Women's Basketball Inks Three Student-Athletes In November Signing Period

Nov. 20, 2009

PROVIDENCE, R.I. - Providence College Head Coach Phil Seymore announced on Friday, November 20 that student-athletes Alicia Cropper (Brooklyn, N.Y.), Danielle Pearson (Brooklyn, N.Y.) and Lauren Okafor (New Haven, Conn.) have each signed a NLI to attend Providence in the fall of 2010. The trio will play for the Friars' women's basketball team as part of a class ranked No. 28 in the nation, according to the All-Star Girls' Report. The recruiting class also ranks sixth-best in the BIG EAST Conference.

Cropper, Pearson and Okafor will join Miranda Tate and Teya Wright, who transferred to Providence from the University of South Carolina and the University of Massachusetts, respectively. Tate and Wright are currently practicing with the Friars, but will not be eligible to compete in any games until the 2010-11 season because of NCAA transfer rules. Tate was the 48th-best player coming out of high school and spent one season at South Carolina. Wright ranked No. 277 and spent two seasons at UMass.

As high school teammates at Thomas Jefferson, Cropper and Pearson led the Orange Wave to PSAL `AA' semifinal appearances the past two seasons and an `A' league title in 2007. Cropper, a 5-7 shooting guard, has averaged nearly 18 points per game over her three years at Jefferson.

"Alicia possesses all the tools a guard should have," said Coach Seymore. "These tools have helped her to become one of the best guards in the country. She has a high basketball IQ, strength, the ability to get to the basket and score or create for others and a soft jump shot. The most impressive ingredient of her game is her ability to make players around her better."

Pearson, a 5-9 guard/forward, is coming off her best high school season in 2008-09. She averaged 10 points per game as a junior last year. Pearson is ranked No. 360 in the All-Star Girls' Report.



"Danielle is a tough-nosed player who is only scratching the surface of her full potential," said Coach Seymore. "She is an amazing athlete, who can get to the basket and finish with the best of them. She is a fearless competitor that will bring depth to our back court."

Cropper is rated the 35th-best player and 14th-best point guard in the country, according to All-Star Girls' Report. She also is the 26th-best player and eighth-best shooting guard in the ESPNU/Hoopgurlz Top-100. Okafor is ranked No. 85 overall in the All-Star Girls' Report and sits at No. 9 among the best power forwards in the nation. She also is ranked the 23rd-best power forward in the country according to ESPNU/Hoopgurlz. Okafor averaged 15.9 points, 13.5 rebounds and 1.5 blocked shots as a junior at Hopkins Prep.

"Lauren will make an immediate impact on our program," said Coach Seymore. "Physically, she will be able to compete down low against our opponents in the BIG EAST with her great size, exceptional strength and mobility. She is a solid scorer and rebounder with great hands. She will continue to improve by leaps and bounds."


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