Virginia women’s basketball coach Tina Thompson landed what may be her first signature recruit Tuesday evening when Milwaukee Academy of Science point guard Shemera Williams committed to join the Cavaliers’ 2019 class.
Williams has been the top scorer in Wisconsin the past three years, and as a junior, she led the nation with 39.9 points a game. She’s a two-time USA Today state player of the year, and as a senior, she averaged 32.5 points, 10.3 rebounds and 8.5 assists a night and earned state Associated Press Player of the Year honors.
The 5-foot-8 scorer finished her high school career with 3,210 points. ESPN ranks Williams as the 54th overall prospect in the country, which, by far, makes her the highest rated recruit Thompson has landed since arriving in Charlottesville last fall.
Williams originally committed to hometown Marquette, but she re-opened her recruitment in early April after head coach Carolyn Kieger left the Golden Eagles for Penn State.
Williams is the third addition to the Cavaliers’ 2019 class in the past month. Los Angeles guard Dylan Horton joined the fold on April 19, followed a couple days later by fellow guard Yanni Hendley, who hails from Bowie, Maryland.
In the fall, Virginia signed in-state guard Carole Miller, 5-10 combo guard Kylie Kornegey-Lucas and Australian forward Meg Jefferson.
The Cavaliers lost just one senior this year in forward Mone Jones, though forward Shakyna Payne – a redshirt junior, who rarely saw time – is no longer listed on the roster. Virginia also lost two guards to transfer in Brianna Tinsley, who is heading to JMU, and Erica Martinsen, who chose San Diego.
But with the incoming freshman class, Purdue transfer Dani Lawson eligible this winter and French guard Amandine Toi hopeful to return from a second torn ACL, it’s safe to say Virginia’s cupboard, which was extremely bare at the end of last season, has been restocked.
The backcourt heavy recruiting class also bodes well for the future. This winter, guards Jocelyn Willoughby and Dominique Toussaint – the team’s top two scorers the past three seasons – will be seniors. Forward Lisa Jablonowski and 6-9 center Felicia Aiyeotan will also be fourth-years.