ULM Women’s Basketball Signing Day Wrap-Up

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MONROE, La. – The ULM women’s basketball team added five players to its 2021 signing class during the early period, head coach Brooks Williams announced on Wednesday, Nov. 11. The Warhawk signees include regional standouts Jada Anderson, Amaya Ford, Aasia Sam, Breanna Sutton and Victoria Woods.

“All five of these young ladies are special,” Williams said. “They have several similar qualities, two being winning and high character. Coach Jessica Barber (ULM assistant coach and recruiting coordinator) did an outstanding job building relationships with these five young ladies and their families. They all understand where our program is currently and where they are capable of taking it. They are winners. They are high level competitors. They are confident in who they are and what they can do. We expect them to impact immediately. We are taking yet another big step in gaining respect back for this storied program. This is an extremely exciting day for Warhawk women’s basketball!”

In her second season at the helm for the Warhawks, Williams adds yet another signing class filled with champions. Anderson, Woods, Sam, Sutton and Ford have all won high school state championships in Louisiana and Mississippi, respectively. Sutton was a back-to-back winner before losing to fellow signee Aasia Sam last season.

JADA ANDERSON | PG | BENTON, LA. | BENTON HS

Jada Anderson, a 5-foot-5 point guard from Benton, La., led Benton High School, under the direction of Mary Ward, to the 5A State Championship and was named Most Outstanding Player in the finals. As a junior, Anderson averaged 14 points, 3.7 steals and 3.0 assists per game.

“We are thrilled about Jada,” Williams said. “She is a special player. She lives the game of basketball and works relentlessly. She’s a true point guard, who can distribute and score in a variety of ways. Most importantly, she’s a winner and will impact us from day one, and we believe she already has.”

After falling to fellow signee Breanna Sutton in the 2019 4A State Championship game, Anderson made certain the result would go in her favor next go around. The LHSCA first-team all-state recipient dropped 33 of her teams 62 points to secure Benton’s first-ever state championship in 2020.

Anderson played summer basketball with the Louisiana Storm under Coach Dujuan McGee. She will rejoin her former high school teammate, Warhawk freshman guard and 2020 Louisiana High School Coaches Association Player of the Year Qua Chambers, in the backcourt next season.

“I’m excited to be a part of the ULM women’s basketball program,” Anderson said. “The coaches made me a priority and made ULM feel like home. I would like to thank my parents, siblings, Coach Ward and Coach McGee for helping me get to where I am today. I cannot wait to arrive on the Bayou. Go Warhawks!”

AMAYA FORD | G | STARKVILLE, MISS. | STARKVILLE HS

Amaya Ford, a 5-11 forward out of Starkville, Miss., was recently named to the Clarion Ledger 2020 Dandy Dozen after coming off a highly impressive junior season. The Starkville Daily News Player of the Year led her team with 20 points and six rebounds per game for Coach Kristie Williams during her junior campaign.

“Amaya is special,” Williams said. “She plays for two incredible programs during the year, high school and AAU, and is a fierce competitor in every way. We knew from the day we met Amaya that she was someone that could impact our program, on and off the floor, with her talent and character. Her versatility makes her dangerous on both ends of the court. She has the ability to pull up over folks to score and can really bother people defensively. We are thrilled Amaya Ford is a Warhawk!”

Ford, a member of the Mississippi Association of Coaches North-South All-Star team, is no stranger to Monroe as she becomes the second collegiate athlete from her household to sign with the Warhawks. She is following the footsteps of her older brother, former Warhawk football player and ULM graduate Derion Ford.

Starkville High School, the 2018 State Champions and five-time district champions, has been home to successful Division I talent for many years. Ford, a 2019 and 2020 all-state and all-region recipient, has contributed to much of that success. “I owe a lot to my high school coaches, Coach Williams, Coach Johnson, and Coach Gwenn,” Ford said.

Ford was a member of the MHSP Bobcats (now known as MBA Bobcats), a participant of the adidas Circuit.

“Coach Young and Coach Holbert with the Bobcats, I am thankful for,” Ford said. “They definitely helped prepare me for the next level by putting us up against the best players out there. I’m really excited to see what’s next. Go Warhawks!!”

AASIA SAM | G | LAKE CHARLES, LA. | LAGRANGE HS

Sam, a 5-10 guard, is a prolific scorer and sharp shooter, who ranks No. 5 in 2021 class, according to Louisiana Girls Report (LGR).

“Anybody who knows A, knows how special she is, athletically, academically and personally,” Williams said. “She is a high-level player and three-level scorer, who is a magnet to people. Players want to play with her because she possesses intangibles that you just can’t teach. She lives the game and makes everyone around her better. She shoots it as well as anybody I’ve seen in a long time. Although she is known for her shooting, she has a complete game on both ends of the floor. I can’t wait for Aasia Sam to be in Monroe.”

The LaGrange High School standout is a member of the 1,000-point club and averaged 15.7 points, 4.1 assists, 3.0 rebounds and 3.0 steals per game as a junior for Coach Lakeem Holmes. Sam led her team to its first-ever state championship last season.

The American Press All-Decade Team member is familiar with what it means to be a Division I athlete. Aasia’s brothers, the late Aaron Sam (who was coached by ULM head football coach Matt Viator while at McNeese State) and Andre’ Sam, both played football at McNeese State University.

“I am very excited to see Aasia continue to excel in the sport that she loves,” said Andrea Sam, mother to all three athletic standouts. “She has made us proud thus far and I know she will continue to do so. I am proud to be a Warhawk Mom.”

The Lake Charles native was named first-team All-Southwest Louisiana as well as the recipient of the 2020 LHSAA Horizon Award, recognizing a student-athlete who displays outstanding citizenship, leadership, academic excellence and involvement at school and in the community.

Sam was an original member of Lake City Pride program, coached by Terrence Cahee and Jalicia Bilbo. She will rejoin former LC Pride teammate and current Warhawk junior guard Maddie Gatte next season.

“I’m excited to be a part of the ULM program,” Sam said. “With the relationship I have with the coaching staff, I can’t wait to get on the court and get to work to make ULM a championship program. I owe a lot to my high school and AAU coaches for getting me to where I am today. I will be forever grateful for Coach Holmes, Coach Sean and the LaGrange assistants. Coach Bilbo and Coach Cahee, Coach Dorsey and Coach Dre. Now, it’s go time. Go Warhawks! Hawk Yeah!”

BREANNA SUTTON | PG | NEW ORLEANS, LA. | WARREN EASTON HS

Breanna Sutton, a 5-8 all-state point guard and scoring guard from New Orleans, La., averaged 18.5 points, 4.4 rebounds and 3.5 assists per game for Coach Darius Mimms at Warren Easton High School during her junior campaign.

“We are extremely excited about Bre joining our family,” Williams said. “Bre is a dynamic point guard with the ability to break down a defense and make things happen offensively. She can score in a variety of ways and has a smoothness and savvy that is fun to watch. She’s coming from a tradition rich program at Easton where all she’s done is won basketball games. She and her family live it. We are thrilled about being a part of Bre’s collegiate career and helping her continue to grow on and off the floor. Bre has the ability to be a difference maker and we know she will be for us.”

The three-time state championship contender has made her mark in the city of New Orleans and across the state, garnering the respect from coaches as the best point guard in her class. Sutton ranks as the No. 7 overall player in 2021, according to Louisiana Girls Ranking (LGR).

Sutton played in District 9-4A for Easton, which was the same district that current assistant coach and recruiting coordinator Jessica Barber coached in while she served as head girls coach her last two seasons at Karr High School.

“I never had the opportunity to coach against Bre,” Barber said. “At a young age, it was evident that Bre had a natural gift and feel for the game. She hated to lose. She competed at a high level. I’ve always felt like she was built differently. She is tough and has an ‘it’ factor about her.”

Sutton played AAU basketball for Elfred Peyton Elite out of New Orleans for Coach Mimms and Coach Katie Sterling-Boyd.

Sutton is the second in her immediate family to sign to play a sport collegiately. Her older brother Cyron Sutton is a senior football player at McNeese State University. Sutton has a better understanding than some Division I athletics due to witnessing Cyron’s experiences as well as her own being a consistent winner and champion throughout her high school and AAU years. “I can’t wait to get on the court and get to work to make ULM a champion,” Sutton said.

VICTORIA WOODS |F | ELTON, LA. | ELTON HS

Woods comes to Monroe as the No. 6 ranked player in the class of 2021, according to Louisiana Girl’s Ranking (LGR). The 6-1 forward, a double-double machine, holds a spot in the 1,000-point club as well as the ,1000-rebound club at Elton High School, ranking her a Top 25 rebounder in the nation according to Max Preps.

“Vici has a special feel for the game and she’s a special young lady,” Williams said. “She uses her strong, agile frame on both ends of the floor and has the ability to truly impact on the glass. We are thrilled Vici has chosen to be a part of our Warhawk family. Vici has a basketball savvy that will be incredibly fun to coach. We have no doubt her best days are ahead of her.”

As a junior, the all-state forward averaged 10.8 points, 11 rebounds and 3.0 blocked shots per game for Coach Roland LaComb.

Woods, who hails from Coach Brooks Williams’ hometown parish of Jeff Davis, has accumulated a host of athletic achievements during her first three high school seasons. The Elton High School standout is a three-time District 4-1A selection, Jeff Davis Parish All-Parish First-Team pick and Jeff Davis Parish Most Valuable Player.

Woods, who led Elton to its first state championship in over 44 years, earned Most Outstanding Player honors during her sophomore campaign. Woods faced current Warhawk freshman forward Sassy McDowell in the Class 1A Championship Game to take home the trophy.

She played during the summer locally for the Lady Raptors. Woods finished up her AAU days while competing and traveling with the Lake City Pride under Coach Terence Cahee as well as one final tournament with the Lady Hoopers.

“I’ve worked hard to achieve the things I have in life,” Woods said. “I am grateful for Coach LaComb and for my teammates, who have taken me as far as they have. I am excited to start my adventure at ULM. Go Warhawks!”

For all the latest information on the team, follow ULM_WBB on Twitter, Instagram and ULM Women’s Basketball on Facebook. General athletic news can be found at ulmwarhawks.com.

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