COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio State women’s basketball head coach Jim Foster today (Nov. 10) announced the signing of four prospects to National Letters of Intent. All four will eligible to compete for the Buckeyes beginning next season.
The class of 2011, ranked No. 8 in the country by Collegiate Girls Basketball Report, includes ESPN Top 100 prospect Raven Ferguson, a 5-11 guard from Columbus, Maleeka Kynard, a 5-7 guard from Toledo, Ohio, Kalpana Beach, a 6-1 forward from Westlake, Ohio, and Shelbi Honeycutt, a 5-10 center from Siloam Springs, Ark.
Complete bios on all four signees are below:
Westlake High School
Considered a Top 30 prospect as a forward (No. 28) according to ESPN HoopGurlz, Kalpana Beach is a native of Westlake, Ohio. Developing her outside game, Beach also is a defensive-minded forward who earned second team all-state honors and was a Plain Dealer All-Star in 2010. Last season, Beach averaged 19.5 points, 10.5 rebounds, 2.7 blocks, 2.25 assists and 2.25 steals per game as a junior while shooting 66 percent from the floor and 83 percent from the free throw line en route to an appearance in the Division I regional semifinals. A two-sport athlete, Beach finished second in the state meet last spring in the high jump, clearing 5-feet, 8-inches. Her father, Sanjay, played four seasons in the NFL, competing for the New York Jets, Green Bay and San Francisco.
Columbus Africentric High School
A local standout from Columbus Africentric High School, Raven Ferguson is a versatile guard who has an ability to knock down the outside shot or drive to the basket. Ranked the 35th overall prospect and sixth-best guard by ESPN HoopGurlz, Ferguson stands at 5-foot, 11-inches. A second team all-state selection by the Associated Press in 2010, Ferguson averaged 23.8 points as a junior. She also made an impact during her sophomore campaign, helping Africentric to the Ohio Division IV championship, averaging 18.0 points per game. Entering her senior season, Ferguson has averaged 19.8 points, 6.7 assists and 7.2 rebounds per game en route to three first team all-city and two first team all-district laurels. Also rated the No. 1 perimeter prospect in Ohio according to Ohio Girls Basketball Report, Ferguson was a finalist for USA Basketball’s 2010 U18 National Team and is the cousin of O.J. Mayo, a current member of the NBA’s Memphis Grizzlies.
Siloam Springs High School
Siloam Springs, Ark.
Despite not becoming involved in high school athletics (homeschooled) until her junior year at Siloam Springs, Honeycutt still earned 5A all-state honors in 2010. Additionally, Honeycutt was a member of the USA Basketball’s U19 team at the 2010 United World Games in Austria.
Start High School
A 5-foot, 7-inch guard from Toledo Start High School, Maleeka Kynard is a speedy and explosive perimeter player who can shoot and pass at will. Helping Start to an appearance in the Division I state championship game as a sophomore in 2009, Kynard earned first team all-league and all-district honors. Ranked the 38th best guard by ESPN HoopGurlz, Kynard averaged 13 points and three assists per game, while also making 37 percent of her three-pointers a season ago. Those numbers earned Kynard first team all-league and all-district again, while also garnering third-team all-state laurels. Her freshman year, Kynard was a third-team all-league selection.