomers for 2018-19.

Guzzardo believes she and her staff answered several need areas with the latest group of signees.

“We added experience with the signing of Celica and Aminat, who both have two years of junior college experience,” Guzzardo commented. “We lost 18 points per game with the graduation of Taylin Underwood and Celica is certainly someone we expect to help replace that scoring punch. Aminat and Dez’Manique are going to be huge additions down low that helps our post group’s overall athleticism and length.”

The Lady Lions will open the 2018-19 season on Nov. 7, traveling to Alabama for the season opener in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.

2018-19 Southeastern Louisiana Women’s Basketball Signing Class
Dez’Manique Gaines, 6-0, F, Baton Rouge, La., Madison Prep Academy
Aminat Jubril, 6-2, C, Lagos, Nigeria, Pensacola State College
Kania Lasker-Rouse, 5-6, G, Little Rock, Ark., Parkview Magnet HS*
Jada Marone, 5-4, G, Cleveland, Ohio, Berea-Midpark HS*
Sydney Rivers, 6-1, F/C, Loranger, La., Loranger HS*
Celica Sterling, 5-8, G, Baton Rouge, La., Baton Rouge CC/Scotlandville HS
* – Signed during November early signing period

2018-19 Southeastern Louisiana Women’s Basketball Signee Profiles
Dez’Manique Gaines, 6-0, F, Baton Rouge, La., Madison Prep Academy
All-State performer at Madison Prep Academy … Finished with 11 points, eight rebounds and six steals in helping MPA to a win in the Class 2A state championship game as a junior … Team earned state runner-up honors in her senior season.
Southeastern head coach Ayla Guzzardo on Gaines: “Dez’Manique will help us immediately in the post. She’s a great scorer and runs the floor extremely well. She’s capable of averaging a double-double for us during her career. Dez’Manique is a winner and comes from a state championship program. She’s shown toughness and resiliency during her high school career and we’re fortunate to have her for the next four years.”

Aminat Jubril, 6-2, C, Lagos, Nigeria, Pensacola State College/New Era Girls Secondary School
Spent two seasons at Pensacola State College … Averaged 7.3 rebounds and a block per game as a sophomore … Prepped at New Era Girls Secondary School.
Guzzardo on Jubril: “Aminat can help us on both ends of the floor with her length. She has the ability to change shots on the defensive end and she’s very active on the offensive glass. Aminat is very well-rounded, as she excels academically as well as on the court. We’re excited to work with her for the next two years.”

Celica Sterling, 5-8, G, Baton Rouge, La., Baton Rouge CC/Scotlandville HS
Averaged 18.1 points and 5.9 rebounds per contest as a sophomore at Baton Rouge Community College … District MVP as a senior at Scotlandville High School … Averaged 15 points and five rebounds per contest in final high school campaign.
Guzzardo on Sterling: “We liked Celica coming out of Scotlandville and she only enhanced her game with two years of junior college experience. Celica can flat our score and we’re excited to see what she can do at the Division I level.”

Kania Lasker-Rouse, 5-5, G, Little Rock, Ark., Parkview Magnet HS
Helped Parkview Magnet High School to a state championship game appearance as a junior … Earned All-State honors as a sophomore … Plays for the Mavs Joe Johnson Elite AAU program.
Guzzardo on Lasker-Rouse: “Kania is a pure scorer who can get to the rim with ease. She’s a consistent three-point shooter and we were impressed with her work ethic. Kania comes from a great family and has a great support system, so we think the sky’s the limit for her on and off the court.”

Jada Marone, 5-4, G, Cleveland, Ohio, Berea-Midpark HS
All-time leading scorer at Berea-Midpark High School heading into her senior season … Averaged 19.0 points per game as a junior on the way to earning first team All-SWA, first team All-District and third team All-State honors … Named MVP of Brunswick Holiday Hoops Tournament … Also plays for the SMAC Family AAU program.
Guzzardo on Marone: “Jada comes to us from a great high school program and is a 5-4 point guard who plays like she’s 6-0. She’s going to be a playmaker for us with her scoring and passing ability. Like Kania, she’s a consistent outside shooter. Jada’s extremely athletic and plays with a lot of energy on the defensive end. She’s going to be a great addition to our program and we’re excited to have her as a Lady Lion for the next four years.”

Sydney Rivers, 6-1, F/C, Loranger, La., Loranger HS
Honorable mention Class 4A All-State performer in 2016-17 at Loranger High School … Also was named first team All-District 6-4A as a junior for the Lady Wolves … Plays for the Kenner Angels AAU team.
Guzzardo on Rivers: “Sydney comes from a great local high school program at Loranger. She’s a hard worker who is very dedicated to her game. Sydney comes from a great family and is very invested into our program already. We’re fortunate to have her join our program for the next four years.”

  • < PREV Follow Live: CCS Coverage of 2018 NFL Draft
  • NEXT > Two teams fire 60s to take first round lead at Zurich Classic of New Orleans