Eastern Washington women's basketball announces five new additio - SWX Right Now-Sports for Spokane, CdA, Tri-Cities, WA

Eastern Washington women's basketball announces five new additions

Photo: EWU Athletics Photo: EWU Athletics

By Eastern Washington Athletics

CHENEY, Wash. – Eastern Washington University head women's basketball coach Wendy Schuller has announced the addition of five new players to the Eagle family. Leya DePriest joins EWU after a two-year stint at the University of Denver, while Tessa Burke, Trinity Golder, Tatiana Reese and Jessica McDowell-White will join the squad as true freshman.
 
"Overall, the late signees in addition to our early signing class bring a wealth of size and talent to our team," said Schuller, who is preparing to enter her 18th year at the helm. "This group is comprised of stellar students and winners. Coupled with the phenomenal team that we have coming back, I am really excited to get on the floor with all of them this summer and can't wait for next season."
 
The new additions join Grace Kirscher, Milly Knowles and Bella Cravens who inked National Letters of Intent in November 2017, bringing the 2018 class to eight new members.
 
Tessa Burke | 5-8" | G | Missoula, Mont. | Loyola Sacred Heart HS
 
Burke is a 5-8" guard from Missoula, Mont., where she attended Loyola Sacred Heart High School. During her senior year, she averaged 24.4 points, 5.0 rebounds and 3.5 steals per game while shooting .560 from field goal range, .750 from the charity stripe and .400 from behind the arc. She owns the Loyola Sacred Heart program record for career points with 1,469.
 
Burke was also a four-year letter winner in track and field and soccer. She was a three-time All-State Selection in soccer and track and was the Montana Soccer Association Athlete of the Month in addition to earning the Loyola Sacred Heart Track MVP in 2017 and 2018.
 
A member of the National Honor Society, she plans on majoring in business marketing at Eastern.
 
Schuller Says: "Tessa has a toughness about her and a well-rounded game that I think will lend itself to our style of play. She is a phenomenal student and will give us some much-needed depth on the perimeter. I love that she has the ability to distribute the ball at a high level but also knows how to score."
 
Leya DePriest | 6-3" | C | Palmer, AK | University of Denver | Wasilla HS
 
DePriest joins the Eagles after two seasons at the University of Denver. A 6-3" center, DePriest hails from Palmer, AK, where she attended Wasilla High School.
 
She played in 35 games between her freshman and sophomore year with the Pioneers, averaging 5.0 minutes per game.
 
Prior to Denver, DePriest was a three-year starter for the Warriors at Wasilla HS where she helped them to a state title during her senior year. She was a two-time first-team all-state selection during her senior and junior year. She was also tabbed a McDonald's All-American nominee in 2015-16 and was ranked as the 54th-best center in the country by ESPN.com. At the time of her recruitment, she was the number one rated prospect in Alaska by MaxPreps.com. She was a three-time first-team all-region member and was named the MVP of the Doc Larson Tournament.
 
DePriest plans to continue her major in Business at EWU.
 
Schuller Says: "Leya is an awesome addition to our roster. She's a young lady we recruited out of high school and I have felt for quite a while could be a presence in our league. As per transfer rules, she will sit out next year and that will be a great opportunity to learn the system and grow her game. I know she'll work hard and push our post players in practice every day and be able make a great impact on this year's team and well into the future when she is eligible to play."
 
Trinity Golder | 5-11" | G | Sandpoint, Idaho | Sandpoint HS
 
Golder began her career at Bonners Ferry High School before transferring to Sandpoint. A 5-11" guard from Sandpoint, Idaho, Golder scored a game-high 26 points twice during her tenure at Sandpoint and notched 32 points in a game for her AAU squad, the Spokane Sandpipers. She averaged 14 points, 4.7 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 2.1 assists per game during her career. Golder was one three-pointer away from tying the Idaho 4A single-game three-point record with six.
 
A team captain, Golder was named to the All-State 4A basketball team in 2017 and also earned the Bob Hamilton Free Throw Award during the same season. In 2018, she was a member of the District I Idaho All-Star team. She also earned letters in volleyball, softball and soccer. At Bonners Ferry, she was named to the 2016 3A All-League IML basketball team and the 4A IEL All-League basketball team in 2017 at Sandpoint.
 
Golder has also excelled off the court academically, earning several team and individual scholastic awards and was a 2018 SHS High Honor Code Recipient and was the junior class president at Bonners Ferry. She plans on majoring in creative writing at Eastern.
 
Schuller Says: "Trinity brings an uncanny ability to score to our roster. She has as pure of a stroke as there is out there. She is coming off of a knee injury and hasn't played a lot in the last year. I am excited to see where her game takes off to when she gets into our strength and conditioning program and our basketball system on a daily basis."
 
Jessica McDowell-White | 5-6" | PG | Brisbane, Australia | Brisbane State High
 
McDowell-White joins the Eagles all the way from Brisbane, Australia where she attended Brisbane State High. A 5-6" point guard, McDowell-White averaged 5.25 points and 6.12 rebounds per game for the Australia U18 squad. She improved to 8.29 points for game on the U20 team, adding 4.14 assists. She also helped guide her team to a U17 Oceania Championship.
 
She plans on majoring in kinesiology at Eastern. Her father, Darryl White, played football for the Australian Football League.
 
Schuller Says: "Jess is a great addition to this year's class. She is a savvy point guard who is strong and tough and has a great basketball IQ. She comes from family of high level athletes and really loves to compete. Her international experience has been extensive and has prepared her to make an immediate impact at the Division I level."
 
Tatiana Reese | 5-5" | G | East Menlo Park, Calif. | Woodside Priory School
 
Reese is a 5-5" guard that hails from East Menlo Park, Calif. She attended Woodside Priory School where she is a member of 1,000-point club with 1,775 points. She also added 225 career steals, 575 rebounds, 320 assists while helping the Panthers to a 62-40 record during her tenure.
 
Prior to being named to the West Bay Athletic League (WBAL) First-Team in 2015, she was tabbed the WBAL MVP in 2016 and followed it up with another first-team nod after the 2017 season and second-team in 2018.
 
She led Woodside Priory to a 2016 league championship and a runner-up finish in the Central Coast Section (CCS) in 2017. In 2018, Reese and her teammates earned a CCS Championship as well as a runner-up finish in the state championship. She was named Athlete of the Week twice during her career.
 
Reese also played lacrosse and volleyball and competed in track and field during her prep career. She plans on majoring in kinesiology at Eastern Washington.
 
Schuller Says: "Tatiana is a very talented guard who will fit in well with our up-tempo style. She really shoots it well from three and has a great eye for hitting the open player. She had a stellar high school career and she's going to be exciting for Eagle fans to watch."
 
Bella Cravens | 6-3 | C | Laie, Hawaii | Maryknoll School
 
Cravens is a 6-3 post player that comes to Eastern from Laie, Hawaii. She helped lead the Maryknoll varsity squad to four-straight Interscholastic League of Honolulu (ILH) titles during her tenure. She also led the Spartans to runner-up finishes at the state tournament in 2016, 2017 and 2018.
 
Following her senior season, she was named to the state first-team, first-team defensive all-state and was the ILH Player of the Year. She is an HHSAA Hall of Honor Recipient.
 
Cravens earned four letters in basketball and three in volleyball throughout her prep career, averaging 9.2 points per game and shooting .659 from field goal range. During the 2016-17 season, she was tabbed All-Interscholastic League of Honolulu (ILH) first-team and was named to the All-State first team, as well as All-State Defense Team.
 
The daughter of Sharlene and Mark Cravens, she plans on majoring in psychology with aspirations of becoming a sports psychologist.
 
Schuller Says: "Bella has a bright future in front of her and I am so glad she will be doing it as an Eagle. She is an excellent athlete and will bring a paint presence with her shot blocking and rebounding. Bella is someone who brings it day in and day out and I think will develop into a great scorer for us. She is a tremendous competitor and comes from top notch programs at Maryknoll High School and the Islanderz Basketball Club, she really knows how to win."
 
Grace Kirscher | 6-0 | G | Sandpoint, Idaho | Sandpoint HS
 
Kirscher is a 6-0 guard out of Sandpoint, Idaho, and lettered in both volleyball and basketball all four years and is a McDonald's All-American nominee.
 
A back-to-back 4A Inland Empire League Most Valuable Player in 2017 and 2018, Kirscher was also named to the Idaho Statesman's 4A All-Idaho State first team during those years after being tabbed second-team during the 2016 season. She was named the 2017 and 2018 Sandpoint HS MVP after being voted Most Inspirational by her coaches and teammates in 2017. Kirscher also adds the District I Girl's All-Star Game MVP and the Idaho High School Girl's All-Star Game MVP to her list of accomplishments.
 
Following a third-place finish at the 2015 4A State Tournament her freshman season, Kirscher averaged 13 points, three rebounds, two steals and two assists per game as a sophomore to lead her team to another third-place finish in 2016. As a junior, Kirscher averaged 16.1 points per game to go along with five boards per contest. She also tacked on 3.4 steals and assists per game and helped her team quality for the state tournament again in 2017. She was named All-State following the 2017 campaign.
 
Kirscher was a Female Basketball Player of the Year and a Female Athlete of the Year nominee by the North Idaho Sports Hall of Fame in 2016, 2017 and 2018. Off the court, she's earned an Outstanding Individual Scholastic Award for GPA for four straight years.

The daughter of Pam Miller and Keith Kirscher, she plans on majoring in elementary education with a minor of business.
 
Schuller Says: "Grace's addition to this class has really made it a great one. She can play anywhere on the floor and has really nice size for a guard. Physically, I think she will be able to step in right away and compete at the DI level. She is a super scorer and plays extremely hard. I love her range on the perimeter but most importantly I love her competitive nature and who she is as a young lady. She comes from outstanding coaching at Sandpoint HS and at the club level with the Sandpiper program. Those experiences have prepared her to be a really good one at the next level."
 
Milly Knowles | 6-1 | PF | Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria, England
 
Knowles hails from Cumbria, England and is a 6-0 power forward. After winning a regional championship at the U-13 and U-15 levels, she was an England National team selection at the U-15, 16 and 18 levels.
 
In 2018, she was a Division I Women Semi-Finalist, an Elite AC Finalist and led her team to another U18 National League Northern Championship.
 
Knowles will bring plenty of international experience to Eastern, as she played in the Division A European Championship at the U-16 level in addition to being tabbed a Great Britain U-18 Selection in the summer of 2017. Also in 2017, she was named the Women's Elite Academy Basketball League North Defensive Player of the Year and earned Most Valuable Player of the England Schools. In addition to winning an England School Championship in 2017, she led her team to a U-18 National League Northern Championship.
 
Knowles is coached by former Eagle great Julie Page who played basketball for EWU under Schuller from 2004-06. Page was named Big Sky Newcomer of the Year in 2004 and earned an All-Big Sky nod in 2006.
 
Knowles earned the Will Wilson Award for outstanding sports person and the Joe Harrison award for sporting excellence in 2016. She chose to come to Eastern Washington because it, "has everything I'm looking for both academically and in basketball. From the initial contact and conversation, the coaching staff and players have made me feel very welcome."
 
The daughter of David and Amanda Knowles, she plans on majoring in athletic training with aspirations of becoming a physiotherapist.
 
Schuller Says: "I am so excited about Milly travelling across the pond to be an Eagle. She played for Olympian and Eagle alum, Julie Page at Myerscough College in England. Milly has been extremely well coached since Julie did learn from the best. Milly gives us an inside-outside presence and really has a game reminiscent of Julie's. Her international experience will really work in her favor to help her make big contributions to our team early."

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