NEWARK, Del. – The University of Delaware women’s basketball program has signed four high school standouts from the class of 2014 as announced by head coach Tina Martin today.

Makeda Nicholas, Alexis Sears, Chastity Taylor and Kiersten West will all join the Blue Hens as freshmen for the 2014-15 campaign.

“I’m really excited for this class to join our Blue Hen family,” stated Martin, who is currently in her 18th season at Delaware.  “In their own way they each bring something special to the table and I believe that all four will continue to help build on our winning tradition at UD."

Nicholas (at right), a 6-1 forward, averages 16.8 points, 12.2 rebounds and 6.7 blocks per game for North Babylon High School (N.Y.).  The New York native and All-State selection also adds 5.4 steals and 2.6 assists for the Bulldogs. 

“Makeda is an outstanding forward who is very versatile and talented,” Martin commented.  “She can shoot the three, put the ball on the floor and post up.  I’m really excited about what she can bring to our program.”

A forward/center combo, Sears (at left) will join the Blue Hens from Lenape High School in New Jersey.  The 6-2 Medford, N.J. native averages 12.7 points and 10.3 rebounds per game in addition to 3.5 blocks.  Sears is a strong player that will bring a presence for Delaware in the paint.

“Alexis is a post player who plays with her back to the basket,” remarked Martin.  “She is strong and rebounds the ball really well.  Alexis also has a great personality and a lot of enthusiasm.  She will definitely be a fan-favorite from the get-go because of her personality and infectious smile.  I think Alexis will do a great job for us inside and definitely help our post game.”

Taylor (at right) is a 5-9 guard/forward from St. Anthony’s High School (N.Y.).  A two-time All-Long Island honoree, Taylor helped lead the Friars to a league title and the CHSAA Class AA state tournament in 2013.  She currently averages 12 points, six rebounds, four assists and two steals per game.

“Chastity is a combo guard who can do a little bit of everything,” Martin said.  “She handles the ball well and is a very good three-point shooter.  Chastity is a good athlete and I believe she is a young lady who will continue to get better because of her ability to create her own shot and get shots for other people.”

A native of Coram, N.Y., West (at left) averages 16 points, 12 rebounds, four assists, four steals and three blocks for Longwood High School.  The 5-9 slashing guard will add strong defense and perimeter shooting to the Hens.  West helped lead Longwood to a berth in the Class AA playoffs and will join her AAU teammates at Delaware in Nicholas and Taylor.

“Kiersten is a very athletic two-guard in addition to being a lefty, which I like tremendously because it opens up the floor a little bit more,” noted Martin.  “She can shoot the three and is a very creative player that can create her own shot.  Additionally, she is a very good defensive player.”