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The Daily Eastern News

Women’s basketball team adds three recruits

JJ Bullock, Assistant Sports Editor

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New Eastern coach Matt Bollant signed the first recruits of his Eastern career last week with three high school athletes, including two guards and a forward.

When Bollant and his staff set out for recruits they were looking first and foremost for hardworking athletes who want to spend time in the gym and love the game of basketball. And he believes he found what he was looking for with this class.

“We’re really excited. I think they are going to help our program take a step forward,” Bollant said. “They are all really talented players who are really driven and did extremely well in the classroom and they played for some quality AAU programs and high school programs as well. So I think we got a really good start, on really what is our first class in the fall.”

The guard tandem is made up of Iowa native Kira Arthofer and Jordyn Hughes of Gurnee. Arthofer is in her senior season and was being recruited by Big 10 schools before she tore her ACL and was out for her junior season. As a sophomore she averaged 12 points per game, 4.3 steals and 3.4 assists.

In her most recent game, Arthofer scored 36 points and 12 rebounds.

Hughes finished with 15.5 points per game and 6.2 rebounds in her junior season of high school.

The two guards could well be the heirs to senior point guard Grace Lennox who will graduate after this season leaving big shoes to fill. However, head coach Matt Bollant is confident the players coming in.

“Obviously Grace (Lennox) is a great point guard and we’re looking, but it won’t probably be just one player to replace her,” Bollant said. “Hopefully you’re going to have a couple of kids step up and do some things.”

Arthofer specifically is a point guard, but Bollant does not think comparisons to Lennox are fair.

“Hopefully, we’d love if she could develop into a great point guard, I don’t think its fair to her to say ‘who wants to be Grace Lennox?’ But we want her to develop into a really good point guard,”Bollant said.

One area specifically Bollant and his staff wanted to address in recruiting was finding a post player to complement the guards of the team. This is why the third recruit, forward Abby Wahl from Indiana, came on to Eastern’s radar.

Wahl averaged 20 points per game and 9.3 rebounds as a junior at Heritage Hills High School in Lincoln City, Ind.

“Abby is a true post who likes to leap out and likes to bang (in the post),” Bollant said. “I think we lack depth in that position for sure.”

Wahl will fit into a core of forwards that includes, current players Halle Stull, Grace McRae, Jennifer Nehls, Vuyelwa Magalela and Zharia Lenoir.

JJ Bullock can be reached at 581-2812 or jpbullock@eiu.edu

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The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.
Women’s basketball team adds three recruits