*From Troy Media Relations*
TROY, Ala. – The Troy women's basketball program and head coach Chanda Rigby announced the signing of Joymesia Howard on Wednesday, the nation’s top-ranked junior college prospect.
Howard, a 6-foot-2 forward from Central Arizona College, is the No. 1 overall prospect on Dan Olson’s Collegiate Girls Basketball Report. The St. Louis native just completed her sophomore season at Central Arizona where she was twice named an NJCAA All-American and twice led the Vaqueras to the NJCAA Final Four.
“Joymesia Howard is a GAME CHANGER,” Rigby said. “I believe that any NCAA coach in the nation would be thrilled to add a player of her talent level to their roster. She is a great fit on our team, and I’m just proud that she chose to be a Troy Trojan. This is a big step towards achieving the big goals that we have set for our women’s basketball program at Troy.”
Howard averaged 19.0 points and 10.2 rebounds per game last season as she helped Central Arizona to a 31-4 overall record and an appearance in the NJCAA Final Four. Howard was named the Arizona Community College Athletics Conference (ACCAC) Player of the Year after helping the Vaqueras averaged 83.2 points per game, the eighth most in the nation.
In addition to being named a first team NJCAA All-American, Howard was named to the All-ACCAC first team and the NJCAA Region I All-Region first team. She made 56.4 percent of her shots from the floor and averaged 2.2 assists, 1.9 steals and 1.3 blocks per game.
As a freshman in 2012-13, Howard helped Central Arizona to a 32-2 overall record and an appearance in the NJCAA National Championship game. She averaged 15.9 points and 12.0 rebounds per game that season on her way to second team NJCAA All-America honors.
In addition to the national honors, Howard was named to the All-ACCAC first team, the NJCAA Region I All-Region team and was named the ACCAC Freshman of the Year.
“Signing the nation’s No.1 junior college player is something for all Trojan fans to be proud of,” Rigby said. “The decisions, commitments, and energy of so many people made this possible. Our administration’s commitment to provide our program with the best facilities and resources certainly played a huge part in this.
“The relentless efforts of our recruiting coordinator, coach Courtney Simmons, as well as the rest of my staff, were vital. Also, the quality of young ladies that are already on the team was a strong draw to attract such a talent as Joymesia. We have a great thing going at Troy, and it just got even better!”
Howard becomes the seventh member of the Trojans’ 2014 signing class, and the second ranked among the top 20 of Dan Olson’s Collegiate Girls Basketball Report, joining Caitlyn Ramirez (No. 16). Troy is one of two schools with two top 20 JUCO signees, joining West Virginia who won the Big 12 Regular Season Championship and advanced to the NCAA Second Round last season.
Howard is the third top 20 JUCO prospect signed by Rigby as Joanna Harden was the nation’s 19th-ranked junior college player in 2012.
Howard went to Central Arizona after making a name for herself as a three-sport star at East St. Louis High School where she played lettered in basketball, volleyball and track and field.
2014 Troy Women's Basketball Signing Class
Simiah Blount – 5'9" – G – Williamsport, Pa. (Hillsborough CC)
Lacey Buchanon – 5'5" – G – Jacksonville, Ala. (Gadsden State)
Felecity Havens – 5'11" – G – Wilmington, N.C. (Ashley HS)
Joymesia Howard – 6’2” – F – St. Louis, Mo. (Central Arizona)
Caitlyn Ramirez – 6'2 – F – Shawnee, Okla. (Tyler JC)
Rachel Reid – 5'8" – G – Tampa, Fla. (Hillsborough CC)
Dajia Williams – 6'3" – C – Gadsden, Ala. (Gadsden City HS)