Looking to rebuild after a rare first-round playoff loss, the Southwestern Illinois College Blue Storm has added three players to its roster for the upcoming 2015-16 women’s basketball season.
Assistant coach Robert Belleville announced that Madi Sheraka (Roxana), Taylor Oxford (Bunker Hill) and Kayla Moore (Riverview Gardens, Mo.) will be among those looking to help SWIC rebound from a 12-15 record after three straight trips to the NJCAA Division I National Tournament.
“We feel very strongly that all three of these young ladies will represent Southwestern Illinois College well as student-athletes. They are not only three excellent basketball players but they are all great kids who will excel on the court and in the classroom.,’’ Belleville said.
One of the top players in Roxana High School history, Sheraka has excelled as a student-athlete for the past four years. Ranked in the top 20 in the St. Louis area in scoring (18.3) this past season, the 5-foot-6 Sheraka is an excellent 3-point shooter who can also handle the basketball and is a solid defender according to Belleville.
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“I really don’t see Madi as strictly a point guard or an off guard. I see her more as a basketball player who can do a lot of good things on the court,’’ Belleville said. “In talking to former (Roxana) coach Mike Arbuthnot, he had nothing but good things to say about her.
“Madi can really shoot the basketball from anywhere. She also takes a lot of pride in her defense and she is the kind of player who gives everything she can every second she’s on the court.’’
Oxford is a 5-10 player who was recruited by another Blue Storm assistant coach — Rich Hubert. An excellent all-around athlete at Bunker Hill, Oxford averaged 14 points during her senior year.
“Coach (Rich) Hubert compares Taylor (Oxford) to another player who was here (SWIC) a couple of years ago in (Morgan) White,’’ Belleville said. “Playing at a smaller school (Bunker Hill) where she was one of their taller players, Taylor played mostly with her back to the basket, but she can step out and shoot it from the perimeter a little bit and she handles the basketball pretty well too.’’
Moore is a lightning-quick 5-10 guard-forward who averaged 12 points per game for the Rams last season
“Kayla is a player we first saw during one of our programs here at SWIC,’’ Belleville said. “She is a great athlete who can run the floor and has great quickness.’’
Contact reporter Dean Criddle at firstname.lastname@example.org or 618-239-2661.