HOUSTON -- Rice women's basketball head coach Tina Langley announced the signing of two student-athletes to National Letters of Intent on Wednesday. Alexah Chrisman (Lawrenceburg, IN/McAuley High School) and Sydne Wiggins (Marietta, GA/Harrison High School) are set to enroll and join the Owls in 2017-18.
"We could not be more proud of the two young women we are signing in this 2017 class," Langley said. "Alexah Chrisman and Sydne Wiggins are women of great character and work ethic, who we know will be incredibly successful at Rice University. Alexah and Sydne come from amazing families that have prepared them for the rigor of a high academic environment, as well as the discipline it takes to train at a high level on the basketball court. The values their parents have instilled have been, and will continue to be the guiding force of their success. This is why they are a perfect fit for our Rice Family."
"Alexah and Sydne have been training with great coaches for many years. We have such respect for their high school and AAU coaches and programs, as they are among the best in the country. In these programs, Alexah and Sydne have competed for state and national championships, which help solidify the attributes it will take for a player to compete at the highest level in college."
Alexah Chrisman -- 6-2 -- Forward/Center
High School: McAuley High School (Dan Wallace)
AAU Team: Cincinnati Angels (Dante Harlan)
About Chrisman: Chrisman averaged 11.4 points, 5.7 rebounds and 2.3 blocks for the McAuley Mohawks as a junior, earning honorable mention all-district honors. In addition to earning all-district honors all three seasons, Chrisman has also been an All-GGCL performer each year. Chrisman played AAU for the Cincinnati Angels and helped guide her team to the Adidas Three-Stripe National Division Championship this past summer. Away from the court, Chrisman is a member of the National Honors Society.
Tina Langley on Chrisman: "Alexah Chrisman has a tremendous mind for the game. She is a versatile forward who can score facing up, or play with her back to the basket. I love that she is not afraid of contact. She will do whatever it takes to make her team successful, from crashing the offensive boards, to setting great screens, or handling the ball in full court. Her skill set is extremely high and her work ethic is even higher."
Dan Wallace (HS Coach) on Chrisman: "Lexi is an extreme versatile player on both the offensive and defensive ends of the floor. She is a leader in the classroom, on the court, and in the locker room. Her humility with an ability to hold herself and her team to high expectations will allow her great success at the college level. We're so proud of her here at McAuley and look forward to following her success at Rice University."
Dante Harlan (AAU Coach) on Chrisman: "Lex is truly a tremendous young lady on and off the court. Her ability to play inside the paint and outside on the perimeter makes her a great fit for any offense. Being able to coach Lex the last three years has truly been my pleasure. Rice is getting a great player, a great teammate, and most of all, a great person."
Alexah Chrisman on Rice: "Within a few hours of visiting Rice I fell in love with the coaching staff, team, and breathtaking scenery. Upon further investigation, I was blown away by their prestigious academics and couldn't imagine a more perfect fit."
Sydne Wiggins -- 5-11 -- SG
High School: Harrison High School (Steven Lenahan)
AAU Team: Team Elite (Kirk Pointer)
About Wiggins: Ranked as the No. 30 shooting guard in the nation by ESPN, Wiggins averaged 14.7 points, 4.0 rebounds and 2.6 steals per game as a junior. In three seasons at Harrison HS, Wiggins has a career average of 16.0 points (1,316 total points), 5.2 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 3.0 steals per game. Last season Wiggins earned several accolades, including First Team All-Region, AJC First Team All-Metro and Second Team All-State honors. Wiggins played AAU for Team Elite and led her team to the championship at Nike Nationals in Augusta, Ga.
In addition to basketball, Wiggins was also a track and field standout, placing second and third in the high jump at the state championship in 2015 and 2014, respectively.
Tina Langley on Wiggins: "Sydne is one of the best guards in the country. She's a big time scorer who can play and defend multiple positions. Her versatility is what makes her so dangerous. Sydne is a three level scorer; she is lethal from the three, but she can also hit the pull-up jumper, and get to the rim with ease. She's a playmaker and makes a team better by scoring the ball and creating opportunities for her teammates. Her humble leadership and work ethic are what truly set her apart."
Steven Lenahan (HS Coach) on Wiggins: "Sydne is an amazing student-athlete and I'm so proud of her for choosing Rice. She's worked hard in the classroom and on the court and she deserves the success she's achieved. I'm looking forward to watching her close out her career at Harrison on a high note and beginning a new chapter at Rice."
Kirk Pointer (AAU Coach) on Wiggins: "I'm very proud of Sydne. Not only is she a great player, but an even better person. She's as coachable of a player that you will ever find. She's one of the best shooters in the nation in the 2017 class. Rice is a perfect fit for her because not only is she able to play for a great university and coaching staff, but she gets to attend a very high academic school."
Sydne Wiggins on Rice: "Rice is the place I can become my complete self. I will be athletically pushed to my full capability and academically challenged to be excellent. I can go into every day knowing that I have the support of all of those at Rice to help me become the best."