(L-R): Aleksandra "Ola" Makurat, Kierra Johnson-Graham and Nene Johnson signed with the Liberty women's basketball program this week.
Liberty Women's Basketball Head Coach Carey Green announced that Nene Johnson, Kierra Johnson-Graham and Aleksandra "Ola" Makurat have signed national letters of intent to attend Liberty University for the 2016-17 academic year.
The trio joins Kaila Ballard, Keyen Green and M'caela "Lela" Sellers as new Liberty women's basketball signees.
"The departure of five seniors with an incredible 23 years of NCAA Division I playing experience after this season leaves both a major void and great opportunities for enthusiastic, skilled newcomers," Green stated. "We are excited to announce three additional new faces who will tackle the urgent challenges that lie ahead for our program. Our excitement is magnified because the foundation of each signee is anchored in a commitment to Christian faith and values.
"Collectively, the six new Lady Flames bring every piece of the puzzle needed to impact our team's success," Green added. "We have experience and leadership coming in the lead guard position, a tremendous amount of athleticism with every player, defensive stoppers, deep outside shooting, penetration, slashing to the basket and solid scoring post players. They all also bring my favorite attribute, the ability to be a high-level rebounder. Again, we are excited to welcome these young ladies, who bring the total package to the Liberty family."
Nene Johnson (G, 5-8, Stuart, Fla.) Johnson played well during her first season at Eastern Florida State College, leading the Titans to a 23-8 record and Southern Conference title. The point guard averaged 11.1 ppg and 3.6 apg, earning a spot on the All-FCSAA Southern Conference first team. Johnson was also invited to participate in the 2015 NJCAA All-Star Weekend.
Johnson helped Martin County High School reach the regional semifinals as both a junior and senior and win 34 games during those two seasons. She posted 11.2 ppg, 5.2 apg, 3.0 rpg and 2.6 spg as a high school senior.
"I signed with Liberty because it just felt like home and the place to be," Johnson explained. "I love the coaching staff and I'm excited to work with them!"
What They're Saying about Nene Johnson "Nene is a floor leader at the lead guard position. She will bring all aspects of an excellent point guard to our team. She drives, passes, knocks down the tough pull-up jumper, as well as scores from the three-point line. We are excited to have that junior college hunger and maturity to lead our team. Oh yes, she can also defend!" Carey Green, Liberty Head Women's Basketball Coach
"I am very excited about Nene's opportunity to become part of the Liberty family. She has shown steady improvement since the day she stepped on our campus and I know that she will be a great player at the next level. She will be missed greatly here at Eastern Florida, but our loss is certainly Liberty's gain. It is so important to me that our kids find the right fit when choosing their next school. I have no doubt that Nene has made a great decision to join the Flames, and I am personally looking forward to seeing what God will do in her and through her at Liberty." Jim Grimes, Eastern Florida State College Head Women's Basketball Coach
Kierra Johnson-Graham (F, 5-11, Atlanta, Ga.) Johnson-Graham is currently attending Tucker High School, after spending the previous three years at South Atlanta High School. The 2014-15 Hornets recorded the school's first-ever perfect regular-season record, led by Johnson-Graham's 15.7 ppg, 10.5 rpg, 5.0 apg, 4.9 spg and 2.1 bpg.
Also an accomplished volleyball and soccer player, Johnson-Graham helped the Georgia Pistols Elite win numerous AAU titles, headlined by an 8th grade national championship.
"I just want to thank everyone who believed in me, including my family, friends and coaches," stated Johnson-Graham, who was also considering Clemson, ETSU, Georgia State and Arkansas State among other schools. "This will be an amazing opportunity and experience as I start the next chapter of my life. I feel Liberty is the best choice for me to get a wonderful education, improve my skills on and off the court, and above all, to be in a Bible-based environment that is family oriented."
What They're Saying about Kierra Johnson-Graham "Kierra brings a very competitive spirit to both the inside and perimeter game. Because she is the daughter of a coach, she brings a high basketball IQ and keeps her opponent off balance with a strong southpaw attack. Her aggressive style of control will add excitement to the future of our team." Carey Green, Liberty Head Women's Basketball Coach
"Liberty is about to receive a very humble young lady that will bring great things to the program. I first met her when she was nine years old, and I knew then that she was a special kid with very supportive parents. She will represent your program on and off the court. The WP Celtics will miss her presence and will never forget her. Hopefully she will not forget us as she takes her talent to the next level." Renardo Hudson, WP Celtics Coach
"I have the privilege to be a mother and a former coach to Kierra, and she has been a true blessing. She has made differences in lives on and off the court. Her humility has made others feel as though they were unstoppable. It's rare that you get a player that will play her heart out offensively and defensively. She is not looking to outshine her teammates, just win. I know that her athleticism and talent will take her however far she chooses to go. I am truly excited as she begins this new journey at the next level." Akisha Graham, South Atlanta High School Girls' Basketball Coach
Aleksandra "Ola" Makurat (G/F, 6-2, Sierakowice, Poland) Makurat, who is currently part for the Lomianki team in the Polish Basketball Federation "PZKosz," has played at a high level from a young age. She was the youngest player on the Poland U-18 National Team at the 2014 European Division I Championships.
During the 2010-11 season, Makurat's team won the '97 youth state league title, as she was named MVP and best shooter with a 24.8 ppg scoring average. She also helped her squad place second in that year's Poland U-14 Championship.
In 2010, Makurat's team won the Polish Grade School Championship, organized by Olimijska Energa. That same year, she averaged 25.5 ppg as her team captured the '97 grade school state league crown.
"I feel very excited, happy and thankful coming to Liberty," Makurat remarked. "Liberty has a very professional environment in which to develop from the personal and athletic point of view. The coaching staff is very kind and open hearted."
What They're Saying about Aleksandra "Ola" Makurat "Ola, another coach's daughter, brings a proud international flair to Liberty. She plays in Poland at the highest level of play on the junior national team. She caught our eye a couple of years ago with her advanced skill set. She is long, quick, athletic and capable of being a great defender. Ola will impact the game with speed and the ability to score the deep three-pointer. She brings great fundamentals and a high motor." Carey Green, Liberty Head Women's Basketball Coach
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