Head coach Jolette Law signed four talented newcomers who will join the Illini next season on Wednesday
April 16, 2008
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Illinois women's basketball coach Jolette Law announced the signing of four student-athletes to national letters of intent on Wednesday, the first day of the spring signing period. Fabiola Josil, a point guard from Coral Springs, Fla., Eboni Mitchell a point guard from Decatur, Ga., TeAndrea Smith, a forward from East St. Louis, Ill., and Whitney Toone, a junior college forward from Okaloosa-Walton College in Niceville, Fla., will all join the Fighting Illini for the 2008-09 season.
"I am very excited to bring in these well-rounded and talented young ladies who are a reflection of me and the up-tempo style I would like to play," said Law of the newest Illini. "The common denominator in all of them is that they are excited about representing the University of Illinois and they believe in my vision. They all have unlimited potential and the necessary work ethic to excel and take the Illini women's basketball program to new heights."
Josil, Mitchell, Smith and Toone join Macie Blinn and Lana Rukavina, who signed letters of intent with Illinois in November, to bring the total number of newcomers joining the Illini next season to six. There is still a possibly of more additions to the program in the coming weeks.
5-7 // Guard // Coral Springs, Fla., Coral Glades HS
Notes: Averaged 26 points, eight assists and nine steals per game while leading Coral Glades to a 17-3 record and a District 14 title in 2008 ... Ranked as the No. 12 senior from the state of Florida ... Street & Smith Honorable Mention All-American and McDonald's All-America nominee in 2008 ... Named first team All-State in 2008 and was the South Florida Sun-Sentinal Large School (Class 6A-5A-4A) Player of the Year in both 2007 and 2008 ... Four-time Sun-Sentinal All-Broward County First Team ... Finished career with 2,002 career points.
High school coach was Cecil McNair ... Played for the Premier Jaguars and coach Kevin Heller on the AAU circuit ... Also considered Wake Forest and Georgia Tech.
Coach Law on Josil: "Fab is a quick and exciting point guard that is crafty in the open court and can score or distribute to open players. She is exceptional on defense, uses her quickness to frustrate ball handlers and plays the passing lanes well. She has a great knowledge of the game, and her speed is exactly what we need to be an up-tempo team. I am excited about Fab's potential, and her style will turn heads in the Big Ten."
5-7 // Guard // Decatur, Ga., Southwest DeKalb HS
Notes: Named second team All-State by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution after leading Southwest DeKalb HS to the Georgia 4A State Championship and a 31-2 record ... Scored 32 points and had 10 assists in the state semifinal win over Westlake and had 12 points and 10 assists in the title game victory over Fayette County ... First Team All-City (Atlanta) and named one of DeKalb County's Top-20 players ... McDonald's All-America nominee ... Attended Adidas Top-10 All-America Camp ... Played in the Atlanta All-State Classic ... Averaged 10.7 points, 4.2 assists and 3.2 steals as a senior.
High school coach was Kathy Ritchi-Walton ... Played for FBC Black on the AAU circuit ... AAU Coach was Brian Harmon ... Played soccer and volleyball and ran cross-country in high school ... Also considered Indiana, Temple and James Madison.
Coach Law on Mitchell: "Eboni is a fundamentally sound combo guard that distributes the ball well and makes great decisions. She has a strong frame and knows how to use it to withstand contact while penetrating in the lane. She has a strong desire to win and will be a great addition to our team."
6-2 // Forward // East St. Louis, Ill., East St. Louis Senior HS
Notes: First Team Class 4A All-State selection by the Associated Press, Champaign News-Gazette and Illinois Basketball Coaches Association in 2008 ... Named the St. Louis Post-Dispatch Player of the Year in 2008 ... Averaged 17.6 points, 17.1 rebounds, 4.4 assists, 3.2 steals and 4.5 blocks per game as a senior ... Led East St. Louis Senior to Southwestern Conference and IHSA Regional Championships with a 22-4 record in 2007-08 ... McDonald's All-America Team nominee as a senior ... Named second team All-State by the AP and Champaign News-Gazette and first team All-Metro by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch in 2006-07 after averaging 18.6 points, 11.8 rebounds and 4.6 assists per game as a junior for a 21-6 team ... Named second team All-State by the Champaign News-Gazette, first team All-Metro by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and All-Area by the Belleville News-Democrat as a sophomore after averaging 14.7 points and 8.7 rebounds while shooting 62 percent from the field for a 26-2 team ... Named honorable mention All-State and first team All-Metro by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch in 2004-05 after averaging 12 points, 9.6 rebounds and 2.4 steals per game as a freshman.
High School coach was Charles McDonald ... Also played at the Jackie Joyner-Kersee Center for coach Theodora Smith ... Played volleyball in high school for three seasons, earning first team All-State honors each year ... Also considered DePaul, Kansas and LSU.
Coach Law on Smith: "TeAndrea is a highly touted post player. She is going to be exciting to watch because of her athleticism, great timing, touch around the basket, ball handling skills and basketball mind. She is a prolific scorer, rebounder and shot blocker and will be one of the most talented and athletic players in the Big Ten when she steps on the floor. The most exciting thing about TeAndrea is that she hasn't even scratched the surface of how good she can become. The sky is the limit for her."
6-0 // Forward // Brooklyn, NY, Oak Hill Academy (Va.) / Okaloosa-Walton College, Niceville, Fla.
Notes: Junior College transfer from Okaloosa-Walton College will have junior eligibility ... Named second team All-Panhandle Conference in 2007-08 after averaging 7.6 points and 4.8 rebounds as a sophomore ... Attended first two years of high school at Mary Bergtraum High School for Business Careers in Manhattan, NY, leading them to state titles in each of those two seasons ... Attended Oak Hill Academy in Mouth of Wilson, Va., for her final two years of high school.
Junior College Coach was Brittney Ezell ... High school coaches were Mike Rogers (Murray Bergtraum) and Mike Sea (Oak Hill) ... Played for coach Robert "Apache" Paschall of Exodus on the AAU Circuit ... Also considered Ole Miss and James Madison ... Two OWC teammates will also be playing Division I basketball - Andrea Kelly (LSU) and Alexandria Sanabria (West Virginia).
Coach Law on Toone: "Whitney is a long, athletic forward who does all the little things to help teams win. This includes scoring, rebounding and running the floor. She has a long wingspan, which will fit well in our trapping and zone defenses. She has gained valuable experience playing at the junior college level, which will be important for a young team like we'll have next year. Whitney has a bright future here at Illinois."
Click HERE to read about fall signees Macie Blinn and Lana Rukavina.