COLLEGE STATION- Texas A&M women's basketball announced the signing of three student-athletes, N'dea Jones (Lawrenceville, Ga.), Jada Walton (Lithonia, Ga.) and Kayla Wells (Grand Prairie, Texas) to National Letters of Intent on Wednesday. ESPN HoopGurlz ranks the Aggies' class as the No. 13 class in the nation.
"We have signed three young ladies that fit well at Texas A&M, and develop into impact players during their Aggie careers," said Texas A&M head coach Gary Blair. "All three are outstanding students, and have been well coached by their high school and summer programs. My staff and I are extremely excited about these three young ladies as they are the total package—competitive athletes, solid students, and well-coached players, while competing as a high level student-athletes."
"The early signing period brings a breath of fresh air into the program, as it gives you a glimpse of the future of a program while you coach the present and build off the success of the past," added Blair.
N'dea Jones is an ESPNU HoopGurlz four-star recruit, who ranks as the No. 17 forward and the No. 80 player overall in the recruiting class. Jones averaged 17.7 points, 13.9 rebounds and four blocks for Brookwood High School in 2015-16, earning Region Co-Player of the Year honors from the Gwinnett Daily Post and All-State honors from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and the Georgia Athletic Coaches Association.
Jones, a 6-2 forward, already is a member of her school's 1,000-point and 1,000-rebound club, and ranks in the career top 10 in points, second in rebounds, and the career leader in blocks with a full season remaining. In addition, she holds her school's single-game records with 28 rebounds and 15 blocked shots. She is a three-time all-region selection, and a two-time all-state selection. The Lawrenceville, Ga. native also plays middle blocker for Brookwood's volleyball team and plays flute in the marching band.
Jones plays her AAU basketball for the Atlanta-based Team Elite.
"N'dea is a long athletic post that has a fantastic transition game that is well-suited for the SEC," said Blair. "She has excellent timing for shot blocking and the ability to attack the basket. I love the fact she can stretch the defense with her outside shot. N'dea will provide another dimension to our already solid front court."
Kayla Wells is an ESPNU HoopGurlz four-star recruit, who ranks as the No. 25 guard and the No. 89 player overall in the signing class. A 6-0 guard who ranks as the No. 10 prospect in Texas according to Joey Simmons in Dave Campbell's Texas Basketball magazine, she averaged 16.2 points as a junior in 2015-16 for South Grand Prairie High School, earning District 8-6A Offensive Player of the Year and All-Region I honors from the TABC. A three-year starter, she has helped the Warriors to a 71-31 record in that span, earning a First Team All-District 8-6A nod as a junior. Kayla was noted as an "on the rise player" by Dan Olson of ESPN HoopGurlz.
"Kayla is a versatile small forward that has tremendous upside," said Blair. "She explodes to the rim and can score from anywhere with a deadly jumper. We've known Kayla and her family for a long time, and we are ecstatic about her decision to be an Aggie, and attend her dream school of Texas A&M."
Jada Walton is a 5-9 guard from Lithonia, Ga., who ranks as the No. 30 guard and is an ESPNU HoopGurlz three-star recruit. Walton helped Southwest DeKalb to the 2016 Georgia 5A State Title, while averaging 12.4 points, 4.7 rebounds and 2.1 assists to earn All-Metro honors from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Overall, Walton has helped Southwest DeKalb to a 79-17 record in the three years she has started. As a junior, Walton averaged 13.6 points, 6.3 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 2.2 steals, also earning All-Metro honors from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Walton also plays for Southwest DeKalb's lacrosse team and runs cross country.
Walton played her AAU basketball for the Douglasville Lady Tigers, the same AAU team that current Texas A&M sophomore Anriel Howard played for.
"Jada is an off the charts athletic guard that will flourish in our defensive and offensive system," said Blair. "Offensively, she can create well off the bounce and can play all guard positions. Jada fell in love with Texas A&M the moment she arrived. She has the personality and the style of play that will excite Aggie fans."
2017 Signing Class
N'dea Jones – 6-2 – Forward – Lawrenceville, Ga. – Brookwood HS
Jada Walton – 5-9 – Guard – Lithonia, Ga. – Southwest DeKalb HS
Kayla Wells – 6-0 – Guard – Grand Prairie, Texas – South Grand Prairie HS
(© 2017 KAGS)