Women’s Basketball Lands a Pair of Commitments
MACON, Ga. – Mercer women's basketball head coach Susie Gardner announced the acquisition of two players on Thursday, inking Jessica Prieto and Kate Alemann to National Letters of Intent. The newest additions are set to join the Bears in the fall of 2012.
"Our staff worked tirelessly all season to find the right players to help continue growing our program," Mercer head coach Susie Gardner said. "In Jessica and Kate, we have two passionate players with the desire to be great."
Prieto is a 5-foot-10 guard from Laredo, Texas who comes to Macon after a four-year career at John B. Alexander High School. As a member of the Lady Bulldogs, Prieto helped guide the team to some of the most successful campaigns in school history.
Prieto's senior season saw the team stamp school and city records for win total in class 5A, Texas' biggest University Interscholastic League classification. All told, in four seasons at John B. Alexander, Prieto's teams notched three district championships, three bi-district championships, three area championships, three regional quarterfinal appearances and a regional semifinal appearance.
"Jessica is a student of the game," John B. Alexander Head Coach Javier Reyes said. "Her passion for basketball is obvious and playing at Mercer is her dream come true."
Her high school career was highlighted by several prestigious awards, including all-region and all-state honors in both her junior and senior seasons. She finished as a two-time Laredo Morning Times City MVP and booked MVP honors at both the Weslaco Tournament and Border Olympics.
"In the backcourt, we looked for a point guard, a shooter and a wing with size," Gardner said. "With Jessica, we got all three and expect her to fill some of our needs immediately."
In her final season at John B. Alexander, Prieto averaged 18.7 points, 8.8 assists and 8.1 steals per game and hit an eye-popping 110 three point shots.
Alemann is a 6-foot-4 forward by way of Auckland, New Zealand, who spent the last two seasons at Mineral Area College in Park Hill, Missouri. In her most recent season at Mineral Area College, Alemann averaged 9.5 points, 5.7 rebounds and 1.3 blocks per game.
Gary Koch, head coach at Mineral Area College, believes Mercer provides the resources Alemann needs to achieve her potential.
"Because of her intelligence, the sky is the limit for Kate," Koch said. "She's goings to benefit from the individual attention she will receive at Mercer, and I trust the coaching staff can elevate her game. She improved tremendously over the past year and her best basketball is ahead of her."
Prior to her time at Mineral Area College, Alemann led her Rangitoto College high school team to a national runner-up finish, earning herself a spot at the New Zealand national team trials in the process. While competing at the national level in New Zealand, she collected all-tournament honors at both the U-19 and U-21 tournaments in 2008 and 2011.
"Because Kate has competed internationally and at the junior college level, she brings much needed experience," Gardner said. "She has the ability to score inside as well as hit the 15-foot jumper."