San Jose, Calif. - Chereese Thomas, a 5-8 guard from Ohlone College, and Alexis Hill, a 5-7 point guard out of Houston's Westside High School, have signed National Letters of Intent (NLI) to attend San Jose State and compete for the Spartans women's basketball team beginning in the 2012-13 school year. Head coach Tim La Kose made the announcement.
Thomas, the 2011-12 NorCal Player of the Year and the California Junior College Co-Player of the Year,averaged 14.3 points while leading the Ohlone (coach Julia Allender) Renegades to a 24-6 record this past season. They won the Coast Conference Championship for the second year in a row, this year with a perfect 12-0 record, and reached the third round of the Northern California Regional of state championship tournament.
A first-team All-NorCal and All-State performer, she joins Janis Peterson, who was also a first-team All-NorCal and All-State honoree this season and last year's California Junior College Co-Player of the Year on the slate of talent who will be suiting up for the Spartans next season.
A four-year lettewinner at Dublin (Calif.) High School, she scored over 1,000 points in her career. She earned first-team All-Diablo Foothill Athletic League (DFAL) as a sophomore, junior and senior, the same years the team won the DFAL championship.
"We are continuing to look for top student and top players from top programs and Chereese fits that bill," La Kose said. "She is a tenacious competitor and her dad is an SJSU alumnus, so she has ties to the University."
Hill is the second Westside product (coach Troy Gillespie) to sign with the Spartans in as many days. She joins Jamiyla DeBoise, a 6-0 forward/guard, who signed her NLI yesterday.
She averaged 14.3 points, 4.2 rebounds, 2.9 assists and 3.4 steals and earned All-Region III and All-Houston Independent School District (HISD) 20 honors as well as Spring Branch Independent School District All-Tournament selection for her play this past season. The team finished with a 22-8 overall record, 9-2 in league play. As a junior she was recognized as a first-team All-HISD performer and was a second-team All-HISD honoree as a sophomore.
"Alexis is a top student and an excellent player who has tremendous point guard skills," La Kose said. "She likes to push the tempo which fits in well with what we are trying to do. She comes from a very successful program and is ready to make the transition to Division I and be an impact point guard.
"Next year we are going to be bigger, quicker and deeper. There will be more competition in practice, which will make us more competitive throughout the season.
"It's exciting to put the pieces together and watch it grow. Right now we are planting the seeds for future success."