ELON, N.C. – Elon women’s basketball head coach Charlotte Smith has announced the signing of four players – Jada Graves (Alexandria, Va./Thomas Edison), Lexi Mercer (Goldsboro, N.C./Rosewood), Madison Wilder (Rome, Ga./Pepperell) and Ra’Shika White (Charlotte, N.C./Phillip O’Berry) for the 2016-17 season.
“We are elated about our 2016 class,” said Smith. “I would like to commend the recruiting efforts of all of our assistants as we have put together a dynamic class with lots of talent. Overall, we have a very well rounded class and could not be more pleased with who we are bringing in. Not only are they great athletes, but more importantly great people who will definitely be great contributors to our program both on and off the court.”
Graves, a 5’9 guard, reached the 1,000-point career milestone as a junior at Thomas Edison. She was named the conference rookie of the year in 2012 and earned player of the year honors in 2013 and 2014. Graves was named to the 2014 all-state first team and has earned regional MVP honors twice. She has helped her team to two conference championships, three regional championships and three state final four appearances. Jada is the daughter of Curtis Graves and Ebony Stradford.
“Jada is a very versatile guard who will be able to play multiple positions for us,” said Smith. “She averaged 22 points per game last season, so she knows how to ‘fill it up’ when it comes to putting numbers on the board. She is a crafty guard with a great IQ that knows how to create shots not only for her, but also for others with her precision passing. Jada is also a great defender, which I absolutely love, and she was named defensive player of the year.”
Mercer, a 5’9 guard, is the all-time leading scorer in Rosewood history. She is a three-time all-conference, two-time all-state and two-time all-region selection and a three-time MVP and two-time player of the year. Mercer has helped her team to two conference championships, two conference tournament championships and two regional runner-up appearances. Alexis (Lexi) is the daughter of former Mt. Olive golfer John and Donna Mercer.
“Lexi is an athletic all-around multi-sport athlete who excels in everything she does,” said Smith. “She has great basketball IQ and can play multiple positions as well. She has great three-point range and the ability to put the ball on the floor, which makes her a tough defensive matchup.”
Wilder, a 5’11 guard, enters her senior year just 43 points shy of breaking the school’s scoring record. In 2014-15, she was named the region MVP and the player of the year by the NWG Tip-Off Club. Wilder helped her team to a regional championship as a sophomore and a regional runner-up title and sweet 16 state appearance as a junior. Madison is the daughter of Scott and Laura Wilder.
“Madison plays the game with edge,” said Smith. “She has great size and athleticism on the wing and can create tough defensive assignments. She can score both inside and out. Madison is a fierce competitor, which is definitely going to make for some exciting practices next year.”
White, a 6’4 center, averaged 18 points, 13 rebounds, four blocks and two steals as a junior. She is a four-year starter, three-time all-conference honoree and reached 1,000-career points by her junior year. White has helped her team to the playoffs all three years. Ra’Shika is the daughter of Randy and Sallna White.
“Ra’Shika is an outstanding post player who will be a force to be reckoned with,” said Smith. “She is a great athlete who can run the floor with the guards. She has great hands, the ability to finish very well around the basket and has a nice repertoire of moves in the low block. She is versatile as well and is very proficient in her perimeter shooting.”