USC Women Sign Four In Nation's Top Recruiting Class

Nov. 11, 2005

Four athletes have signed national letters of intent to play basketball for USC next season, second-year head coach Mark Trakh announced Friday (Nov. 11). Hailey Dunham (Los Angeles, Calif./Winward Academy), Jacki Gemelos (Stockton, Calif./St. Mary's HS), Aarika Hughes (Beaverton, Ore./Southridge HS) and Morghan Medlock (Harbor City, Calif./Narbonne HS) now comprise the incoming freshman class for the 2006-07 Women of Troy. The group of four standouts has been tabbed the top recruiting class in the nation by USA Today and All Star Girls Report. All four athletes are ranked among the top 35 prospects in the nation according to Full Court Press, and guard Gemelos stands as the country's top recruit in All Star Girls Report.

'It's a very strong class,' second-year head coach Mark Trakh said of the foursome. 'They're very versatile and athletic. We'll be able to do a lot of things, because they can play all positions and are so talented.'

Dunham is a 6-1 guard who recently earned the third best mark out of 226 competitors in the national SPARQ (Speed, Power, Agility, Reaction, Quickness) Basketball Ratings held at the NIKE Nationals in South Carolina. She was an All-CIF Southern Section First Team selection in 2005 and averaged 14.9 points, 5.2 assists and 2.8 steals per game as a junior at Winward Academy.

'Hailey is a tall, athletic guard who can play four positions for us,' Trakh said of Dunham. 'She's very fast.'

A 5-11 guard, Gemelos is one of the nation's top recruits, as listed by USA Today, and was named a Parade Magazine All-America first team selection this year, averaging 25.5 points and 6.0 assists per game. As a member of the 2005 USA Youth Development Festival, she finished the five-game festival as the second leading scorer with 20 points per game and averaged 2.4 three-pointers per game. In her three seasons so far at St. Mary's High School (Calif.), Gemelos has accumulated over 2,000 points, 500 rebounds, 500 assists, 300 steals and 100 blocks, and has helped her team to two state championships. As a junior, she was selected to USA Today's list of top juniors and was named the top junior in California in 2005.

'We feel Jacki is the No. 1 or 2 player in the country,' Trakh said of Gemelos. 'She's a great ball-handler and a great shooter, and she makes everyone else better.'

Hughes, a 6-1 forward, also was a member of the 2005 USA Youth Development Festival. As a junior at Southridge High School (Ore.), Hughes was named Metro League Player of the year and a member of the all-state first team. Her Southridge team went 29-0 in 2004-05, led by Hughes' 12.9 points per game and 6.1 rebounds per game that season.

'Aarika is a tall, athletic guard who is very versatile and plays on the No. 1 high school program in the country,' Trakh said of Hughes. 'She has a great feel for the game. She's a great defender and will fit very well into our system.'

A 6-foot guard/forward, Medlock also competed at the 2005 USA Youth Development Festival on the same team as Hughes. There, Medlock ranked 10th among all participants with 5.6 rebounds per game and tied for ninth with 2.6 offensive rebounds per game. Medlock hails from the same high school as two other current Women of Troy -- guard Camille LeNoir and forward Jamie Funn. At Narbonne HS (Calif.), Medlock has amassed 1,325 points, 909 rebounds, 215 assists, 165 steals and 129 blocks in her first three seasons.

'Morghan is also athletic and versatile,' Trakh said of Medlock. 'She has a nice medium-range jump shot, is a great defender and rebounder, offensively and defensively. She's an athletic slasher to the basket.'

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