MANHATTAN, Kan. – Kansas State women’s basketball announced the signing of three student-athletes to National Letters of Intent (NLI) during the early signing period this week. The student-athletes that signed to play for head coach Deb Patterson are guard/forward Alina Voronenko (vor-eh-NEH-co), forward Jalana Childs and forward Jennifer Gilbertson.
“I feel terrific about the quality overall of this signing class,” said Patterson about her new additions for the 2008-09 season. “We continue to bolster our post game with the signing of Jalana Childs and Jenny Gilbertson and with Alina Voronenko, we got a versatile perimeter player with good size. This is a balanced class inside and out and it will help us counter the loss of Shana Wheeler, Kimberly Dietz and Carolyn McCullough. These three possess excellent personal character and they are all committed to achieving academic success.”
Voronenko is a highly decorated player from Smithton High School in Smithton, Mo. Voronenko is ranked 53rd in the nation for overall players for the class of 2008 and the 17th best guard in the nation by hoopgurlz.com. At the conclusion of the 2006-07 season, she was named to the Associated Press Class 2 All-State team, the 2007 MBCA Class 2 All-State team and was a 2007 Class 2 All-State selection by the Missouri Sportscasters’ Association. During her time with the Tigers, Voronenko has tallied 1,213 career points including a career single-game high of 32.
“Alina is impressive in the combination of size and versatility that she brings to the program,” said Patterson about Voronenko. “I’ll look for her to be a very effective three-point shooter but she can also post up and has good penetration ability. She is a tremendous competitor who loves the game and is a gym rat. I think Alina has a chance to be a very unique and successful Big 12 player. I expect her impact to be felt very early in her career here at KSU.”
Childs, a product of Timber Creek High School in Orlando, Fla., is a 6-2 forward that finished with an average of 17 points per game with a field goal percentage of .600 and 14 rebounds per contest in 2006-07. Childs, coached by Matt Aliberti at Timber Creek, garnered All-Metro County honors last season and was a second team All-Orange County selection in 2005-06. She has registered single game career-highs of 35 points and 19 rebounds, both during her junior season. Patterson is excited about the possibilities in the post for Childs.
“I love the offensive game Jalana brings to the floor. She is a tremendous finisher, is athletic and has great hands. Jalana is a person with very high expectations of herself on and off the floor. She brings a great conscience to scoring the basketball and to making quality, productive plays. She brings terrific toughness, athleticism and a good touch from 15 feet and in.”
Gilbertson joins the Wildcats out of Winona Cotter High School in Winona, Minn. The 6-2 forward is a two-time Street and Smith high school All-American honorable mention selection and a two-time Player of the Year selection by the Winona Daily News.
Gilbertson also garnered first team All-State honors in 2007 and is a three-time All-Hiawatha Valley League selection. Gilbertson has accumulated 1,451 points, 632 rebounds and 197 blocked shots through three high school seasons under the direction of Pat Bowlin. Patterson compared Gilbertson to one current Wildcat.
“Jenny's style is very much like that of Ashley Sweat. She has the ability to post up, but at 6-2, is a four-player that can shoot the three and attack the rim from 19 feet off the dribble. She is a fiery competitor with a competitive disposition that will continue to add toughness to our front line. Jenny's work ethic is a perfect fit for our program as is her overall versatility.”
Kansas State will travel to Cancun, Mexico to take part in the Caribbean Challenge on Nov. 21-22. The Wildcats will play Tulane on Nov. 21 and the 17/18-ranked Michigan State Spartans on Nov. 22. The games can be heard live on the K-State Sports Network or at www.kstatesports.com.