NCAA Early Signing Period: Rising Aussie stars commit
The NCAA early signing period closed on 15 November 2017, and it saw a number of rising Aussie men and women commit to Division 1 programs for the 2018/19 college season. Here’s a wrap-up of the latest Aussies to commit.
Kody STATTMANN | Virginia
Queensland rising star Kody Stattman verbally committed to Virginia in August and has since officially put pen to paper and signed.
Listed at 6'7, Stattmann averaged 31 points to lead the Australian Emus to a gold medal at the 2017 FIBA Oceania U17 Championships in Guam. He also averaged 4.4 steals and was duly named to the tournament's All-Star Five.
Stattmann also delivered 25 points per game to lead the U18 Queensland North Basketball team to a silver medal at the Australian nationals this year. Stattmann plays his high school basketball for St. Augustine’s College and is also a member of the Queensland Basketball League’s Cairns Marlins.
Riley ABERCROMBIE | Boise State
Riley Abercrombie is set to take the next step in his basketball journey after committing to Boise State.
Abercrombie who is from Wollongong, made the move to Texas in 2015 to attend Clear Lake High School. The 6’8 forward has developed into a highly versatile player since moving to Clear Lake, becoming a star of Texas high school basketball. Last season for Clear Lake, Abercrombie averaged 10.9 points and 6.9 rebounds per game.
Abercrombie will continue the Australian pipeline at Boise State after Anthony Drmic and Nick Duncan had successful careers with the Broncos, with Assistant Coach John Rillie still on deck.
Ben FAKIRA | South Dakota
Ben Fakira has committed to South Dakota, choosing the Yotes other schools such as DePaul and TCU. The 6’10’ centre has been a staple representative of NSW at the national championships for many years. Fakira also has experience representing Australia at the 2015 FIBA U16 Oceania Championships.
Earlier this year Fakira put up 6.5 points and 6.4 rebounds per game for NSW at the U18 championships. At just 17 years of age, Fakira has already developed into a dominant rebounding force inside the paint. With increased maturity the big man should only continue to develop as a strong inside presence.
Mate COLINA & Owen HULLAND| Hawaii
Colina and Hulland were teammates under the guidance of Adam Caporn at the Basketball Australia Centre of Excellence. The pair both stand at 6'11 and are set to add a myriad of height and length to the Hawaii lineup in 2018.
At the 2017 U20 National Champs, Colina put up 12.2 points and 7.3 rebounds per game. The big man who had earlier announced his verbal commitment in July, has also represented Australia at last years U17 World Championships and the 2015 U16 Oceania Champs where he put up 9.2 points and 5.2 boards per contest.
Hulland is a South Australian native who played a part in SA's 2017 U20 National Championship victory. The big man has been described as a late bloomer who has the ability to step out and shoot the three.
Uchi DIBIAMAKA | Texas Rio Grande Valley
The 6'4 guard from South Australia verbally committed to Texas Rio Grande Valley earlier in the year and has since made his commitment official.
Currently playing High School ball for Second Baptist in Houston, Dibiamaka has impressed with his talent and athleticism. Representing South Australia Metro at the 2016 Australian U17 Championships, the standout guard made the journey to play HS ball in the US will join UTRGV in 2018.
Jasmine SIMMONS | Oregon State
Jasmine Simmons headlines the beginning of NCAA signing period for Australian commits, by officially signing with Oregon State. Hailing from New South Wales, Simmons had already verbally committed to the Beavers in May, the signing period allowed the star youngster to solidify her commitment to the program.
Simmons was one of the star members of the 2016 U17 World Championship winning Sapphires where she put up 11 points and 8.3 rebounds per game.
The versatile forward has long dominated her class in Australia. When she last represented NSW at the 2016 U18 National Championships she put up 17 points, 12.75 rebounds and 5.4 assists per game. Simmons has spent three years at the Centre of Excellence in Canberra alongside other top Australian prospects.
Georgia KEHOE | Seattle
Queensland's Georgia Kehoe is a 6'3 forward from Brisbane who averaged 21 points per game, helping Stuartholme to a third-place finish in the QLD State Championships. The long and lanky lefty will join the Redhawks next fall.
Milly Yates & Samantha Simons | Saint Mary's
Milly Yates and Samantha Simons will continue the seemingly never-ending pipeline of Australian's to make their way to Moraga, California to join the Saint Mary's Gaels. Yates who verbally committed in November 2016, and Simons recently made their commitments.
6'2 guard Simons has been a key member of the U17 and U19 national teams since 2015. Her versatility as a player has shown in all four of her appearances at the Australia national junior championships, where she’s played with her South Australia U16 and U18 teams. She won a FIBA World Championship gold medal with the U17 Sapphires national team in 2016 in Zaragoza, Spain. She played again in the world championships this summer, competing with the U19 Gems in Italy.
In four appearances at her country’s national junior championships, she has averaged no less than 14.8 points per game. Twice she averaged at least 6.8 rebounds per game and has always put up at least 2.0 assists and 1.1 steals per game. This year she impressed with 4.5 assists and 3.6 steals per contest while scoring 17.0 ppg.
A 5'10 guard out of Sydney, Yates has been a member of the New South Wales state team for five years, serving as a co-captain for the U18 squad. She has already collected four state championships, and in 2016 won an all schools national championship.
Lana HOLLINGSWORTH| Boston College
Lana Hollingsworth joins fellow Aussies Taylor Ortlepp and Georgia Pineau on the roster for 2018-19.
The Victorian averaged 19 points per game for her high school last season and represented Australia in the U18 FIBA 3x3 World Championships in 2017. She was an integral member of the Victorian state team in 2015 and 2017, and recently played for Frankston in the SEABL, she averaged 4.3 points and 1.4 rebounds across 10 games in 2017.
Callie BOURNE | Idaho State
The Canberra native has committed to Idaho State. The 5’9’ guard began playing for the Canberra Capitals in the WNBL when she was just 17. At the most recent U20 National Championships Bourne averaged 10.83 points and a remarkable 10.17 rebounds.
Bourne has spent time playing for Canberra’s SEABL affiliate in 2017. In 20 minutes per contest she has 6 points, 4.2 boards and 3.1 assists per-game. Proving that she can perform against more mature opponents.
Steph GORMAN | Utah State
Utah State’s Australian connection grows stronger as Gorman joins four other Aussies already at the Aggies. The Wodonga local will join Junior Rachel Brewster and Sophomores Shannon Dufficy, Eliza West and Olivia West at Utah State for the 2018/19 season.
Gorman announced her commitment to the Aggies back in August. At only 17 years of age, the guard has averaged a versatile 10.2 points, 3.7 rebounds and 2.4 assists per-game for the Albury-Wodonga Lady Bandits in the SEABL. Selected to the Victorian Under 20 side for the 2018 Australian Championships, Gorman has been touted as a player capable of playing four positions and will look to continue improving before she makes the move to the Mountain West conference in 2018.
Jess SANCATALDO | Northwestern
NSW representative Jess Sancataldo has committed to Northwestern. The 6’1 wing represented NSW at the 2017 Under 20 National Championships where she saw limited court time.
She starred for the Hornsby Spiders in the 2017 edition of NSW’s Waratah Youth League, putting up just over 18 points per contest. Described as a ‘high upside’ prospect with superior athleticism, Sancataldo will join the Northwestern team in 2018.