Signings: MSC Lady Aggies Basketball
Three Murray State College sophomores have signed on to play college basketball at the next level. Toni Cheadle has signed to play with Texas Southern University in Houston, LaShanda Green heads to The University of Texas-Arlington, and Ivana Jakubcova will play for The University Kentucky.
Toni Cheadle, the daughter of Trynisha Cheadle of Midwest City, graduated from Carl Albert High School and will graduate from MSC in May with an associate of science. Her future plans are to complete her biology degree and continue on to medical school. Cheadle says she feels that Texas Southern is a good fit.
“I decide to sign with Texas Southern because playing at the next level and continuing my education is something I really wanted to do,” says Cheadle. “When I went to visit, it felt like the place I wanted to be and the coaches I want to play under.”
Cheadle heads to play for Johnetta Hayes-Perry and the Lady Tigers in the fall. MSC Head Women’s Basketball Coach Phil Daniel says that Texas Southern will be looking for her to start playing right away.
“They are looking to her as a scorer,” he says. “In Toni they’ll expect scoring, rebounding and being a major cog in their offense.”
In her first year as a Lady Aggie, Cheadle was named to the first team All-Conference and played in the NJCAA All-Star game. This year she was also named to the All-Conference Team. Cheadle says she’s nervous and excited to move on to the next level, but playing under Crystal Robinson last year and Phil Daniel in both of her years at MSC has left her well-prepared. Daniel says her drive has led her to work on the areas of the game that she needed to in order advance to that next level.
“Her fundamentals, her ball handling, have gotten much better,” says Daniel. “She knows at the next level she’ll have to play a 3 [shooting forward], so we really worked hard on her ball handling skills. That’s probably the biggest area that she’s advanced in this year. That and her face-up shot.”
LaShanda Green, the daughter of Terry and Sherry Green of McAlester, Oklahoma, graduated from McAlester High School. She will graduate from MSC in May with an associate of science. Her future plans are to pursue a master of science in kinesiology. She heads to play for Krista Gerlich and the Mavericks in the fall.
“I chose to play at UTA because after visiting the campus, the team, and the coaching staff and looking more into the campus that school just seemed to stand out to me more than any of the others,” she says. “I could just see myself being there and really enjoying it. Also, the coaching staff was a big thing for me. I love all of the coaches there.”
In 2010, Green was a part of the McAlester Girls’ Basketball State Championship team and she was awarded MVP of the state tournament. In 2012, she was a part of the Oklahoma Coaches Association, Oklahoma Girls Basketball Coaches Association, and Indian All-State, and was a McDonald’s All-American nominee.
“Moving on and playing at the next level as been a goal of mine for as long as I can remember, so I am more than excited,” she says. “However, it’s kind of nerve-wracking at the same time because it is about to be so different. But I am more than ready!”
Daniel agrees. He says Green has shown her character in the two years she’s been at Murray State. Both seasons Green has been inflicted with injuries that weren’t career-threatening, but extremely painful.
“Shanda hasn’t played pain-free the entire two years she’s been here,” says Daniel. “This year she struggled with plantar fasciitis, and I left her playing time up to her. Only she knew if she could play through the pain. She played, and did her job. I think she’ll probably start right off the bat if she’s healthy. I think that’s what they are expecting, for her to be an impact player right off the bat. I wouldn’t expect anything less of her. She’s just that kind of player.”
Ivana Jakubcova is the daughter of Peter Jakubec and Jana Jakubcova from Bratislava, Slovakia. She graduated from Caney High School in 2011 and from Pankuchova 6 in Bratislava in 2012. She will graduate from MSC in May with an associate of science. Her future plans are to achieve a psychology degree and pursue a professional basketball career. She heads to play for Matthew Mitchell and the Wildcats in the fall.
“I am very excited about moving on to play at the next level,” she says. “Next school year at Kentucky is going to be very challenging, but that is the reason why I chose this school. Being challenged is what I am excited about the most. I know I will be pushed to do my best every day but that is the only way to become the basketball player that I want to be.”
MSC Head Women’s Basketball Coach Phil Daniel says that heading to the University of Kentucky, a top ten program in the country, is a great opportunity for Jakubcova.
“I see her as a player who comes in and gets 8-10 minutes a game right off the bat,” he says. “She’ll contribute by getting rebounds, running the floor, putting up some trash baskets… that sort of thing. I don’t think they’ll run a lot of offense through her, that’s not really their style. But I think she’ll play that role.”
Jakubcova was a two-time MVP at Caney, and a key player last year for the Aggies. This year she stepped up her game and settled into playing more from the outside. She says she knew playing at MSC would help develop her as a player.
“I chose MSC because I believed this basketball program will help me develop as a player and as a person,” she says. “I knew Murray State College would get me ready to play at the next level.”
Daniel agrees. He says Jakubcova has grown both fundamentally and mentally in her time at MSC.
“She’s probably as skilled as any big kid in the country,” he says. “Her face-up game is the strongest part of her game. She still has room for improvement, but her skill set is amazing.”