The Wolfpacker

May 2012

The Wolfpacker: An Independent Magazine Covering NC State Sports

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was looking for in wing Ashley Eli and cen- ter Markeisha Gatling. What the class lacks in numbers, it more than makes up for in filling team needs. Eli was the first to commit — she pulled Quality Over Quantity N NC State Fills Its Needs With 2012 Recruiting Class BY RYAN TICE C State was looking to fill specific spots with the 2012 women's bas- ketball recruiting class, and the Wolfpack found exactly what it the trigger shortly after an unofficial visit in mid-June 2011. The 5-11 athlete from Man- sfield (Texas) Summit High is far from her hometown, but felt comfortable with head coach Kellie Harper, who nabbed her fifth signee from the Lone Star State in three re- cruiting classes with the addition. Eli averaged 12.2 points, 6.3 rebounds, 2.2 steals and 1.9 assists per game as a se- nior while leading Summit to the Texas 4A state title. She also served as the team's sixth player on their state championship squad as a freshman. She was a part of three district championship squads, and the Lady Jaguars went 50-2 against district foes during her four years on varsity. Eli capped her career with Player of the Year laurels from the Fort Worth Star-Tele- gram and earned a spot on the 4A all-state second team. In addition, she played on one of the top AAU squads in the nation and helped DFW Elite win the Boo Williams Invitational and Nike Nationals. "She is a winner," Harper noted. "The kid is a great teammate, a hard worker. I think the biggest asset she brings to us immediately is she understands basketball. "She's looking to win, and whatever the means, she's willing to do it. I think that is a huge asset for us. I think this is the perfect time to bring somebody in that's a winner. Everybody is going to love her, and I think her qualities are going to rub off." Eli finished her prep career ranked as a four-star recruit and the No. 24 wing in the land by ESPN HoopGurlz, while All-Star Girls Report (ASGR) listed her as the No. 211 player the class of 2012. "She's played the three and four, and has been playing against kids a lot bigger than her," Harper said. "She has a lot of savvy and knows how to get things done. I think she'll be a really good defender. We can put her on quick or strong people, and she'll figure out a way to be successful because that's just the kind of kid she is. 56 ■ THE WOLFPACKER Mansfield (Texas) Summitt High win the 4A state championship during her senior campaign. PHOTO BY BY CRAIG LUSINGER Wing Ashley Eli averaged 12.2 points, 6.3 rebounds, 2.2 steals and 1.9 assists per game to help

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