Heard signs three to start 2018 signing class

By  | 

Western Kentucky women's basketball coach Michelle Clark-Heard announced Wednesday the signing of a trio of players with Akira Levy, Elysa Wesolek and Kallie Searcy joining the Lady Toppers as the first members of the 2018 signing class.

"First and foremost, the most impressive thing about our newest Lady Toppers is that they are winners," Heard said in a release. "Combined, they have won five state championships, have seven state championship game appearances and own countless region and district championships. I truly believe that Akira, Elysa and Kallie will continue our winning tradition and excite our fans. We are excited for all that they will achieve during their senior years and the added championships they will bring to The Hill next fall."

Levy has had a decorated career at both the high school and club level, garnering national recognition for her dynamic play as a floor general at the point guard position.

Ranked 66th overall and 18th among point guards in the ESPN Hoopgurlz recruiting rankings, Levy is a very well-rounded player capable of both distributing the ball as well as creating her own shot. As a junior in 2016-17, she averaged 21.5 points, 3.9 rebounds and 6.3 assists per game while shooting 55 percent from the floor, putting her diverse skillset on display night in and night out for Upperman High School in Cookeville, Tenn.

As a result of her strong performance across the board last season, Levy was crowned TSSAA Miss Basketball at the AA level, becoming the second statewide Miss Basketball award winner to join the Lady Toppers under Heard.

The TSSAA AA record-holder for points in a quarter with 20, Levy also received a glowing profile from the Collegiate Girls Basketball Report, ranking 63rd overall and 15th among point guards across the entire nation. As with many Lady Topper recruits, Levy has been a consistent winner at the high school level, culminating in the 2017 TSSAA AA state championship that saw her earn recognition as the state tournament's most valuable player.

Levy was also named the Region 4 Tournament MVP, the District 8 Tournament MVP and the Upper Cumberland player of the year during her junior season.

Wesolek is set to join the Lady Toppers from Northwood Academy in Charleston, S.C., and could become the first letterwinner in program history from the state of South Carolina.

Receiving strong marks across the board from ESPN Hoopgurlz (89), Collegiate Girls Basketball Report (19+) and All Star Girls Report (91), Wesolek brings the ability to play in multiple spots on the floor to the Lady Toppers, whether playing as a post while battling for baskets and rebounds inside the paint or scoring from the perimeter with her ability to shoot the ball.

A two-time SCISA all-state selection and the 2017 SCISA state player of the year, Wesolek led Northwood Academy with 13.1 points and 8.4 rebounds per game while also shooting a stellar 58 percent from the floor. The incoming freshman was also named the SCISA Tournament MVP after leading Northwood to its third consecutive SCISA 3A state championship.

A member of the Brentwood Academy squad that reached the state championship game at the TSSAA Division II Class AA level in 2017, Searcy will bring an immediate boost in size to the Lady Toppers when she joins the program in the fall of 2018. At 6-foot-3, Searcy will combine with Arame Niang and Raneem Elgedawy to give WKU a towering presence.

Over the last two seasons, Searcy has helped to lead Brentwood Academy to a 52-12 (.813) overall record and averaged 4.8 points and 4.2 rebounds per game as a junior this past season. A strong force inside the paint, Searcy has received strong grades from both the All Star Girls Report (91) and Collegiate Girls Basketball Report (18-) entering her final high school season.

As a future Lady Topper, Searcy will bring size on both ends of the court and a strong defensive-minded presence underneath the basket.