PennStateHoops.com Discussion Forum

Women’s Basketball 2020-21

Nice pickup for Class 2021 incoming. Kayla Thomas 6-3 from Bishop McNamara in MD.

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Thanks, yes it is.

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Transfers, additional signees to join Lady Lions for 2020-21 season

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – Penn State women’s basketball head coach Carolyn Kieger has announced the addition of five newcomers, two transfers and three incoming freshmen, who will join the Lady Lions ahead of the 2020-21 season.

Niya Beverley (Laurel, Md.) will join the team after playing three years at Wisconsin. Britnay Gore (Antigua, Caribbean) comes to Happy Valley after two seasons at Cleveland State Community College. Tova Sabel (Stockholm, Sweden), Constance Thomas (Plant City, Fla.) and Mekkena Boyd (Williston, Vt.) will join Penn State as freshmen. Sabel, Thomas and Boyd will make the fifth, sixth and seventh members of the freshmen class, joining the four highly-touted signees (Maddie Burke, Kaci Donovan, Nan Garcia and Leilani Kapinus) that inked National Letters of Intent during the November signing period.

“We are thrilled to welcome these five new members to our Penn State family,” Kieger said. “Each of these young ladies will be fantastic additions as people, students, and players. They will all exemplify our core values and represent our program with PRIDE. We are excited to get them to campus to start working towards building our future.”

NIYA BEVERLEY

5-7 GUARD | SENIOR | LAUREL, MD. | ST. JOHN’S COLLEGE HIGH SCHOOL | WISCONSIN

At Wisconsin

  • Three-year starter who played in 90 games while making 75 starts for the Badgers.
  • Career numbers of 6.7 points, 3.2 assists and 2.6 rebounds per game in an average of 29.8 minutes per contest.
  • As a junior in 2019-20: Played in 28 games, starting in 19…Scored a career high 19 points against Penn State…Career high five rebounds against Arkansas and Iowa…Season high seven assists against Purdue and Iowa…Finished the season averaging 7.8 ppg…Scored double-digits in seven games…Second in minutes played with an average of 28.1 per game.
  • As a sophomore in 2018-19: Played in 30 games for the Badgers, starting 25…Averaged 20.3 minutes per game…Scored 7.6 points per game…Second on team in assists (102), averaging 3.4 per game…Led the team in assists in 12 games…Ranked sixth in the Big Ten with assist-to-turnover ratio of 1.9.
  • As a freshman in 2017-18: Played in all 30 games, starting 29…Led the Badgers with 106 assists (3.5/game), which tied for 17th in the Big Ten…Ranked fourth in the Big Ten with an assist-to-turnover ratio of 2.2, which was second among conference freshmen…Added 4.6 points per game…Scored in double figures in three games.

High School

  • Ranked as the No. 22 point guard by espnW.
  • Averaged 10 points, 3 rebounds, 3 assists and 1.5 steals as a senior for St. John’s, which won the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference and city championships.
  • The Cadets were 31-2 in 2016-17 with Beverley earning all-tournament honors in the Nike Tournament of Champions, Washington Catholic Athletic Conference, Washington, DC area and the Northwest Newspaper.
  • Played AAU basketball with the prestigious Fairfax Stars EYBL program.

Personal: Daughter of Annette and Roy Beverley…Has two brothers, Rashad and Jahlen…Born on April 12, 1999 in Laurel, Md…Majoring in Rehabilitation and Human Services.

Why Niya Chose Penn State: “I chose Penn State because this is an incredible opportunity to push myself academically and as a basketball player. I love the family environment and the chance to pursue becoming a sports psychologist.”

Kieger on Beverley: “Niya is a versatile combo guard who will immediately add leadership and invaluable Big Ten experience to our team. She is an extremely hard worker, a lock-down defender, and flourishes in up-tempo play. Her vision and play-making ability truly separate her. We are thrilled to have Niya join our family.”

MEKENNA BOYD

5-8 GUARD | FRESHMAN | WILLISTON, VT. | CHAMPLAIN VALLEY UNION

  • Helped guide Champlain Valley Union to two Vermont state championships, two state runner-up finishes, and an 86-7 overall record during her four-year career.
  • Earned first team All-State, All-Metro and Gatorade Player of the Year nominee honors after guiding Champlain Valley Union to an undefeated 21-0 season as a senior captain.
  • Garnered second team All-State and first team All-Metro honors as a junior.
  • Was also a member of her high school’s state championship volleyball team.
  • Earned honor roll distinction in all four years of high school and graduates with a 3.99 GPA.
  • Served as Co-Chairperson of her school’s Athletic Leadership Council, an organization of varsity athletes who work together to give back to the community.

Personal: Daughter of Robert Boyd and Nikki Fuller…Has one sister, Amari…Born on May 21, 2002 in Burlington, Vt….Plans to major in Forensic Science.

Why Mekenna Chose Penn State: “I chose Penn State for its high academic standards, high-level competitive sports, the coaching staff, and because it’s near family.”

Kieger on Boyd: “Mekkena brings an incredible work ethic to our program. Penn State ties run deep in her family and we are excited for her to represent the jersey with pride. We are excited to have her help raise the level of competition on our team.”

BRITNAY GORE

6-2 FORWARD |JUNIOR | ANTIGUA, CARIBBEAN | PRINCESS MARGARET HIGH SCHOOL | CLEVELAND STATE COMMUNITY COLLEGE

At Cleveland State

  • A two-time TCCAA All-Conference First-Team pick at Cleveland State Community College…Averaged career numbers of 13.5 points, 9.8 rebounds and 1.9 blocks per game while shooting 50.4 percent from the field.
  • As a sophomore in 2019-20: Was named to the TCCAA All-Conference First Team…Appeared in all 28 games…Named the 2020 Hugh Walker Female Athlete of the Year…Broke multiple program records, including single-season rebounds (299), career rebounds per game (9.8), career blocks (99), and single-season blocks (55)…Posted 18 double-doubles…Scored a career-best 26 points against Volunteer State and Columbia State.
  • As a freshman in 2018-19: Appeared in 23 games, starting 22…Was named to the TCCAA All-Conference First Team…Scored double-digit points 16 times, including scoring a season-high 24 at Wallace State-Hanceville…Recorded double-digits in rebounds eight times, including grabbing 21 vs. Covenant JV.

High School

  • Was Valedictorian at Princess Margaret High School.
  • Member of the U16 Antigua National Basketball Team in 2015 and 2016.
  • Was also a member of Antigua’s U16 National Volleyball Team.

Personal: Daughter of Barrimore and Bernadette Gore…Has one brother, Barrimore Jr., and one sister, Anouchka Prince…Born on June 17, 2000 in Antigua…Plans to major in Cybersecurity.

Why Britnay Chose Penn State: “I chose Penn State because I saw it as a great opportunity to be a part of an institution where I can contribute and blossom even more into the player and individual that I am destined to be. The school has a good academic and athletic reputation, so it was an opportunity I didn’t want to miss.”

Kieger on Gore: “Britnay brings length, athleticism, and versatility. She has proven to be an elite rebounder and paint protector against high level competition. She is a consistent finisher around the rim and loves to get out and run the floor. Adding a double-double was a high priority for our staff, and Brit fills this role and more. Her best basketball is ahead of her.”

TOVA SABEL

5-10 GUARD | FRESHMAN | STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN | BROMMA GYMNASIUM

  • Four-year member of the Swedish National Team.
  • Named Most Valuable Player of the U19 European League in 2019.
  • Scored 23 points in U-19 Swedish Championship game while playing as a 17-year-old.
  • Guided Alvik Basket team to a 2020 Swedish Cup Championship, averaging 10.8 points, 4.7 rebounds, 1.6 assists and 1.2 steals per game with an 8.2 efficiency rating.
  • Scored 44 points in a single game while playing with Alvik Basket in the European League.
  • Voted five-time team MVP.
  • Awarded Bromma Gymnasium’s Idrottspremie award for the top athlete in the school in June 2020.
  • Attended Basketball Without Borders in Serbia.

Personal: Daughter of Magnus and Matilda Sabel…Has one sister, Amanda…Born on February 9, 2001 in Stockholm, Sweden…Plans to major in Architectural Engineering.

Why Tova Chose Penn State: “I chose Penn State because I believe in the coaching philosophy and the possibility for me to grow as a person and a player with help from this team. The school atmosphere and the feeling I got from just looking at pictures and talking to people seem awesome.”

Kieger on Sabel: “Tova is the complete package. She can score at all three levels, has exceptional vision, and can stretch the floor with her three-point range. She is a winner, a relentless competitor, and her high-level international experience will help her make an immediate impact.”

CONSTANCE THOMAS

5-9 GUARD | FRESHMAN |PLANT CITY, FLA.| CAMP JEWELL ACADEMY

  • Tallied career marks of 1,345 points, 300 rebounds, 250 assists, 230 steals and 20 blocks in 81 games played at Camp Jewell Academy.
  • Helped guide high school team to a District Championship in her senior year and a pair of District Runner-Up finishes as a sophomore and junior. Team reached the State Final Four during junior season.
  • Two-time first team All-Region honoree and three-time Team MVP.
  • Scored school-record 54 points in a single game during her senior year.
  • Played AAU ball for Celtics Nard Black.
  • Was Salutatorian of graduating class.

Personal: Daughter of Liron and Brande Thomas…Has six brothers and three sisters…Born on March 18, 2001 in Plant City, Fla…Plans to major in Theatre.

Why Constance Chose Penn State: “I chose Penn State because of the organization itself. What got my attention is that all the coaches experienced basketball, and some experienced the professional level which grabbed my attention even more! Playing professional basketball after college is a priority of mine. Being coached by someone who knows what it takes to get there is a bonus for me. I also love the energy of the coaching staff. Even though the school is far from home, talking to the coaches felt like talking to my family. I feel like this is a perfect place for me. Coach Keiger told me don’t accept average, and I love that! I’m ready to do what it takes to become great.”

Kieger on Thomas: “Constance is a strong lead guard who excels in the open court. She is an explosive athlete who can get up and defend 94 feet. Her passing ability will fill an immediate need for our program, as she has the ability to impact games with her vision. Her work ethic and competitiveness are elite and will add another level of toughness to our team.”

Chelsea Vielhauer

Assistant Director of Strategic Communications

Women’s Basketball | M/W Tennis

Penn State Intercollegiate Athletics

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With the four recruits that were announced in the fall, that makes nine new players on Coach Kieger’s 2020-21 roster. Not sure how good they’ll be, but there will be more talent and more competition for starting spots than this past season.

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15 players on the bench this season. What a nice change.

Granted, my memory is sub stellar, but the last basketball player that I recall majoring in Engineering was Ndu, who majored in Mechanical Engineering.

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She is not on the updated roster.

Only 2 forwards on the roster and I would not consider Camden a forward.

Yes, they are heavy on guards for sure.

From my hometown, rooting hard for her.

BTW - saw Anna Camden out on a run yesterday. She was motoring up a hill by Toftrees (hard to miss a six foot three inch blond with a pony tail flying in the breeze). I was really impressed with how well she was attacking the hill (the hill is on a route that I often ran during my running days, i.e. Phi Psi 500 training, decades ago, so I know how tough that particular hill is). The gal is really in shape.

There’s a rumor that the men’s basketball team is camped out at Toftrees so maybe the women are too.

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Anna Camden is just a natural in front of a camera. I predict a broadcasting career for her when her playing days end.

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Teniya Page is the latest guest on the podcast hosted by 2 players from the men’s team, Myreon Jones and John Harrar. It’s called the Midnight Domino Show, and I listen to it on Spotify. I’ve really enjoyed learning more about the players they’ve interviewed. At first, Teniya didn’t say much, but listen til the end.