Yale Women’s Basketball Announces Class of 2016

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The Yale women's basketball huddle. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)

Bulldogs to Add Four Impact Players to Roster for 2012-13 Season

NEW HAVEN, Conn. — Chris Gobrecht, the Joel E. Smilow, Class of 1954, Head Coach of Women's Basketball at Yale University, announced the Bulldogs' Class of 2016 today. Guards Whitney Wyckoff and Nyasha Sarju, forward Meredith Boardman, and center Elizabeth "Emmy" Allen will all join the Bulldogs' roster as freshmen for the 2012-13 season beginning this fall.

With a roster that already contains a strong core of young talent from three consecutive highly touted recruiting classes, the four freshmen are expected to bring significant contributions to Yale's efforts to win its first Ivy League championship since the 1978-79 season.

"We are thrilled to have these four outstanding student-athletes joining our Yale team in 2012," Gobrecht said. "This class will likely rate among the best we have recruited to Yale and I expect all four to contribute as freshmen."

Allen is a 6-foot-3 center from Overland Park, Kan. She is currently averaging 13.3 points and 15.7 rebounds per game at Shawnee Mission South High School. In her first two seasons there, one of her team's rivals was Shawnee Mission East, which was led by current Yale sophomore Janna Graf. Allen is averaging a double-double for her career, scoring 10.4 points per game and grabbing 10.7 rebounds per game to go with 103 career blocks. She is rated as the 27th top post player in the country by ESPN. She is the Raiders' team captain this season and was an All-Sunflower League First Team selection last season after averaging 12.4 points and a league-leading 11.1 rebounds per game.

"Emmy will provide a big boost to our frontline," Gobrecht said. "She is an aggressive rebounder and skilled offensive player.  She also fits very well into our style of play, as she is a post player who runs the floor."

Boardman, a 6-foot-1 forward from Oak Park, Ill., is currently the captain and leading scorer for Fenwick High School. Through Jan. 14, Boardman is averaging 22.5 points, 10.2 rebounds and 3.0 blocks per game. As a junior, Boardman was a Suburban Like All-Area selection, an IBS All-State Team Honorable Mention, and listed among the area's top 50 players by both the Chicago Sun-Times and the Chicago Tribune. Over the summer, she captained her AAU team, the Illinois Elite 17U, and led the squad to the state championship as well as the USJN Premier Invitational in which she scored 23 points with four 3-pointers in the championship game. Academically at Fenwick, Boardman is a member of the J. Kyle Braid Foundation, the Student-Athlete Leadership Team, and the National Honor Society. She is the first member of her family to attend an Ivy League school.

"Meredith will be a great player at Yale with her tenacious approach to the game and athleticism," Gobrecht said. "She is someone who can play inside or outside with excellent all-around skills and good size."

Sarju, a 6-foot-tall shooting guard from Seattle, Wash., is averaging 20.3 points per game for Garfield High School and has recorded 1,206 career points through Jan. 14. Her 20.3 points-per-game average is currently leading the KingCo 4A Conference. She was listed as the 56th best wing player in the country by ESPN. The team MVP as a junior, she scored a KingCo 4A-leading 19.4 points per game. A four-year starter with the Bulldogs, she is also a two-year captain and was a first-team All-KingCo 4A selection last season. She also played basketball for Tree of Hope, a club team based in Seattle, which was ranked 29th in the country by ESPN last summer.

"Nyasha really impressed me this past summer with her ability to knock down the three point shot," Gobrecht said. "She is a big guard who just figures out a way to get the job done."

Wyckoff, a 5-foot-9 guard from West Chester, Ohio, was averaging 12.0 points, 4.0 rebounds, 3.3 steals, 2.3 assists and 2.0 blocks per game through the first four games of the season at Lakota East high School before suffering a season-ending knee injury. She is expected to return to the court before her arrival at Yale. She averaged 10.0 points, 3.0 rebounds and 2.0 assists as a freshman, 13.1 points, 5.5 rebounds, and 2.1 assists as a sophomore, and 12.2 points, 4.8 rebounds and 1.9 assists as a junior.

"Whitney has a terrific feel for the game," Gobrecht said. "Her instincts and ability to anticipate the next thing to happen are the best I've seen in high school in a while. She will give us point guard skills in a big guard body and the toughness to be a great rebounder and defender as well."

Wyckoff was a First Team All-Greater Miami Conference selection in 2010 and 2011 (sophomore and junior), as well as a two-time District 15 Coaches Association Underclass All-Star, Southwest Ohio All-District Honorable Mention in 2010, Cincinnati Enquirer First Team All-City in 2011, and a two-time Team MVP. She was listed as the 77th-ranked off-guard in the country by the College Girls Basketball Report and was among the Top 100 players in Ohio by the Ohio Girls Basketball Report.

For Wyckoff, basketball runs in the family. One sister, Brooke, played nine seasons in the WNBA with the Connecticut Sun, Chicago Sky and Orlando Miracle. She is currently an assistant coach at Florida State. Another sister, Alison, played basketball at Kentucky Christian University. Another sister, Jaime, ran cross country at Xavier University.

Report filed by Jon Erickson Jr., Yale Sports Publicity