Jephany Brown, J’Kyra Brown and Akia Jones will wear Purple and Gold next season
GREENVILLE, N.C. Nov. 14, 2012 – Jephany Brown, J’Kyra Brown and Akia Jones have signed National Letters of Intent to play basketball for East Carolina University beginning in the fall of 2013, according to an announcement by head coach Heather Macy on Wednesday.
“I am very pleased with our early signing class of Jephany Brown, J’Kyra Brown, and Akia Jones,” Macy stated. “With two ESPN Top 100 picks and a JUCO All-American, I think they will bring a lot of talent to our team in the coming season.”
Jephany Brown will come to ECU after playing at both La Lumiere School in La Porte, Ind., and Howard D. Woodson High School in Washington, D.C. At La Lumiere, Brown has played in just two games and already leads the squad with a 30-point performance to start the season and a 27-point showing in her second contest. At Woodson, she was regarded as the 14th best forward and garnered an overall ranking of 89th in the country by ESPN HoopGurlz. The aggressive 6-foot-0 power forward averaged a double-double in her senior year for the Warriors as she led the squad in scoring with 17.6 points per game and 12.1 rebounds per game. The Third-Team All-Met selection was an integral part in leading the Warriors to their seventh consecutive D.C. Interscholastic Athletic Association title as well as a third City Title Game victory in five years.
“The adage `Good things come to those who wait’ proves true when it comes to placing Jephany on our roster next season,” Macy said. “Our continual recruiting of players from Woodson is paying off big. They are a powerhouse high school basketball program that consistently turns out some of the nation’s top talent.”
Joining Jephany Brown on the court for the 2013-14 season will be J’Kyra Brown, a 5-foot-10 guard out of Rocky Mount High School. Brown, a four-star recruit by ESPN HoopGurlz, was ranked the 32nd best guard in the country by the same source as she averaged nearly 15 points per game for the Gryphons as a sophomore. In her junior campaign, J’Krya Brown poured in 676 points to average 23.3 points per game. In addition, she averaged 6.1 rebounds per game, 3.3 steals per game, 3.2 assists per game and 1.2 blocks per game to lead her squad to a 26-3 record and a 10-0 league mark. At Rocky Mount High School, Brown plays under head coach Pam Gainey who is sure she will have a successful collegiate career at ECU.
“J’Kyra Brown is a special kid,” Gainey said. “She is extremely talented and one of the most dedicated athletes I have had the privilege of coaching. She works tirelessly to improve her game and is never bored with learning the smallest details. She is well liked and well respected by her peers and is a great teammate. It is truly an honor and a pleasure to have her call me coach.”
Macy is looking forward to Brown’s presence on the court at Minges Coliseum as she stated, “It’s always great when you can keep one of the best players in North Carolina at home. J’Kyra has had a tremendous high school career already, and we look for her to not miss a beat when she dons a Pirate uniform.”
Rounding out the early signing class is Akia Jones, a 5-foot-8 point guard who is currently redshirting at Walters State Community College in Morristown, Tenn. Jones played in 29 games as a sophomore at Walters State and finished the year with 287 points (9.9 points per game), 114 rebounds (3.9 rebounds per game), 86 assists (3.0 assists per game) and 32 steals (1.1 steals per game) en route to being named a Junior College All-America Honorable Mention selection. The Nashville, Tenn., native shot 35-percent from the floor and 38-percent from beyond the arc in her sophomore campaign.
Dave Kragel, Jones’ head coach at Walters State, is confident she will bring a wealth of experience and talent to East Carolina.
“She is something special,” Kragel said. “She’s a great kid and a great player. Kia has been an impact player for us and will do the same at ECU.”
Macy echoed Kragel’s sentiments as she stated, “We’ve seen Kia win championships, overcome adversity, and lead her team. She is the definition of a point guard and will bring even more strength to that spot for us.”
“I chose ECU because of the relationships I had with the coaching staff and how close everyone on the team is. It really felt like a family, and that is a major reason why I chose East Carolina.”
“I chose East Carolina because it is a perfect fit and the coaching staff is great. ECU has really made my family feel like we are all a part of Pirate Nation.”
“Coach Macy believed in me after my ACL injury and ECU continued to show interest in me athletically as well as academically. That played a major role in making ECU my choice.”
“I’m so excited to become a part of a new family at ECU. I’m ready to start a new chapter in my life in a new city with a great coaching staff.”
Forward :: 6-0
Washington, D.C. :: Howard D. Woodson HS
La Lumiere School: Led the Lakers in scoring in their first game of the season with a game-high 30 points in La Lumiere’s 56-51 loss to Riley High School in South Bend, Ind…Tallied a game-high 27 points in the Lakers’ 59-28 victory over Andrew’s Academy…Averaging 28.5 points per game in just two contests for La Lumiere.
Howard D. Woodson HS: Four-year varsity letterwinner…Four time BCIAA Champion…Rated 14th best forward in the country according to ESPN HoopGurlz…Third-Team All-Met Selection as a senior…Averaged 17.6 points per game and 12.1 rebounds per game in her senior season…Averaged 15.2 points per game as a junior…Helped the Warriors to the D.C. City Title as a freshman and a senior…Guided Woodson to its seventh consecutive D.C. Interscholastic Athletic Association Title…Team captain.
Guard :: 5-11
Rocky Mount, N.C. :: Rocky Mount HS
Rocky Mount HS: Three-year varsity letterwinner…Finished her junior year as the leader in scoring (23.3 points per game), three-point field goals, free throws, and assists (3.2 assists per game)…Totaled a team-high 676 points…Averaged 1.2 blocks per game, 3.3 steals per game, and 6.1 rebounds per game…Led her team to a 26-3 overall record as a junior…Two-time All-Tournament Team at the Triangle Tip off…Named to the Nash Country Christmas All-Tournament Team…Named MVP of the HSOT Holiday Invitational…Garnered Big East Conference MVP honors as well as NCHSAA Sectional MVP accolades…Selected to the All-Regional Team at NCHSAA Regionals…Two-time All-State honoree…All-District Selection…Named Big East Conference Player of the Year as both a sophomore and a junior…Two-time Rocky Mount Telegram All-Area Player of the Year garnering the award in 2011 and 2012…Averaged 14.8 points per game as a sophomore, while averaging 5.3 rebounds per game, 3.1 assists per game, 2.4 steals per game and 1.0 blocks per game…Totaled 430 points as a sophomore…Led her team in three-point shooting, assists, and free throws as a sophomore…Guided her team to a 25-4 record in her sophomore campaign…Named the Nash County Tournament MVP in her sophomore season…Helped lead Rocky Mount HS to the 2011 Triangle Tip Off Championship as well as the 2011 Nash County Christmas Tournament Championship…Led squad to the HSOT Holiday Invitational Championship in 2012…Guided the Gryphons to the 2012 NCHSAA Sectional Championship as well as the 2012 Big East Conference Championship…Team captain.
Point Guard :: 5-7
Nashville, Tenn. :: Glencliff HS (Walters State Community College)
Walters State CC: Played in 29 games and totaled 287 points to average 9.9 points per game…Tallied 114 rebounds to average 3.9 rebounds per game, while averaging 3.0 assists per game and 1.1 steals per game…Junior College All-American Honorable Mention selection during her sophomore season…First Team All-Conference…Shot 35-percent from the floor, 38-percent from beyond the arc, and 51-percent from the charity stripe.
Glencliff HS: Four-year varsity letterwinner…Finished her senior year totaling 564 points to average 20.1 points per game, 5.4 assists per game, 5.2 rebounds per game, and 2.3 steals per game…Named All-Region MVP…Garnered All-Tournament Team accolades…Helped lead the Colts to a 20-8 record in her senior year…Finished her junior campaign averaging 10.0 points per game, 4.3 rebounds per game, 3.5 assists per game and 1.7 steals per game…Concluded her sophomore year with 206 points to average 7.4 points per game, 4.2 assists per game, 3.6 rebounds per game and 1.6 steals per game…Named the 2010 All-Star Game MVP…Team captain.