Mountain Lions add four more to 2008-09 women's basketball squad

By Doug Fitzgerald published May 28, 2008

University of Colorado at Colorado Springs womenâ€TMs basketball coach Jessika Caldwell announced Wednesday that she had signed four players to National Letters of Intent.

Joining the Mountain Lions for the 2008-09 season will be Katie Eickelman and Karlee Gradisar, both from Pueblo East High School, Payden Ackerman from Trinidad High School and Audy Bell from Brighton High School in Salt Lake City.

The quartet joins fall signees Ashley Miller and Alex Sherk to give Caldwell and UCCS one of its deepest recruiting classes in recent memory.

“I am very excited about this incoming class,” said Caldwell. “We have a good mix of shooters and athleticism on the perimeter and girls that are very versatile.”

Eickelman, the younger sister of former Colorado School of Mines great Peanut Eickelman, averaged 16.4 points, 3.4 assists, 3.8 steals, and 2.5 rebounds per game her senior year for Pueblo East. On Jan. 22, she scored a career-high 33 points against Canon City, and then came back a week later to hand out a career-high 11 assists against Pueblo Centennial. The 5-foot-6 guard shot 56 percent from the field as a senior.

Also making the short trip north will be Eickelmanâ€TMs Pueblo East teammate, Gradisar. The 5-foot-6 guard averaged 9.9 points, 4.1 assists and 3.4 steals per game as a senior for the Eagles.

Ackerman was named the Tri-Peaks League East Player of the Year after averaging 16.8 points, 4.3 assists, 4.0 rebounds, and 3.1 steals per game as a senior. A 5-foot-8 point guard, Ackerman converted on 38.2 percent of her 3-pointer attempts and 77.6 percent of her free throw attempts as a senior.

Adding size to the class is Bell, a 6-foot-2 center whose father and brother were both Division I basketball players. Caldwell says that Bell should develop into a very solid post player.

“With six returners and six freshmen, I feel that our team will be very balanced,” said Caldwell. “Although we might be young, I believe that with youth comes excitement and enthusiasm and that is truly contagious.” 

UCCS Players/Staff Featured

Alex SherkAlex Sherk3G
Katie EickelmanKatie Eickelman5G
Karlee GradisarKarlee Gradisar23G
Karlee GradisarKarlee Gradisar23G
Audy BellAudy Bell31C
Audy BellAudy Bell31C
Payden AckermanPayden Ackerman34G
Payden AckermanPayden Ackerman34G
Payden AckermanPayden Ackerman34G
Payden AckermanPayden Ackerman34G
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