Women's Basketball Signs Five to NLI's

Nov. 14, 2012

NORMAL, Ill. -

The Illinois State women's basketball program and head coach Stephanie Glance signed five players to National Letters of Intent during the signing period Wednesday. Zenobia Bess, MacKenzie Freeman, Kalyn Gebhardt, Kayonna Lee and Taylor Stewart signed on to continue their athletic and academic careers at Illinois State.

Freeman and Stewart were recruited as guards, while Bess and Gebhardt will be used in the post. Lee was recruited for her ability to play guard or forward. Illinois State will graduate five seniors at the end of this season, and the five recruits will make a big impact on the Redbird roster next season, with eight underclassmen for the 2013-14 season.

“We are very excited about this recruiting class,” Glance said. “Being able to secure an outstanding player at every position gives us great depth and potential for immediate impact from any of these five.”

Zenobia Bess // Forward // 6-1 // Gahanna, Ohio // Gahanna Lincoln High School
Notable: Entering her fourth year at Gahanna Lincoln High School … a three-year varsity letterwinner … averages seven points and seven boards so far during her career … averaged six points per game and earned all-conference honorable mention honors as a junior … led her team to a third-place finish in the Ohio Capital Conference and a district championship as a junior.

Coach Glance on Bess: “Zenobia is a very skilled post player who has size and strength. Potentially, she can contribute on both ends of the floor in a significant way.”

MacKenzie Freeman // Guard // 5-9 // Silver Lake, Kan. // Silver Lake Junior-Senior High School
Notable: Entering her fourth year at Silver Lake Junior-Senior High School … earned All-State basketball honors for three-straight seasons, including first-team honors as a junior … led Silver Lake to a state championship … named the most valuable player (MVP) of the Iowa AAU State Tournament in 2012 … earned Tonganoxie Mid-Season Basketball Tournament All-Tournament Team honors as a sophomore and a junior and was named the tournament MVP as a sophomore … currently ranks first in her class based on grade-point average (GPA) … a member of the National Honor Society and is a Kansas Honors Scholar.



Coach Glance on Freeman: “MacKenzie brings range and precision to the offensive end of the floor. She is a smart player who can shoot, pass or put it on the floor and score. She has the potential to be a great defender as well.”

Kalyn Gebhardt // Center // 6-4 // Beaver Dam, Wis. // Beaver Dam High School
Notable:  Entering her fourth year at Beaver Dam High School … did not play her junior season because of an ACL injury … ranked the second best player in the state of Wisconsin by Midwest Recruiting Report … averaged 9.5 points and seven rebounds per game as a sophomore … netted 59.9 percent of the shots she took as a freshman, setting a school record … averaged 2.1 blocks as a sophomore and sank 76 percent of her shots from the charity stripe … on pace to be the school’s all-time career rebounder.

Coach Glance on Gebhardt: “Kayln brings size and mobility to the post position. She is quite skilled, has great hands and runs the floor very well. She has the potential to be a major contributor for us.”

Kayonna Lee // Guard/Forward // 6-0 // Eau Claire, Wis. // Eau Claire North High School
Notable:  Entering her fourth year at Eau Claire North High School … named one of the top-50 players list in Wisconsin … led the team in field goal percentage, making 44 percent of her shots as a junior … brought down 228 rebounds and scored 255 points as a junior … led Eau Claire North in scoring, rebounding and assists as a junior … a member of the state-qualifying team her sophomore  season … a three-year varsity player.

Coach Glance on Lee: “Kayonna brings size, athleticism and strength to our team. She is a powerful player who can score inside and out. She is a strong rebounder and potentially a tremendous defender.”

Taylor Stewart // Point Guard // 5-7 // Lakeville, Minn. // Lakeville North High School
Notable:  Entering her fourth year at Lakeville North High School … ranks third on the all-time career assist list with 318, fifth on the all-time career list for made three pointers with 77 and scored 876 points through three seasons, sitting in eighth place on the career scoring list … made 45.7 percent of the threes she attempted in a single season, placing her third for most threes made in a single season … has played in three consecutive state tournaments … led the team to a state championship in 2010 and a third-place finish in 2011 … named to the South Suburban All-Conference Team in 2012.

Coach Glance on Stewart: “Taylor is a terrific point guard who sees the floor exceptionally well and can shoot the three or score off the dribble. She delivers the ball on time and accurately and has the ability to truly be a floor general in every way.”

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