Arizona Women's Basketball Inks Best Recruiting Class in Program History
TUCSON, Ariz. – If you build it, they will come.
The Arizona women's basketball team signed the best recruiting class in program history with all three signees recognized as top-100 recruits by ESPN HoopGurlz. All three are rated at least 4-stars with forward Maya Nnaji situated as a 5-star recruit.
The Wildcats' class is highlighted by the 6-4 Nnaji who is the highest rated recruit in program history, checking in as a five-star recruit according to the ESPN HoopGurlz top-100. The Hopkins, Minn., native is ranked ninth nationally and the number three forward in her class. Nnaji is a dominant forward who averaged 19.5 points and 8.5 boards per game as a sophomore and 24.5 points and 8.5 rebounds per game her junior season. For her performance during the 2021 season, Nnaji was named the Minneapolis Star Tribune Metro Player of the year. She also was named to the Naismith Girls' High School Player of the Year Watchlist.
"I'm so excited to welcome Maya," said head coach Adia Barnes. "She is the total package, she's not only a great player but an amazing person. She is a fierce competitor on the floor, she's very versatile and can play a lot of positions and is just a beast on the court. She's going to do amazing things on and off the court and I'm excited to be a part of her story."
Joining Nnaji will be four-star guard Kailyn Gilbert, the nation's No. 31 recruit and an elite scorer at all three levels. The speedy Gilbert has been named the Hillsborough County Player of the Year twice, First-Team All-State three times and Class 3A Florida Player of the Year once. The Tampa Bay, Fla., product also averaged 32.1 points per game as a sophomore and 27.3 points per game as a freshman. Along with Nnaji, Gilbert was also named to the Naismith Girls' High School Player of the Year Watchlist.
"Kailyn is a dog," said Barnes. "We always talk about finding that player that has that Arizona 'dog' mentality and she has that. She's going to be a better college player than she is a high school player. She can play the point or the off guard position, she can shoot the ball, she's smart and she's a great passer. I can't wait to coach her because she's a gym rat and fits everything we do here."
Alongside Gilbert and Nnaji, the Wildcats added Canadian guard Lemyah Hylton. Hylton, also a four-star recruit, is the highest-rated international recruit in the ESPN HoopGurlz Top-100, checking in at 85th overall. The Missassauga, Ontario, Canada, native also has international experience as she played for Team Canada's U19 squad.
"Lemyah is a player that I really wanted," Barnes said. "She fits what we do. She's a long, athletic slasher who can shoot the three so I think she fits in our system very well. I see her filling the same role as Sam Thomas has for five years, she can do all those things."
With all three signees ranked in the ESPN HoopGurlz top-100, the Wildcats' 2022 class is currently ranked as the sixth-best recruiting class in the country by ESPN.
-- ArizonaWildcats.com --