Grambling women’s hoops adds five

Courtesy of Grambling State Athletic Communications

Grambling State University head women’s basketball coach Freddie Murray announced the addition of five new players for the upcoming season. 

Murray welcomed the addition of Amanda Blake, Tiana Gardner, Jazmyne Jackson, Miracle Saxon andDe’Maya Young. 

Blake comes to Grambling State after spending the past two seasons at UNC Asheville. The 6-foot-2 forward also was a multi-sport athlete at Ashley Ridge High School in Summerville, S.C., playing basketball and volleyball. 

Notable Statistics 

During her sophomore season, Blake saw action in 30 of 32 games for the Bulldogs, including 14 appearances in Asheville’s starting five… She averaged 4.4 rebounds and 4.2 points in 17.5 minutes per contest… Blake shot 44.2 percent from the floor and scored in double figures twice… She poured in a career-high 14 points, on 6-of-8 shooting, and pulled down a career-best 13 boards against Wofford on Nov. 23, 2021. 

“Amanda is a great addition to our Lady Tiger Family and will bring toughness and athleticism to our post group,” Murray said. “She has good hands, plays hard in the paint and rebounds well out of her area. More importantly she is a great young lady that fits into the Lady Tiger culture.” 

Gardner signed with the Lady Tigers from Incarnate Word and is a 6-0 forward from Austin, Texas. 

Notable Statistics 

In her junior year at Incarnate Word, Gardner finished the season second on the team in points per game (8.8) and rebounds (4.5)… She put up double figures in 12 games for the Cardinals and came up huge in the Southland Conference Tournament with a career-high 22 points and career-best 12 rebounds against Southeastern Louisiana in the Championship game to earn SLC Player of the Tournament.  

“Tiana is a leader and competitor who brings experience to our front court and versatility on both ends of the floor,” Murray said. “She has really good hands, nice tough around the basket and is comfortable in scoring in various ways.” 

Jackson, a McDonald’s All-American nominee, is a 5-8 point guard from Aubrey, Texas and played at Braswell High School. 

Notable Statistics 

In her senior season, Jackson played in 37 games, averaging 9.6 points, 2.8 assists, 2.5 rebounds and 2.2 steals per game… In addition, she shot nearly 71 percent from the free-throw line… She earned numerous accolades, including First Team All-District 5-6A, 6A All-Region I, Academic All-District 5-6A, CowTown Classic All-Tournament Team and Spring Creek All-Tournament Team.  

“Jazmyne brings athleticism, energy and a high IQ to our back court,” Murray said. “She has great court vision, can score may different ways and plays solid defense. “Her ability to create for others as well as herself will allow us to have versatility in how we play.”   

Saxon spent the past three years as a 5-9 forward at Cal State Bakersfield.  

Notable Statistics 

Averaged 5.8 points, 3.3 rebounds and 1.1 steals in 24 games played… Shot 38.7 percent from the floor… Scored in double digits five times, including season highs of 16 points against Bethesda (Calif.) and UC Santa Barbara… Posted a career-high 19 points against UC Santa Barbara during junior campaign. 

Miracle is extremely hard-working and brings athleticism to our team,” Murray said. “She is a terrific rebounder, especially for her size, and will bring us versatility with her ability to play multiple positions.  We love her competitiveness and ability to score at all three levels.” 

Young comes to Grambling State as a 5-9 guard from the University of Arkansas-Little Rock.  

Notable Statistics 

During her freshman year at Little Rock, Young was redshirted… She was a four-year letterwinner at Manor High School in Manor, Texas where she was namedDistrict MVP and nominated to play in the Texas All-Star Game… In addition, she also claimed Academic All-District Honors… While at Manor, Young averaged 23.2 points as a junior, while grabbing 7.3 rebounds, 2.7 steals and 1.1 assists per game. 

“We are excited to welcome De’Mya to the Lady Tiger family,” Murray said. “She is a combo guard with the ability to score and facilitate and will bring experience and leadership to our back court. Her size at the guard spot makes her a difficult matchup for opponents.” 

Grambling State opens the 2022-2023 season on Monday, November 7 in the Big Easy as the Lady Tigers visit Tulane. GSU’s home opener is scheduled for Friday, Nov. 18 versus New Orleans.  

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