LUBBOCK, Texas – Head Coach Marlene Stollings and the Lady Raider Basketball staff inked three players to the first official recruiting class under this regime.
Alexis Tucker, Nailah Dillard and Ricka "Maka" Jackson signed National Letters of Intent (NLI) and Athletic Scholarship Agreements (ASA) during the NCAA fall signing period. Two of Stollings' signees are ranked in the Top 20 nationally.
Alexis Tucker is a 5-11 wing from Hawthorne, Calif. This four-star recruit is the 12th-ranked player in her position and ranks in the top 70 amongst the 2019 class.
"Alexis spearheaded The Movement by being the first to commit in the 2019 class. She brings top-notch experience having competed at the highest level with the Nike EYBL Cal Sparks organization. Her dynamic scoring ability, incredible basketball intellect, tireless work ethic, and winning mindset are prized assets for the transformation of our program," Stollings said.
"Alexis is the embodiment of a student-athlete who possesses strong aptitude in the classroom and on the court. There is no doubt she will play a key role in creating an exhilarating atmosphere in United Supermarkets Arena for many years to come!"
Tucker played for the Cal Sparks Club, the Nike Girls Elite Youth Basketball program. She also plays for Junipero Serra High School in Gardena, Calif. Last season, Tucker helped her high school team to the CIF Division I California State Championship. Following the season, Tucker was named First Team All-CIF and was a semifinalist for the 2017 USA Women's U16 National Team Trials.
"I chose Texas Tech because I knew it was the best fit for me academically and athletically. Texas Tech offers the best vision for me as a player, which can help me reach the goals I have planned after college," Tucker said. "I am honored to be playing for Coach Marlene and her amazing staff. I can't wait to be a part of The Movement!"
WHAT THEY'RE SAYING ABOUT ALEXIS TUCKER
"Alexis Tucker is a multi-faceted player that can score from any position. Alexis has a tremendous scoring acument and a high IQ. She is a true student of the game and is one of the best players I've ever had the pleasure of coaching."
McKinsey Hadley -- Head Coach, Junipero Serra High School
Nailah Dillard is a 5-10 guard from Sacramento, Calif. She plays for Inderkum High School in Sacramento, Calif., and drives six hours to play for West Coast Premier.
"Nailah is an electrifying combo guard that has proven her dominance on an elite stage with the Nike EYBL West Coast Premier team. Her ability to score in a variety of ways and play lockdown defense makes her the complete package," Stollings said. "Nailah's inexhaustible work ethic, deep desire to win, competitive spirit, coachability, and unshakeable toughness will help jump start The Movement and push us into new territory."
Dillard is a three-time all-league selection and was named to the All-State Second Team.
"I chose Texas Tech because I want to help bring the Lady Raider program back to the high standards of its rich history and this coaching staff has proven they know how to get that done."
WHAT THEY'RE SAYING ABOUT NAILAH DILLARD
"Nailah is a tremendous talent with a bright future ahead of her. A phenomenal shooter with the ability to score in bunches. Nailah has an incredible work ethic and is a joy to Coach. Sky is the limit for her and Lady Raider Nation! I am beyond proud of her and happy for the entire Dillard family."
Bryan Crichlow – Head Coach, West Coast Premier AAU
RICKA "Maka" JACKSON
Ricka "Maka" Jackson is a 5-8 guard from Manassas, Va. She is the no. 15 ranked JUCO player in the country. Jackson played her freshman season for James Frey at South Georgia Tech and enters her second season with the Eagles.
"Maka has been coached at the highest level in both high school and JUCO which has helped prepare her for all facets of the game. The mixture between her great pull-up jumper and elusive speed makes her hard to guard," Stollings said. "Her ability to create her own shot and 3-point range adds invaluable tools to the Lady Raider arsenal. Her desire to be great and willingness to do what is asked of her will be instrumental in giving Lady Raider Basketball fans much to cheer for. I am elated to add Maka to the Lady Raider family."
Jackson helped South Georgia Tech to a conference championship last season and was named MVP at the conference tournament. She also played high school ball for Stonewall Jackson High School. Jackson helped the team to a conference championship and was named all-district for her outstanding performance.
"I chose Texas tech because it felt like home. It was the perfect place for me, academically and athletically," Jackson said. "Everyone there treated me like family. I know I can be successful and also be surrounded by good people at Texas Tech."
WHAT THEY'RE SAYING ABOUT RICKA JACKSON
"I'm excited for Ricka and for Texas Tech. She's a high intensity player who can score the ball at all three levels offensively and guard the 1-3 defensively. She is an incredible competitor and hates to lose. She has been a leader in our program since she stepped foot on campus. The most impressive thing about Ricka is the way she conducts herself off the court. She has over a 3.4 GPA and is active in a lot of campus activities and organizations. She's what you hope for in a player when you talk about a student athlete."
James Frey – Head Coach, South Georgia Tech