(FREDERICTON, NB) Jeff Speedy looked far and not so far when assembling the 2017 recruiting class for his UNB Varsity Reds women’s basketball team.
The VReds will add guards Bailey Black, of Miramichi, New Brunswick, and Ja’Yon Leak, from Charlotte, North Carolina. Both players have signed U SPORTS Letters of Intent.
Black was a standout on her team at Miramichi Valley High School as well as Basketball NB’s U17 team in 2016.
“The Varsity Reds are a team that people in New Brunswick look up to,” said Black. “When I got the opportunity to play for them, I couldn’t pass it up. I see so much opportunity for me to grow as a player, as a teammate and as an individual.”
Black plans on studying Kinesiology at UNB.
“Bailey is exactly the type of player and person we want in our program,” says Varsity Reds head coach Jeff Speedy. “She’s a very hard worker, an above average athlete, skilled on both ends of the court, and someone who I feel is a future leader.”
“I'll always be encouraging to my teammates and will work hard to earn my minutes every day,” said Black.
Ja’Yon Leak will join Speedy’s team after a season at Saint Augustine’s University, in Raleigh, North Carolina.
Leak’s freshman season was cut short by a knee injury, something she saw as an opportunity to make big changes in her life.
“I got in contact with Coach Speedy through one of my former teammates and from there we really hit it off,” says Leak. “It’s definitely a big jump, but I wanted to go far from home anyway, so it’s cool with me.”
Leak was on pace to be among the Falcons’ leading scorers last season when she was injured.
She describes herself as an aggressive and vocal player.
“I’m all about noise,” says Leak. “Even if I’m on the bench I’m loud. I’m very vocal and a leader, in a sense, as a point guard, so I’m interacting with my teammates constantly, always talking.”
“I’m more of an attacking kind of player, I’m very aggressive and I like to get to the basket,” she added.
“Jay’on is everything we want in a recruit,” says Speedy. “She’s a great person, an incredibly hard worker and very dedicated and passionate about the game of basketball. On the court, she is physically strong, a great athlete and a very versatile player. She can play the point guard position or play off the ball as a scorer.”
Black will join the Varsity Reds at the beginning of the 2017-18 season, while Leak is scheduled to join the team in the second semester, after her injury rehabilitation has been completed.