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UAPB women’s basketball announces 2020 signees



The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff women’s basketball program has signed a host of players to National Letters of Intent.

In the first season under head coach Dawn Brown, the Lady Lions tripled their Southwestern Athletic Conference win total from the previous season and qualified for the conference tournament for the first time since the 2017-18 season.

With five players departing last year’s team, Brown has reloaded with six new players along with three players who were a part of the program last season.

“We are very happy and pleased with our 2020 recruiting class,” Brown said.  “My staff and I did an outstanding job at pinpointing and securing six new faces along with three valuable pieces who sat out last year. They all are very excited to be a part of the UAPB Lady Golden Lion basketball program and the Pine Bluff community. I am confident that this class, along with the three student-athletes that sat out this past season, has allowed us to address some immediate scoring issues along with adding depth to our front court.  We have added scorers, shooters, size, and skill and this class will help us continue our drive to become a championship-contending team. I am excited to be their coach and welcome them with open arms into our family.”

2020-21 Signees

Jazzeam Bethea
5’9″ Junior
Seattle, Wash. / Howard Community College
“The energy bus has arrived to The Bluff and we are excited about Jazzy stepping off! Jazzy is a long, scrappy athletic wing who can defend all over the court. She gives us a ton of versatility, and is a highly competitive athlete who will bring a surge of energy on both sides of the ball. With Noe’ll Taylor leaving big shoes to fill in our program, we knew without a shadow of a doubt Jazzy would be the perfect fit! She is a monster defensively, which she easily converts to offensive opportunities.”

Takaylan Busby
5′ 10″ Freshman
Dallas, Tex. / Skyline High School
“TK will arrive to campus and add immediate versatility to our perimeter unit. She has the unique ability to play multiple positions well. TK’s biggest highlight about her game is being able to defend at a high level. She was the Defensive Player of the Year in her district this past season, and that’s what we love about her game. She is incredibly athletic and works extremely hard in getting better daily.  We are so excited about TK becoming a part of our basketball family. She is a wonderful person that will be a great student-athlete for the Golden Lions.”

Ashlynn Green
5’9″ Freshman
Atlanta, Ga. / Martin Luther King Jr. High School
“Ashlynn has incredible leadership qualities on and off the floor. When she came on her visit, she was already speaking in French! Addressing our current roster as “we” and “us”, I knew this one wasn’t leaving our campus without being a Golden Lion. Ashlynn has an infectious positive spirit and an unwavering will to win! She is highly competitive and can score the ball on all three levels! She can be pushed and loves to be challenged. Ash scoring over 1,000 points in her high school career and received several post season awards to close out her senior campaign.  We really feel that she will make a great impact not only on the court but on this campus.”

Maya Peat
6-5 Freshman
Chandler High School / Chandler, Arizona
“We are so excited to welcome Maya to UAPB. Peat is one of the biggest kept secrets nationally in the 2020 class. Any time that a coach is able to secure a 6’5 freshman who comes from a family full of professional athletes, you know you are getting someone special.  Maya will add size along with sophomore post Sam-Grant and her ability to finish around the rim is exactly what we need! She is raw and full of potential and not afraid of hard work. I am sure Peat will make an instant impact in our conference and help us compete at a high level in the preseason. Maya also has four other siblings who have all played collegiate sports at a high level. Her dad Todd played in the NFL for six seasons, and her brother, Andrus, currently plays for the New Orleans Saints. We expect and immediate presence upon her arrival.”

Kayla Simmons
6’1 Junior
Jackson, Miss. / Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College
“We are so happy to add Kayla to our UAPB family. She is one of the more skilled post players we will have over the next two years. She shoots the ball with ease and has worked very hard during her two seasons in junior college in improving her low post skill set, which will make her a threat to score anywhere in the paint. I have witnessed Kayla score on double and triple teams, so knowing she can finish in traffic will add another star to her game. At Brandon (Miss.) High School, Simmons, was stand out player who also played in Mississippi North/South All-Star Game.”

Kaila Walker
5’5″ Sophomore
Alexander, Ark. / Arkansas Baptist Community College
“We are so happy to have Kaila as a part of our basketball family and University. From day one, she has always from day one wanted to be a part of our program and has been very vocal about her love for her hometown and Arkansas At Pine Bluff. She is small in height, but a giant in heart. She finds ways to make plays, win and get others to play at a higher level. Kaila can score in volume and can flat out put the ball in the basket. After witnessing her score over 40 points in several games, this was a no brainer for us! We expect her to be dynamic in her play and her abilities within our team. She is a jet with the ball and a crafty on-ball defender.”

Players who sat out during the 2019-20 season:

Jahnay Anderson
5’4″ Redshirt Junior
Santa Clara, Ca. / Diablo Valley Community College
“Jahnay also sat out last year due to injury but had the opportunity to get acclimated with our system. She is about as deadly from behind the arch as they come. With her career high being 60 points with 16 made 3’s in a game, that element is just what the doctor ordered for our offense. She will make it harder for teams to guard us in a zone because you absolutely cannot leave her open. I’m excited about our style of play for this upcoming season and look forward to seeing some our inside-outside game evolve!”

Khadijah Brown
6’2″ Redshirt Senior
Miami, Fla. / Jacksonville University
“Khadijah is no stranger to UAPB, as she came here with me from Jacksonville and sat out last year due to NCAA transfer rules and has been awaiting her turn to shine. She was a two-year starter at JU and definitely has a natural instinct to score the ball.  KD is a great rebounder that has a skill set to finish while keeping the ball high and scoring through contact. She is an aggressive shot blocker that plays ferociously in the paint and has the special rare gift to be able to dunk the basketball.  After witnessing her participate in an all men’s basketball dunking contest, I was blown away by her presence! Coaching KD will be fun and the fans will love her!”

Shicoriya Orr
5’8″ Sophomore
Birmingham, Ala. / Chattahoochee Valley Community College
“Cori, another familiar face to the roster, also sat out this past season after spending one year at CVCC. Cori is by far one of the best scorers I’ve had the ability to coach in my career.  She is a player that holds herself to high standards and sets high expectations. I am so pleased with the work that she put in on and off the court this past year! Cori can play multiple positions and brings a great deal of leadership to our program, which is extremely valuable in today’s game. We’re excited to get to work with Cori and to help her reach her potential as a Lady Golden Lion in the years to come.”