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Nov. 11, 2005

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The University of Virginia women’s basketball team has received three National Letters of Intent during the early signing period, head coach Debbie Ryan announced on Friday.

Jayna Hartig (Highlands Ranch, Colo.), Paulisha Kellum (Upper Marlboro, Md.), and Monica Wright (Woodbridge, Va.) will attend UVa and play basketball for the Cavaliers next season.

Hartig, a 6-1 power forward from ThunderRidge H.S., averaged 13.0 points, 6.2 rebounds, and 1.3 blocks per game as a junior, helping ThunderRidge to a 26-2 mark and a third consecutive 5A state championship. A Rocky Mountain News honorable mention All-Colorado player, she also made 36 percent of her shots from behind the three-point line and 60 percent of her attempts inside the arc.

“Jayna Hartig is a post player who will really stretch the defense with her ability top shoot the three and enhance the high-low game,” Ryan said. “Jayna is an intelligent player who’s passing skills make her invaluable. Her skill set will be an asset to us immediately.”

Kellum, a 5-8 point guard from Bishop McNamara H.S., is a three-time Street & Smith’s Honorable Mention All-American and an All-Met (D.C.) selection in 2005. At point guard, she helped McNamara to a No. 1 ranking by USA Today. She averaged 8.1 points per game as a sophomore. After missing the 2005 season with an ACL injury, she returned to the court during the summer with the Boo Williams AAU team.

“Paulisha Kellum is a true combo guard who will see time on the wing and at the point for us,” Ryan said. “She is athletic, penetrates and her strength at the guard position will allow us to post her up. She also has three-point range and will be able to defend big guards.”

Wright,a 5-11 guard from Forest Park H.S., is a two-time Street & Smith’s All-American as well as a USA Today Junior All-American. She is ranked the No. 2 guard and No. 11 player overall in the nation, in the Class of 2006, according to Blue Star Basketball. A two-time first team All-State selection, Wright was also named the Associated Press Group AAA Player of the Year. As a junior, Wright averaged 18.9 points, 9.0 rebounds, 6.8 assists and 6.0 steals per game and led her team to a 26-4 record and a runner-up finish in the VHSL Group AAA Tournament.

Last summer Wright played in several national events, including the USA Youth Development Festival and at the End of the Trail event in Oregon with the Boo Williams AAU team. In the End of the Trail tournament, Wright was named the co-MVP. In July, Wright finished second of 226 players in the country tested by the SPARQ Basketball Rating for speed, power, agility, reaction and quickness of a basketball player.

“Monica Wright is an in-state player who’s versatility and athleticism stand out right away,” Ryan said. “She is a guard that has the size and strength to play on the wing or at the small forward position. She is a slasher who can post up and step out to shoot the three. Monica is also a tenacious defender who can change the complexion of a game quickly with her ability to anticipate and force turnovers.”

Overall, Virginia’s 2006 recruiting class is rated the 15th best in the country by Blue Star Basketball.

“We are very proud of our class of 2005-06. It has athleticism,skill and versatility. All three players bring a great skill set to Virginia and will make a major impact on our program in the coming years,” Ryan concluded.

The Cavaliers host EA Sports in an exhibition game on Sunday, Nov. 13 at 2 p.m. at University Hall. Admission to the game is FREE.


Player		Ht.	Pos.	Hometown		High School	PPG	RPGJayna Hartig	6-1	F	Highlands Ranch, Colo.	ThunderRidge	13.0	6.2Paulisha Kellum	5-8	G	Upper Marlboro, Md.	Bishop McNamara	8.1Monica Wright	5-11	G	Woodbridge, Va.		Forest Park	18.9	9.0
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