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PHILADELPHIA - Three new members will join the University of Pennsylvania women's basketball team in 2012-13. Fourth-year head coach Mike McLaughlin announced the addition of Keiera Ray, Brooklyn Juday and Rayne Connell in the Class of 2016 on Thursday.
"This is an exciting class for us," McLaughlin said. "We are always searching for competitive kids and we've been very selective. Brooklyn, Keiera and Rayne all come from strong programs and they want to win, and will do what it takes to win."
Each of Coach McLaughlin's first two recruiting classes produced the Big 5 Rookie of the Year. Prior to that, only one Penn player had ever earned the award. The Class of 2016 is a well-decorated trio featuring two guards in Ray and Connell, while Juday has the potential to play at both the forward and guard position. The class represents three different states with Ray (Illinois) and Juday (Indiana) hailing from the Midwest. Connell, a New York City native, will have the shortest trip to campus.
The newest Quakers will join a Penn squad that returns 10 letterwinners from a year ago, including two-time Ivy League scoring champion Alyssa Baron. The Red and Blue finished 2011-12 with the program's highest win total in seven years (13-15, 6-8 Ivy) and set a program record with seven wins before the month of January. The Quakers also posted back-to-back 10-win seasons for the first time since 2003-04 and 2004-05.
A full individual bio, as well as insight from Coach McLaughlin is available below for each of the members of the Class of 2016.
Class of 2016 Individual Bios
Christ the King Regional High School
Christ the King: Three-year letterwinner ... Served as team captain as a senior ... Won two varsity Brooklyn/Queens Diocesan championships with a combined record of 46-15 ... 2009-10 New York State Federation champions ... 2011-12 United States Army Reserve National Scholar Athlete award ... Also lettered in track and field where she set the school freshman record in the 100 meters.
Personal: Daughter of Angela Connell ... Enrolled in the College of Arts and Sciences.
Coach McLaughlin on Rayne: "Rayne comes from a national level high school program in Christ the King. She's a combo 2-3 guard and a strong, solid defender. She is college ready in terms of her preparation and is a competitor that wants to win. She can get out on the break and run the ball. She can handle the ball, she has good speed and she can finish. I think she upgrades us athletically."
Tipton High School
Tipton: Four-year letterwinner and two-time team captain ... Two-time sectional champion with a combined record of 39-5 as a junior and senior ... Two-time team MVP ... 2011-12 honorable mention all-state ... 2011-12 All-Area MVP ... Also a four-time letterwinner and two-time team captain for the volleyball team where she was named 2011-12 academic all-state and team MVP ... National Honors Society President ... AP Scholar.
Personal: Daughter of Paula and Eric Juday ... Has a younger sister, Kacie ... Enrolled in Wharton.
Coach McLaughlin on Brooklyn: "Brooklyn is a highly intelligent basketball player - very high basketball I.Q. She can do a little bit of everything. She can score from inside and can step out and shoot the three. She really makes the right plays. I'd classify her as a winner. She'll do whatever she needs to do to help the team. If she needs to score, she has the ability to do that. If she needs to make the right pass, she does that. She keeps the game very simple."
Bolingbrook High School
Bolingbrook: Four-year letterwinner ... Her team won the state championship with a 26-2 record in 2010-11 ... Named to all-area and all-conference teams as a senior.
Personal: Daughter of Rochelle and Keith Ray ... Has four siblings, Martinice, Markesha, Brittney and Keith ... Enrolled in the College of Arts and Sciences.
Coach McLaughlin on Keiera: "Keiera comes from a one of the top high school programs in the country. I think she is one of eight on her team to reach the Division I level so she competed against some of the better players in the country on a daily basis during practice. She gives us flexibility. She can play at point guard or as a two-guard as well. Keiera is a good athlete and will have the opportunity to impact us very quickly."