JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Nov. 16, 2011) – East Tennessee State University head women’s basketball coach Karen Kemp and her staff announced Wednesday afternoon that Imani Martinez (Annandale, N.J.), Jasmine Kemp (Stone Mountain, Ga.), and Brianna McQueen (Jonesboro, Ga.) have signed their National Letter of Intent to play for the Lady Bucs, starting in the 2012-13 season.
“Getting three early commitments are great, but when you get ones who were on the top of your list makes things even better,” said Kemp. “We are very excited about these three players joining the Lady Buccaneer program. Our goal was to sign three early and my staff did a tremendous job making this happen.”
Martinez, a 6-foot-2 forward out of North Hunterdon High School, averaged 7.9 points per game during her junior year for the Lions. The Annandale, N.J. native comes from a winning background as Martinez helped guide North Hunterdon to the Group 4 State Championship in 2009, while also compiling an impressive 72-12 record in her first three seasons with the Lions. In addition, the Lions went undefeated in conference play last season en route to claiming the Skyland Conference Delaware Division title. Along with the team success, Martinez has accounted for numerous accolades of her own, as she was named Second Team All-County and Second Team All-Conference in 2010-11. North Hunterdon has proven to be a hotbed for Division I talent as three seniors on the Lions team have signed to play Division I basketball, while Martinez also considered Hofstra, Towson, Southern Illinois, Seton Hall and Fairleigh-Dickinson.
“Imani is a very long, athletic post player who can play with her back to the basket and face up,” added Kemp. “She plays extremely hard and comes from a successful high school program. She’s a daughter of a coach and has a strong work ethic. We’re very excited to have a player of her caliber join our Lady Buccaneer family.
Meanwhile, Kemp (no relation to coach Kemp) – another 6-foot-2 forward from Norcross High School – is one of three players on her team to sign a Division I scholarship. Like Martinez, Kemp was also getting interest from several schools such as Tennessee Tech and Tulane. Kemp, who has two Blue Devil teammates ranked in the top-50 nationally, is looking to guide Norcross to their third consecutive state championship in 2011-12. The Stone Mountain, Ga. native spent her freshman and sophomore seasons playing at Stephenson High School.
“Jasmine has the nose for the ball and is great on the block defender,” added Kemp. “She likes to face her defenders to score, but she’s working on being the best all-around post player. She will be a strong asset to the team next season as we are adding depth to the post position.”
McQueen another highly touted player out of Georgia looks to give the Lady Bucs some added depth at the guard position. The Jonesboro, Ga. native will be expected to play both point and shooting guard as she currently fulfills those duties at Mundy’s Mill High School. As a junior, McQueen was the leading scorer for the Tigers (14.7 ppg) en route to being named First Team All-Region. During her first three seasons at Mundy’s Mill, McQueen has averaged 16 points, 10 assists and five rebounds per game. Last season the 5-foot-5 guard led the Tigers to a 22-7 record, including the program’s first-ever state playoff win courtesy of McQueen’s game-high 21-point performance. Not only is McQueen a standout guard, but she lettered in both volleyball and track at Mundy’s Mill. McQueen was also getting interest from Auburn, Mercer, and North Florida.
“Brianna is an athletic guard who can play both positions and can score from anywhere on the floor,” said Kemp. “She has the fire and competitiveness to lead her team to win each time she’s called upon to play. Bri is a sound leader as she’s willing to do anything it takes to help her team win.”
The 2011-12 Lady Bucs return to action this weekend as ETSU completes play in the Preseason WNIT. ETSU takes on UAB at 6:30 p.m. Friday evening inside Burton Coliseum, located on the campus of McNeese State University.
For more information on Lady Buccaneer basketball, visit www.ETSUBucs.com.