Four Sign NLIs with Michigan for 2016-17

Nov. 11, 2015

2016-17 Recruits
From left: Akienreh Johnson, Kysre Gondrezick, Kayla Robbins, KeAsja Peace

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- University of Michigan women's basketball head coach Kim Barnes Arico announced the signing of four student-athletes to National Letters of Intent during the early signing period on Wednesday (Nov. 11). The class is ranked No. 12 by Blue Star, No. 13 by Prospects Nation and No. 20 by HoopGurlz.

Name Pos. Ht. Hometown (High School) Athlete Info
Kysre Gondrezick G 5-9 Benton Harbor, Mich. (Benton Harbor) Learn More
Akienreh Johnson G 6-0 Toledo, Ohio (Toledo Rogers) Learn More
KeAsja Peace F 6-3 Toledo, Ohio (Toledo Rogers) Learn More
Kayla Robbins F 6-1 Bowie, Md. (St. John's High School) Learn More

"I am super excited about the 2016 class, "Barnes Arico said. "For us to have back-to-back top classes nationally says a lot about the direction of our program. Three of out of the four have been committed for a long time, which says a lot about what they thought about our program. They all bring a little something different in terms of basketball skills and will fill a variety of roles for our program. They all come from great families, great AAU programs and great basketball cultures.

"I want to give a tremendous amount of credit for this recruiting class to our assistant coaches. They have done a tremendous job of building relationships and speaking to the vision of our program as well as the Michigan difference and what it means to be a student-athlete at the University of Michigan. It is a 40-year commitment, not just a four-year commitment.

"If you graduate from the University of Michigan, doors are going to open up all over the world for you. Now specifically from a women's basketball perspective, there has been a culture and an environment created where players believe they can come here and not just receive a Michigan education but also have an opportunity to win on the court. They have an opportunity to create something that has never been done here from a women's basketball perspective and that is win championships and take this program in a direction that it has never gone."

Kysre Gondrezick -- No. 29 Blue Star, No. 35 Prospects Nation, No. 43 ASGR, No. 70 HoopGurlz

Kysre Gondrezick picked Michigan last week to complete the signing class. A 5-9 guard from Benton Harbor who is closing in on 2,000 career points, Gondrezick follows a long line of family members to play Division I basketball. Her mother, Lisa, won an NCAA championship at Louisiana Tech in 1988, her father, Grant, played at Pepperdine and in the NBA, and her sister, Kalabrya, is a freshman playing at Michigan State. Gondrezick is the top-rated player in the state of Michigan and averaged 28.2 points, 10.6 assists and 3.6 steals as a junior. She helped Benton Harbor to the Class B semifinals last year and has earned a spot on the Detroit News Dream Team three times in her career. A four-star recruit by HoopGurlz, Gondrezick was invited to the 2013 USA Basketball U16 trials and the 2014 USA Basketball U17 team trials. She plays AAU for Michigan Crossover.

"The first high school game I saw in the state of Michigan was a Benton Harbor game during Kysre's freshman year," Barnes Arico said. "To see her play as a freshman at another level with the ability to make everyone around her better and see the court at such a young age was very impressive. I have loved watching her transformation from her freshman year to her senior year and the growth she has made as one of the best guards in the country. I have enjoyed watching her play with Michigan Crossover this summer, seeing her leadership and her development in their program as well as becoming a coach on the floor. She has been a joy to watch and a pleasure to recruit. I think she has a personality and demeanor that people want to play with her. Since her commitment, she calls me every night about the other recruits around the country that she has been talking to and who she wants to come play with her at Michigan. Her belief in our university and program has been unbelievable."

"Michigan was by far the best four-year decision for the next 40 years of my life," Gondrezick said." It was the most perfect overall fit through academics, athletics and for my future as well. Although I may be remembered for what happens on the basketball court, receiving my degree from the University of Michigan, one of the top institutions in the country and the world, is what I will be most proud of."

Akienreh Johnson -- No. 54 ASGR, No. 98 Prospects Nation, Three-star recruit by HoopGurlz, No. 113 Blue Star

Akienreh Johnson was named the Associated Press All-Ohio Division II Player of the Year and all-state first team as a junior after going for 14.5 points, 7.0 rebounds and 3.1 assists per game before suffering a knee injury in the state playoffs. She led Rogers to a 24-6 record, city championship and a regional championship prior to her injury. As a sophomore, she helped Rogers to the school's first-ever state semifinal appearance. She was invited to the 2014 USA Basketball U17 team trials and plays AAU for Toledo Thunder.

"We started recruiting her in the 9th grade when she was one of the top 9th-graders in the country," Barnes Arico said. "She is a long wing who really gives us some length at that position. She has really developed and expanded her game over the years, being able to get to the basket and make shots as well as defend at a high level. She is coming off an ACL injury at the end of last year but is already back at practice and doing exceptionally well. She, along with her family, was one of the first believers in us when we came to Michigan in 2012. Her belief in our vision and the commitment she has made to our program over the past three years has been incredible."

"I chose Michigan because from the first time of ever walking on campus, it felt like a home away from home," Johnson said. "My biggest fear of going to college was time management and being homesick. Michigan, without me even asking, showed me a schedule to help me manage my time along with many other academic resources. Not only is Michigan only 45 minutes away from my home, but I have always felt so welcome here. I love the coaches and players here at Michigan. I am really excited to finally and officially be a Wolverine."

KeAsja Peace -- No. 112 Prospects Nation, Three-star recruit by HoopGurlz, No. 102 Blue Star, No. 115 ASGR

KeAsja Peace, a 6-foot-3 forward, joins her Toledo Rogers teammate Johnson in this year's class. She is the No. 15-ranked post player in the class, according to HoopGurlz. As a sophomore, she averaged 8.1 points and 2.4 blocks before helping Rogers to 24-6 record, city championship and a regional championship with Johnson as a junior. She was selected to the 2015 Ohio High School Basketball Coaches Association's District 7 second team. She plays AAU for the Michigan Crossover.

"KeAsja has shown to be a dominant inside presence throughout both her high school career and her time with Michigan Crossover," Barnes Arico said. "She is a lefty inside post player but has the ability to extend her game and face up. She can take the defense out away from the basket, as well as post up. The variety in her game is what makes her tough to guard. She has a bounce to her step. She provides a lot of athleticism and physical toughness for us inside. She will be a great asset alongside Hallie Thome to our post play."

"I chose the University of Michigan because the way I felt every time I walked on campus, I knew it was a place I wanted to spend the next four years of my life. It's like a home away from home for me. Having my family at my games played a big part of me choosing Michigan as well. I felt as if I was part of something much bigger than myself and basketball. Not only will I be part of one of the greatest basketball programs, but I will also be part of the best academic programs as well. A lot of opportunities will open up for me after college with a Michigan degree. I also love the coaches and team. I knew the way I bonded with them that I would fit in and make lifelong friends within the program. Signing my NLI means a lot to me. It makes me realize how much closer I am to ending my high school chapter and beginning my college chapter."

Kayla Robbins -- No. 81 Prospects Nation, No. 93 HoopGurlz, No. 125 Blue Star, No. 154 ASGR

Kayla Robbins, a 6-foot-1 forward, is a four-star recruit by HoopGurlz. After missing part of her sophomore season with a knee injury, Robbins returned for her junior season to help St. John's to 17 wins and earn All-Washington Catholic Athletic Conference second-team mention. She also picked up All-USA D.C. Girls Basketball second team honors and honorable mention All-Met form the Washington Post last season. Her father, Kevin, played football at Michigan State and for several years in the NFL. Robbins plays AAU for the Maryland Lady Terps, the same AAU program that sophomore Jillian Dunston played for.

"Kayla is a combination of KeAsja and Akienreh," Barnes Arico said. "She will give us a rebounding presence, great athleticism and the ability to play inside and outside. She can play the 3, she can face up, she can hit shots and can rebound the ball extremely well. She has a motor, very similar to Jillian Dunston, which isn't a surprise since they played for the same AAU program and Joe Dunston. Kayla gives us a different dimension to this recruiting class with the ability to play so many different positions and fill a variety of roles."

"I chose Michigan because the family-oriented environment really stood out to me," Robbins said. "Michigan's academic and athletic support is amazing from the coaches, teammates and fellow students at the University. Signing my NLI has to be one of the proudest moments in my life. I can't wait to officially join the University of Michigan family next year!"

 

Michigan begins the 2015-16 season on Saturday (Nov. 14), hosting Binghamton at Crisler Center. Tip is set for noon. [ Tickets ]

Communications Contact: Sarah VanMetre


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