Emmitsburg, Md. (June 4, 2014) – Head Coach Bryan Whitten announced the addition of six players who will debut for the Mount St. Mary's women's basketball team during the 2014-15 season. The incoming class of freshmen includes Kalifa Ducker (Westbury, N.Y./St. Anthony's), Katrice Dickson (Hagerstown, Md./South Hagerstown), Amira Giannattasio (Hamilton, Ontario/St. Mary's), Jessica Harris (Woodbridge, Va./Thomas Edison), Caroline Hummell (Brights Grove, Ontario/St. Patrick's) and Stacey Koutris (Sandy Spring, Md./Our Lady of Good Counsel).
"We are excited about this year's recruiting class," Whitten said. "Obviously we lost five seniors who were integral to the success of our program. We feel these six young women have the chance to be special as well. They will comprise almost half of our team and will be counted on heavily for us to continue our recent success. Just as the seniors who just graduated, our incoming freshmen will have the opportunity to make significant contributions right away, and though they will be young, will gain experience quickly."
Ducker helped guide St. Anthony's to the Class AA CHSAA State Championship in New York as a senior by averaging 10.0 points, 6.5 rebounds and 1.1 assists. She was named Second Team All-Long Island following her senior campaign. The 5-10 guard/forward led St. Anthony's to three league championships and was also an all-league high jumper on the track and field team.
"Kalifa is a very athletic forward who plays bigger than she is on defense," Whitten said. "She is a slasher who rebounds well and played on a State Championship team in high school. With continued hard work, she has a chance to do some really good things. She will give us some quickness and mobility at the four spot."
Dickson makes her way to the Mount from nearby South Hagerstown where she starred for the Rebels. The 5-9 guard graduated as the school's all-time leading scorer with 1,323 points, leading her squad to a 22-1 record as a senior. Dickson averaged 15.6 points, 7.3 rebounds and 2.2 assists to earn First Team All-County and First Team All-MVAL honors in 2013-14. She was named Washington County Girls Basketball Player of the Year as a junior in 2012-13 after leading her team to a 21-3 finish and a conference championship, while averaging 12.8 points and 6.1 rebounds per game.
"Katrice is a very athletic wing player who can get to the rim," Whitten commented. "She has three-point range and is a very good defender. She is the type of player who has a high motor with a relentless attitude. She is high energy and will do whatever is asked of her. Katrice is a winner who led her high school team to the State Quarterfinals the last two years."
A four-time Provincial Champion in her native Ontario, Canada, Giannattasio put up 15 points, nine assists and five rebounds per game as a senior to help her team to a 38-1 record. Giannattasio was a team captain of her high school and AAU teams, and was also a member of her Provincial Team, representing Ontario in 2010.
"Amira is a very active combo guard who can shoot the three," Whitten said. "She has a good bounce to her game, can get to the rim, and create for others. She is a very hard worker who will be counted on to help fill the void of Sydney Henderson ('14)."
Harris played her first three seasons at Freedom High School before spending her senior season at Thomas Edison High School. Harris averaged 21.9 points, 8.0 rebounds and 2.7 assists per game as a junior at Freedom before putting up 11.8 points, 9.0 rebounds and 3.6 steals per contest at Thomas Edison. She helped lead her squad to Regional and District Championships, as well as an appearance in the state semifinals as a senior.
"Jessica was under the radar in high school and is a player who can play multiple positions," Whitten said. "She can shoot it, get to the rim, and post up. She rebounds well and is athletic and hungry. I think she will surprise people."
A productive player at St. Patrick's in Ontario, Hummell was LSSAA City High School League MVP and posted 16 points, seven rebounds and four assists per game as a senior. Hummell finished third in the JUEL Provincial League with a three-point shooting percentage of .403 during her senior campaign. She helped lead St. Patrick's to two city championships and one regional championship.
"Caroline is a crafty post player who uses her body well and can score the ball," Whitten commented. "She is strong on the blocks and has a nice touch from the perimeter. She rebounds well and knows and understands the game."
Koutris is a versatile player who played all five positions for Our Lady of Good Counsel throughout her four years. The Sandy Spring, Md. native averaged 10.6 points per game as a senior, earning All-WCAC Third Team and All-Gazette Honorable Mention honors in 2013-14. The 6-0 forward was named All-WCAC Honorable Mention as a sophomore and junior.
"Stacey is a smart player who understands the game," Whitten said. "She played at Good Counsel in a very tough high school league, and we are looking for her to be a three-point shooter for us."
The Mount put together a 19-14 record during the 2013-14 season, highlighted by the program's first-ever trip to the WNIT and the No. 2 seed in the Northeast Conference Tournament with a 13-5 NEC mark. The squad graduated five seniors from last year's team who combined for 4,448 points, 2,028 rebounds, 862 assists and 573 games played in their careers.