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Lady Jets, 16-1, find success recruiting outside Peach State

Photo by Danny Aller

Photo by Danny Aller

AMERICUS -- A quick glance at the South Georgia Tech women's basketball program during the Lady Jets' Classic in Americus recently revealed an interesting fact.

Out of the 12 players listed on the roster for the Lady Jets -- who are off to their best start in the program's short history at 16-1 and ranked No. 8 in the nation -- only three are from Georgia. That'd be starting point guard Brittany Mills (Ludowici), Victoria DuBose (Norcross) and Fiona Curry (Milledgeville).

The rest are from places like Florida (Shontae McCall, Ca'Nesha Coley and Ophelia McMath), England (Miriam Seale) and even halfway around the world in Latvia (Anete Erdmane and Inna Leja).

"It's all about recruiting. Great coaches don't make great players, great players make great coaches," head coach Brandan Harrell said. "So we try to be real diverse in our recruiting and try to get a (mix) of in-state, out-of-state and a couple internationals."

Harrell added that it isn't the ideal situation, but they have to get talent where they can find it.

"If I felt like I could get great players all from in Georgia, I would, but we've had a difficult time recruiting the really good Georgia kids," Harrell said. "It seems like they get scooped up (by Florida schools). ... So we try to go out and find kids needing us and looking for an opportunity. At the JUCO level, a lot of recruiting is luck, also. I'll be the first to say we've been lucky on a few recruits and have been fortunate to get some of the players we have the past couple of years."

So why do talented players from thousands of miles away decide to come to lil' ol' Americus?

Simple: They feel at home.

"The coach was real nice and players seemed like they were (as well)," McCall said. "I think it was the best choice I've made in my life so far."