WINSTON-SALEM, NC – The Winston-Salem State University women's basketball team will welcome a stellar cast of newcomers to the team in the fall of 2017. The Rams will welcome a quartet of players who will look to build upon a promising effort by the team in its second season under the guidance of head coach L'Tona Lamonte. The Rams wasted little time in getting their signees as the team signed three student-athletes in the fall and one in April.
"I am excited for this recruiting class and the future of WSSU women's basketball. We focused on bringing in winners with high character, a strong work ethic, and great students," Lamonte said. "I look forward to meshing them with our returners and watching this team develop. Each player brings something different to the table, but they all have an understanding of basketball."
One area of concern that the Rams addressed was the backcourt. The Rams will welcome the duo of Teara Johnson and Nyona Shields. Both players come to Winston-Salem State with some impressive resumes. Johnson is a well-decorated athlete from Dudley High School in nearby Greensboro, N.C. During her career, she earned Metro 4A All-Conference honors twice and was named the team's offensive MVP during her senior season. She also earned both all-district and all-area honors during her career as well. Her accomplishments also extended to the classroom where she holds a 4.3 grade-point average and will come to college with 50 credit hours. Shield is a four-year starter from Union Pines High School where she led the team to a 93-20 overall record during her career and scored 1,657 total points with 500 assists and earned Cape Fear Valley (CFV) first team all-conference honors three times and she was also named the CFV Conference Player of the Year during her senior season. She was also a four-time CFV Academic All-Conference honoree as well.
The Rams will also look to bolster their front court with the additions of incoming freshmen Tamani Manning and Lenzi Brown. Manning is a 6'2" forward from William Fleming School Roanoke, Va. She will come to WSSU after a great high school career at William Fleming High after beginning her career at nearby Ben L. Smith High School in Greensboro, N.C. Her career includes 505 career points with 488 rebounds, and 38 total blocks. During her career, she led her team to a runner-up finish in the 2015-16 state championships and a regional appearance during the 2016-17 season. During her career, she led her teams to a combined 44-12 overall record with back-to-back Blue Ridge District championships. She is no stranger to WSSU as her brother, Shaquan Manning, was a member of the Rams' 2012 football team that reached the NCAA Division II National Championship Game. Joining her in the front court will be Brown, a 5'10" forward who comes to WSSU after attending Hopewell High School in Huntersville, N.C. She also spent time at Northside Christian Academy where she earned MAC All-Conference honors before completing her career at Hopewell High School.
The sole transfer among the Rams' newcomers is Ziara Doe, a 5'9" sophomore guard from Alabama State University. She is a graduate of Hilton Head Academy in Hardeeville, S.C. where she led the team to the 2015 South Carolina Independent Schools Association (SCISA) State Championship and earned All-Area Player of the Year and All-State honors. She also scored 1,900 points during her career. She played in 28 games with 11 starts for the Hornets and averaged 4.5 points per game.
The Rams and their recruiting class will look to build upon a solid 2016-17 season after a 14-14 overall record and finished third in the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) Southern Division. For more information on Rams women's basketball, contact the WSSU Office of Athletic Media Relations at (336) 750-2143 or log on to www.WSSURams.com.