Joanne P. McCallie along with recruiting coordinators Candice M. Jackson and Hernando Planells, announced on Tuesday the signing of Lyneé Belton of Clinton, Md., Sierra Calhoun of Brooklyn, N.Y., Erin Mathias of Pittsburgh, Pa., and Azurá Stevens of Raleigh, N.C., to national letters of intent to attend Duke in the fall of 2014.DURHAM, N.C. – Duke University women’s basketball head coach
“This group of four chose Duke to make an immediate impact, to come in right away and build on everything that’s been done prior and to have a chance to make history,” said McCallie. “There’s no question that all four have the ability to do that – to blend with the current team – and to be immediate in their impact. For us that’s very exciting because we just want to continue to grow and continue to get better.”
The four-member group is ranked No. 2 nationally by the Girls Basketball Report. The class was also tabbed No. 4 overall by the All-Star Girls Report. Overall as a class, the Blue Devils brought in three top-23 players in various rankings.
“We’re very excited about the signing of these young ladies,” said McCallie. “They’re a fantastic group of four. We have shored up our post position and provided more versatility to our current post with the addition of Erin Mathias and Lyneé Belton. Our post is strong, deep and features a lot of different skill sets by different players. We will have a lot of different combinations that we can put on the floor together next season. Our three-point shot is continuing to grow in the post position as well, and that’s something we appreciate in stretching the defense.”
Below is a listing of each signee:
6-3 * Forward/Center * Clinton, Md. (The Bullis School)
Ranking: No. 34 (Prospect Nation), No. 24 (Blue Star), No. 31 (ASGR), No. 10 (Girls Basketball Report/HoopGurlz)
First Annual Full Court Fab 50 All-Star in 2013 … compiled 921 points over three seasons with The Bullis School … as a junior, averaged 14.0 points, 10.0 rebounds and 2.0 blocks … guided her squad to a 21-5 overall record and to the Independent School League (ISL) AA Championship … totaled a career-highs of 29 points and 12 rebounds during her junior campaign … Winter All-Met First Team … received the Ballin for the Cure MVP Award in 2012 and 2013 … USJN Platinum Bracket Final Four in 2013 … averaged 16.0 points, 9.0 rebounds, 9.0 blocks and 2.0 assists as a sophomore … earned All-Gazette and All-Independent Schools League first team honors … guided The Bullis School to a 21-7 record … … Winter All-Met Honorable Mention … member of the USJN Hampton U15 Tournament Champions in 2011 … as a freshman, averaged 17.3 points, 11.2 rebounds and guided her team to a 21-7 mark … named The Erin Peterson MVP at the Raytheon Bulldog Bash in 2010 … Winter All-Met Honorable Mention … The Bullis Holiday Classic MVP in 2010 … Holy Child Tiger Club Classic All-Tournament Team in 2010 … invited to attend the 2012 U17 and 2011 U16 USA Basketball National Team Trials … led her Team Takeover AAU squad to the Boo Williams Tournament Championship and earned All-Tournament Team honors in 2013 … competed with Boo Williams the AAU squad in 2011-12 … led the team to the Boo Williams Nike Invitational U15 Top Bracket and the AAU Super Showcase U15 Bracket Final Four … the USJN Hampton U15 Tournament Champions in 2011 … guided the Alana Beard Future squad to the U13 Elite Mid-Atlantic Girls National Basketball League Championship, U13 Elite Arbutus League Champions and the Mid-Atlantic Girls National Basketball U13 Senior Division Championship in 2010 … played on the varsity field hockey and junior varsity lacrosse team as a freshman … performed the shot put and discus as a sophomore on the track & field team.
Full name is Lyneé Tiara Belton … born May 26, 1996 in Silver Spring, Md. … daughter of Wynard and Lynett Belton … has one sister, Nyla (10) … member of the National Society of High School Scholars … is a student peer mentor, student tutor and student ambassador.
McCallie on Belton:
“Lyneé is more of a physical player. She’ll play the five and four. She’s very, very strong physically. Can set screens, can score on the block and can score on high post. Lyneé is a gritty competitor; she’s not afraid of physical contact and physical play.”
6-0 * Guard/Forward * Brooklyn, N.Y. (Christ the King)
Rankings: No. 7 (Prospect Nation), No. 15 (Blue Star), No. 13 (ASGR), No. 17 (Girls Basketball Report/HoopGurlz)
A two-time First Team All-State, First Team All-City and First Team All-Tri-State as a sophomore and junior … Queens Player of the Year in 2011-12 … selected to the MSG Varsity All-Metro Girls Basketball first team … helped guide Christ the King H.S. to the state semifinals as a sophomore and junior … as a junior, averaged 22.0 points, 7.9 rebounds, 4.0 assists, 4.0 steals and 2.0 blocks … moved over the 1,000-point plateau during her junior year … tallied 26 points, 13 rebounds and four steals versus Nazareth … her sophomore year, averaged 21.9 points, 7.0 rebounds, 4.0 assists, 3.0 steals and 2.0 blocks … started all 29 contests … selected New York Magazine’s top N.Y.C. sophomore … named to The Tablet’s All-Star Girls Basketball Team … as a freshman, averaged 10.9 points, 5.0 rebounds, 2.0 steals and 1.0 blocks … First Team All-Borough in 2010-11 … guided the Brooklyn Queens squad to the CHSAA Championship in 2011-12 and the 10th grade AAU National Championship … participated in the 2012 U17 and 2011 U16 USA Basketball National Team Trials.
Sierra Lashe Calhoun was born on May 7, 1996 in Brooklyn, N.Y. … daughter of Omar and Semara Calhoun ... has one brother, Omar, Jr. (19) … her brother, Omar, is a sophomore on the Connecticut men’s basketball team … a three-time member of the Christ the King Honor Roll.
McCallie on Calhoun:
“Sierra is one of the best guards in the country. She has great versatility to her game. She can play the one, two and three positions. Sierra can play off the bounce, create in transition and has a beautiful three-point shot. She is not afraid to rebound and mix it up. She’ll go hard to the glass and has beautiful takes. She’s just somebody who’s going to thrive at this level without question and will have an immediate impact with us.”
6-4 * Forward/Center * Pittsburgh, Pa. (Fox Chapel Area)
Ranking: No. 97 (Prospect Nation), No. 35 (Blue Star), No. 81 (ASGR), No. 39 (Girls Basketball Report/HoopGurlz)
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette WPIAL Class AAAA Player of the Year in 2012-13 … named Class AAAA All-State First Team, Pittsburgh Tribune Review Terrific 10 and Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Fab 5 her junior year … a two-time Pittsburgh Post-Gazette WPIAL Class AAA All-Section Team … as a junior, averaged 17.3 points, 13.6 rebounds, 4.8 blocks and 1.4 steals … guided Fox Chapel Area H.S. to an 18-6 overall record and advanced to the WPIAL AAAA quarterfinals … the 2012 Seneca Valley Tip-Off Tournament MVP … named the Post-Gazette Athlete of the Week in December of 2012 … notched 17 double-doubles … totaled triple-doubles in back-to-back games as a junior with 20 points, 19 rebounds and 10 blocks in one game and then 19 points, 15 rebounds and 13 blocks in the second contest … totaled 18 points in the first contest back from a knee injury the year before … missed her sophomore season with a knee injury … as a freshman, averaged 10.7 points, 11.1 rebounds, 2.6 blocks and 1.0 steals … posted a season-high 20 points against Penn Hills, while pulling down a season-high 31 rebounds versus Franklin Regional …notched 13 double-doubles … posted double-figure scoring in 16-of-23 contests … guided the WPA Bruins to the Junior National Championship in 2010 and 2011 … invited to the 2011 U16 USA Basketball National Team Trials.
Erin Elizabeth Mathias was born on September 15, 1995 in Pittsburgh, Pa. … daughter of Chris and Beth Mathias … has one brother, Matt (21) … member of the National Honor Society as a junior and senior.
McCallie on Mathias:
“Erin’s worked extremely hard and is a very competitive player. She can play four and five and has worked on her range, including her three-point shot. Erin can run the floor well, has beautiful power moves to the basket and plays with a great deal of confidence. She has even enjoyed dunking the basketball on occasion, which has been exciting to see.”
6-5 * Forward/Center * Raleigh, N.C. (Cary)
Ranking: No. 57 (Prospect Nation), No. 55 (Blue Star), No. 27 (ASGR), No. 23 (Girls Basketball Report/HoopGurlz)
Ranked the No. 2 recruit in the state of North Carolina by the Raleigh News & Observer heading into her senior campaign … first Team All-Conference as a freshman and second team selection as a sophomore … named captain of her Cary H.S. squad as a sophomore and senior … collected career highs of 38 points, 25 rebounds, 15 blocks and 12 assists so far in high school … played in only seven games as a junior after suffering a broken fibula … averaged 11.7 points, 6.3 rebounds, 2.0 blocks, 1.0 assists and 1.0 steals … as a sophomore, averaged 16.0 points, 13.0 rebounds, 6.0 blocks and 5.0 assists … as a freshman, averaged 13.1 points, 8.0 rebounds, 4.0 blocks and 3.0 assists … MVP of her high school team as a freshman and sophomore … played AAU for the Garner Flames … guided the Flames to a championship win in 2012.
Full name is Azurá Breeona Stevens … born on February 1, 1996 in Pawtucket, R.I. … daughter of Damon and Kaasha Stevens … has two sisters, Da’Shena (23) and Kayla (13) … her sister, Da’Shena played basketball at St. John’s (2008-12) … participated in The Miracle League of the Triangle as a sophomore and junior.
McCallie on Stevens:
“Azurá is the most versatile player I’ve seen in a long time. She can actually play the two, three, four, and five positions for us. With her size and length, she’s incredible defensively. She’s a defensive stopper, as well as a great rebounder, but at the same time she has a terrific three-point shot. We look at her to play three for us, maybe some four, but mostly in the guard position. To have a 6’5’’ guard who can play off the bounce, can shoot the three and can offensive rebound from the perimeter is very, very exciting. Azurá might be the tallest wing player to ever to play at Duke.”
Duke will graduate one of the most successful senior classes in school history that features Chelsea Gray, Richa Jackson, Tricia Liston, Haley Peters and Chloe Wells. The Blue Devils will return two-time All-America Elizabeth Williams and Freshman All-America Alexis Jones, along with Kianna Holland, Katie Heckman, Ka’lia Johnson, Kendall McCravey-Cooper, Oderah Chidom, Rebecca Greenwell, Amber Henson and Jenna Frush in 2014-15.