ASU Women's Basketball Signs Three Players

Nov. 12, 2008

TEMPE, Ariz. - Two local standouts who have achieved exceptional success and a top-notch guard from California highlight the 2008 women's basketball signing class for Arizona State announced by Sun Devil head coach Charli Turner Thorne on Wednesday.

Joy Burke, Deja Mann and Markisha Patterson all signed letters of intent to study and play basketball at ASU.

'Today we signed three outstanding young ladies who are all going to be tremendous additions to the Sun Devil women's basketball program and the ASU community,' offered Turner Thorne. 'Our program feels very fortunate that Joy, Deja and Markisha decided to become Sun Devils. Each of them strives for success with the same character and passion off the court and in the classroom as they do on the court; no doubt qualities passed on to them by their tremendous families who we thoroughly enjoyed getting to know throughout the recruiting process.'

A 6-foot-5 post player, Burke was named to The Arizona Republic's All-Arizona team in 2008 in addition to earning second-team All-Tribune honors from the East Valley Tribune following a season in which she led Tempe Marcos de Niza to the state quarterfinals. During her decorated junior season, Burke averaged 19.8 points, 14.5 rebounds and 5.5 blocks per game. The school's record holder for points and rebounds, Burke was rated the one of the top 30 post players in the country by Scouts Inc. Burke also competed locally for Arizona Elite, whose recent alumni includes current Sun Devils Sybil Dosty and Dymond Simon.

'Joy is a passionate, focused, determined and remarkably intelligent young lady both on and off the basketball court,' said Turner Thorne. 'At 6-5 she has guard skills and tremendous athleticism. Her versatility reminds me of [current Los Angeles Sparks center] Lisa Leslie. She is comfortable with her back to the basket, on the perimeter, and in a full court game. Her strong character and her exceptional work ethic are a tribute to her amazing family, especially parents Steve and Ming Hui, and confirmed for us that she would be an unbelievable Sun Devil.'

A 5-foot-8 combo guard, Mann will be joining the Sun Devils from Merced High School in Merced, Calif. Mann, who was sidelined because of injury her junior season, had an outstanding sophomore campaign in which she averaged nearly 16 points, 10 rebounds, four steals and three assists per game on her way to being named the Central California Conference MVP. Mann, who averaged 14.1 points per game as a freshman, also starred on the Modesto Magic club team this past summer. An outstanding shooter, Mann ranked No. 25 on hoopgurlz.com's best 'Gunners' of the summer.

'Deja is a savvy, hardworking, and dynamic combo guard,' said Turner Thorne. 'She is both a prolific shooter and great decision-maker which is a very rare combination. While Deja has exceptional athleticism she combines it with a very high basketball IQ and that is what separates her from so many other guards across the country. Her parents, Damon and Verdie, instilled a level of discipline and accountability that shines through everything she does and has absolutely prepared her to be the future leader of our team.'

A 5-foot-8 guard, Patterson will be coming to ASU from Central Arizona College where last season she helped lead her team to a runner-up finish at the National Junior College Athletic Association championships. Known as a defensive specialist at Central Arizona, Patterson is very familiar with what it takes to win championships. In 2007, she helped lead Tolleson High School to the Class 5A Division II state title after she scored 19 points and grabbed 17 rebounds in the championship game.

'Markisha is about as tough and talented a guard as I saw anywhere in the country,' said Turner Thorne. 'While she was a standout at Tolleson, her development at Central Arizona has been outstanding. Markisha's work ethic and hunger to be the best have turned her into not just a great college scorer, but also a player who can dominate with her defense and rebounding. She is a ferocious competitor who will help us continue to succeed at the highest level of college basketball.'

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