ASHEVILLE, N.C. – UNC Asheville women’s basketball coach Brenda Mock Kirkpatrick has announced the signing of four players to National Letters of Intent in the early signing period.
The four players are guard Jada Brayboy of Providence HS in Charlotte , guard Tianna Knuckles of East Wake HS in Wendell, N.C., guard Chatori Major of Lejune HS in Camp Lejune, N.C., and center Klarissa "KJ" Weaver of Miller Groove HS in Snellville, Ga.
“I am extremely pleased with our first signing class at UNC Asheville,” said Kirkpatrick. “My staff did a great job of pursuing players that have the skill sets that we are in need of while maintaining the high academic standards of our university. Each one of these young ladies brings something unique to the table both academically and athletically. I have no doubt they will be make an immediate impact on our team in less than a year. All four of these student-athletes have a passion for basketball and a tremendous amount of pride in being UNC Asheville Bulldogs. They are already calling themselves the "fantastic four.”
Brayboy helped lead Providence Day School to three straight state championships and has been a starter for all three of those seasons. She led the team in assists each season. Brayboy played for the Impact North Carolina basketball team last year. She is a member of the National Honor Society of Athletes.
“Jada Brayboy knows how to win championships,” said Kirkpatrick. “She is, and has played with some of the best players in the Charlotte area. Jada is a true point guard with the ability to score off of on-ball screens, in transition, and from the three-point line. She is also an exceptional distributor of the basketball. Jada is an exciting player to watch because she makes everyone else around her a better player.”
Knuckles is a two-time Greater Neuse All-Conference performer, who was also named All-District this past season. She was named Co-Most Valuable Player at East Wake and earned a spot on the Time Warner Holiday Classic All-Tournament Team. She is a member of the National Honor Society, Beta Club and was named Academic All-Conference.
“Tianna will bring much needed size and explosiveness to the guard core next season,” stated Kirkpatrick. “She has the ability to make plays in transition, extend the defense with her consistent three-point range, and attack the basket. Tianna is an aggressive defender and is not afraid to mix it up on the offensive boards. She is always going to do whatever the situation calls for in practice or a game in order to help her team win. “
Major was an All-Area selection as a sophomore and junior. She scored her 1,000th career point last year. Major has been the team MVP as a freshman, sophomore and junior. As a junior, she averaged 20 points, seven rebounds and two assists per game.
“Chatori is a smooth and steady player who will bring great versatility as a guard next season,” commented Kirkpatrick. “She can run the show or score from the wing. Chatori is most impressive off the bounce but can also knock it down from behind the arc. Her quickness on defense will be a nightmare for any ball handler. I am looking forward to being able to extend our defense with the addition of Chatori. She has tremendous work ethic and is constantly seeking ways that she can better her high school team this year and get prepared for her college debut next fall. “
Weaver was named All-State as a junior as she helped lead her team to a state championship. She was named MVP of the state title game, recording a double-double with 16 points and 13 rebounds, while posting four blocks in the process. She earned her team’s Best Defense Award this past season and has earned the Academic Athlete Award the past two years.
“With the graduation of Gentry Manley and Kelli Riles, the signing of a great post player was necessary,” added Kirkpatrick. “We feel like we more than did the job with the addition of KJ. She has an uncanny ability to block shots and defend the basket. She has great offensive feel around the basket and a nice arsenal of post moves down low. We also expect that she will contribute from the high post area with her shot and ability to take it off the bounce.”