ABILENE - Abilene Christian women's basketball coach Julie Goodenough Wednesday announced the additions of Ellyn Avery, Madison Parker and Paris Webb to the Wildcats' 2014-15 roster. All three recently signed their National Letter of Intent to play for ACU and join a class that already includes prep standouts Alana Aguirre, Sierra Allen and Alyssa Echols.
Parker comes to ACU as a true freshman, Avery as a sophomore and Webb as a junior. Avery played one season at Midland (Texas) College, while Webb - a Midland High School graduate - played parts of three seasons at Central Arizona College.
Short biographies on each of the spring signees are listed below in alphabetical order.
Ellyn Avery (5-10 | G | Lenorah, Texas | Midland College | Lenorah-Grady HS | Jim Ned HS)
A four-time TGCA all-state honoree and multi-sport athlete at two high schools, Avery finished her outstanding prep career with per-game averages of 21.0 points, 8.0 rebounds, 6.0 assists and 5.0 steals.
Avery was named all-state by the TGCA on three occasions and made the TABC all-state team as a senior after leading Lenorah-Grady HS to a 29-5 overall record, which included the 2013 district and area championships. The year prior, which was her third and final season at Jim Ned High School, Avery pushed her team into the state tournament behind an overall record of 30-9.
Avery's honors at Jim Ned included two District 5AA Defensive Player of the Year Awards, and a pair of Sixth Man Awards from the Abilene Reporter News. She also was named District 7AA Newcomer of the Year in 2009-10.
"Ellyn is an awesome long-range shooter and very skilled post feeder, which fits well into our style of play," said Goodenough. "She had a successful year playing in a great junior college conference and will bring good collegiate experience to our program."
Following high school, Avery averaged 8.6 points and 3.5 assists per game during her lone season at Midland College, which is only a 30-mile drive from Grady High School.
Avery led Midland College in minutes played with 783 (30 games/29 starts) and was a 30 percent shooter from 3-point range (53-173). She buried five of seven treys against Tohono O'Odham CC in posting a double-double of 24 points and 13 rebounds, and netted 20 in the season-finale vs. Weatherford College - a game in which she put up 19 3-point attempts.
Avery plans to enter ACU's nursing program and one day hopes to become an emergency room nurse.
"ACU is a great place to grow," said Avery, "not just basketball-wise but also spiritually. I really like the coaches and the players and am excited to be a part of the ACU family."
Avery's father, Jimmy, served as her high school coach at both Jim Ned and Grady. He played his first two years of collegiate basketball at South Plans College before transferring to Panhandle State University.
Avery's mother, Valerie, played golf at Rutgers in the early 1980's and her older brother, Ben, was with the Wildcats as a walk-on during the 2011-12 season.
In addition to basketball, Avery earned several varsity letters in track and field and cross country. She was the Class 2A district champion in the long jump in 2012 and regional champion in the 200 and 400 meters. Avery's also won district and area championships in the long jump, high jump and 100m.
Madison Parker (5-10 | F | Amarillo, Texas | Canyon HS)
A winner of two 4A State Championships at Canyon High School in 2011 and 2014, Parker finished her illustrious scholastic career with career averages of 10.7 points, 8.0 rebounds, 4.0 assists and 2.0 steals per game.
These numbers helped her earn numerous district, region and state awards, including the title of TABC 4A Player of the Year and MVP of the 2014 Girls' UIL 4A State Tournament.
Parker scored 18 points in this year's championship game against McKinney North, finishing six for 10 on field goals and six for eight on free throws. With the victory, Canyon ended the year with an impressive win-loss record of 31-5. Incredibly, Canyon was 127-16 (.888) in Parker's four seasons and went 38-0 during her freshman year of 2010-11.
Parker finished her senior year averaging 12.0 points and 8.0 rebounds per game, while shooting 48 percent from the floor and 70 percent from the free-throw line.
"Madison played at Canyon for Joe Lombard, who, in my opinion, is one of the best high school coaches in America," said Goodenough, Madison will bring to our program a very high basketball IQ, impeccable work ethic and great understanding of team work."
Parker has been named both all-state and all-star by the TABC and TGCA and twice was selected to the Amarillo Globe News Super Team in in 2013 and 2014. She also was tabbed second team all-district as a sophomore and made the 4A all-state team the previous two seasons.
Parker was a member of her school's National Honor Society for four years and also received Academic All-State and Superintendent Scholar distinctions. She plans to study biology at ACU with plans to become an orthopedic surgeon.
"I chose ACU because it is a Christ-centered university that will provide me with an excellent education," said Parker, "along with an exciting opportunity to be part of an amazing women's basketball team."
Paris Webb (5-4 | G | Midland, Texas | Central Arizona | Midland HS)
Webb played only four games during her sophomore year at Central Arizona due to injury, but was one of its leading contributors during the 2013-14 season in which the Vaqueras finished fourth at the NJCAA National Championships behind an overall record of 31-4.
Central Arizona lost only two regular season games last year and won the Region I Championship game, 73-71, over Eastern Arizona - a game in which Webb hit a crucial go-ahead basket from the middle of the lane with 1:06 remaining.
At year's end, Webb had recorded per game averages of 6.1 points, 3.2 rebounds and 4.9 assists. Two times she had a point/assist double-double, including one against Midland College in which she scored 14 points on 7 of 11 shooting (.636) to go along with 10 assists and two steals. And twelve days later in a 71-58 win over Arizona Western College, she assisted on an astonishing 25 baskets.
"Paris is a great floor general with outstanding court vision and skill to feed open teammates," said Goodenough, "and her 'in-your-face on ball' defensive pressure will jump start our team defense."
"I chose to sign with ACU because they have an awesome Christian coach, staff, players and an intentional Christian atmosphere," said Webb. "I also liked the style of play and the freeness within the style.
"Their Body and Soul pre-health program also was very attractive in that I plan to enter dental school after graduating from ACU. Overall, ACU was the best fit for me spiritually, athletically, and academically."
Webb was a four-year starting point guard for Midland High School's varsity team and earned Defensive Player of the Year honors. Webb played for head coach T.C. Willis at Midland and then-assistant coach Terri Aston, who is currently the head coach at Abilene High School.
Updates on November Signees
Allen led Highland Roscoe High School to a final record of 28-3 and the State 1A Division 2 Semifinals, where her Plowgirls fell to Calvert, 53-45. Allen scored 12 points in her final high school game to go along with six rebounds and five blocked shots. A 2013-14 TABC and TGCA All-State and All-Star, Allen also was selected as an All-Star by the Six-Man Coaches Association and Big Country Fellowship of Christian Athletes.
Allen ran track for Roscoe in the spring and last weekend placed third in the mile relay at the state meet.
Aguirre was named District 9-4A Offensive Most Valuable Player for Frisco Wakeland High School. She also was tabbed to the TABC 4A All-Region II girls' basketball team. Earlier this year, Aguirre, the daughter of former Mavericks star Mark Aguirre, scored 24 points in a 56-39 win vs. Frisco Heritage.
Echols was part of a Pflugerville high school team that finished 33-5 and reached the semifinals of the regional tournament, falling to Plano West, 62-53. As a senior, Echols played in 37 games and averaged 10.9 points, 3.8 rebounds, 3.4 assists and 3.0 steals per game en route to being named a TABC All-Star and all-region selection.