Bucs Ezell signs four during early signing period

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Nov. 14, 2017) – Head coach Brittney Ezell announced on Tuesday the signings of Amaya Adams (Kansas City, Mo.), Shynia Jackson (Warner Robbins, Ga.), E’Lease Stafford (Lawrence, Kan.), and Kaia Upton (Nashville, Tenn.) to National Letters of Intent to join the program for the 2018-19 season.

“As a whole, the versatility in this class is going to be impactful, said head coach Brittney Ezell. “The fact that all four of them have won in multiple levels of competition was importance to us. All four are high character kids. All four come from winning programs and are leaders in their own right. We’re really excited to see how this class continues to come together. We’re honored and thankful that they chose to be a part of what we’re doing at East Tennessee State University.”

AMAYA ADAMS – 5’10” GUARD – KANSAS CITY, MO. – NOTRE DAME de SION HIGH SCHOOL

· Averaged 16 points per game and led her team in assists and steals in 2016-17

· Four-year varsity starter

· First Team All-District in 206-17

· Kansas City Five-Star Athlete of the Week (Jan. 25, 2017)

· One of 149 participants at the 2015 USA Basketball Women’s U16 National Team Trails in Colorado.

· 3.5 out of five -star recruit on Prospect Nation that describes her strengths as “defense, attacking the rim, strong basketball IQ, ability to make reads in transition, strong rebounding with the ability to gain extra possessions on both ends.”

· Had interest from Nebraska, Wichita State, Tulsa, Oral Roberts, Northwestern, Nebraska-Omaha, UMKC, Penn, Hampton, Chicago State, and Morgan State.

“Amaya is one of the toughest competitors at the guard position that we evaluated over the summer. She is skilled and strong and has a savvy understanding of the game. Amaya will compete for immediate minutes at all three guard positions and will continue our lineage of tough lead guards.”

SHYNIA JACKSON – 6’1” FORWARD — WARNER ROBINS, GA. – WARNER ROBINS HIGH SCHOOL

· Earned the Leadership Award for the best three-point percentage

· Averaged 13 points per game and 7 rebounds per game

· Named to the Region 1 5A All-Region Second Team

· Participated in the Wartown vs. Mactown All-Star Game

· Tabbed to the Hype South Second Team

· MVP of the Holiday Classic

· Named Offensive Player of the Year

· Earned the Newcomer Award as a freshman and the Best Footwork Award

· AAU National Champion FBC 2017

“Shynia is versatile and dynamic in the things that she can do on the basketball floor. She has tremendous upside and we believe that her best basketball is still ahead of her. She is equally as talented off the floor as on and possesses natural leadership skills that will translate well to the college level.”

E’LEASE STAFFORD – 5’11 FORWARD – LAWRENCE, KAN. – LAWRENCE HIGH SCHOOL

· Named the Sunflower League’s Co-Player of the Year last season

· Averaged 13 points, 4.5 rebounds, and 2.1 assists per game in 2016-17

· Led her team to their first Class 6A state tournament appearance since 2008

· KBCA and Topeka Capital Journal First Team All-State 6A

· Third Team All-State and named to Top 15 in Kansas by the Wichita Eagle Beacon

· Second Team Kansas-City All-Metro named by Spectrium Sports

· Named to the 2017 Native American Top 50 All-Star Team (This event features 25 of the best Native American high school players in the country.)

“E’Lease is another versatile player who could compete for playing time at all 5 positions. She is physically gifted as an athlete and has a workman like approach to bettering herself daily. We believe that she is a big time sleeper in the class of 2018 and that she too has her best basketball ahead of her.”

KAIA UPTON – 5’7” GUARD – NASHVILLE, TENN. – EAST NASHVILLE MAGNET HIGH SCHOOL

· Named the Beech Tournament MVP and named to the All-District and All-Region Teams in 2014-15

· Named to the Beech All-Tournament team in 205-16

· Earned All-District 10 AA and All Region 5 AA honors

· Class AA All-Tournament Team

· Class AA State MVP

· Class AA All-Tournament First Team

· Class AA State Champion

“Kaia Upton is one of the most powerful lead guards in the Southeast. She has the ability to get to the rim and finish through contact, as well as remarkable court awareness. Kaia is a proven winner with a high motor. Not only is she a winner on the court, but Kaia is a high character kid that takes great pride in being a leader and a positive role model for her family, team and school.”

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