LU Men's and Women's Basketball Sign Eleven Recruits

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Men's Basketball

Lamar University landed a huge signing class Tuesday afternoon with the addition of seven student-athletes (four transfers and three signees). Terry Anderson (6-6, F, Deer Park, Texas/Arkansas-Cossatot), Jakevion "Jay" Buckley (6-0, G/F, Shelbyville, Texas/Trinity Valley CC), Nate Calmese (6-2, G, Gilbert, Ariz./Mesquite HS), Adam Hamilton (6-9, C, Buckeye, Ariz./Glendale CC), Cody Pennebaker (6-5, G, Brooklyn Park, Minn./Park Center HS), Chris Pryor (5-11, G, DeSoto, Texas/McLennan CC) and Jason Thirdkill, Jr. (6-7, F, Dallas, Texas/Home School) have announced their intentions to continue their education with and play basketball for the Cardinals.
The highly touted recruiting class fills needs at every position consisting of three guards, two forwards, one center and one who can play both guard and forward. It also includes three players who have received NJCAA All-America (Anderson, Hamilton and Pryor) honors prior to arriving at LU.
The incoming class also brings with it a national flair as the seven players represent three different states. In addition to the Lone Star State (four), the class also represents Arizona (two) and Minnesota (one).
"From the very beginning, we've talked about restoring the tradition here and chasing championships," said LU head coach Alvin Brooks. "We wanted to get better with size, athleticism, skill, basketball IQ and championship quality guys. This class gives us a great deal of balance, from the standpoint of positions, size and skill, we have a little bit of everything in this class. In addition to that, this class also provides a good mixture of junior college veterans – two of which will have three years to play for us – to go along with three high school guys.
"I give a lot of credit to my staff, but I also have to recognize Dr. Taylor who really went out of his way to help us in recruiting," added Brooks. more 

  • Terry Anderson

    Terry Anderson (6’6, Forward, Deer Park, TX)

    • NJCAA All-American
    • Averaged 20.0 ppg and 13.4 rpg last season
    “I chose Lamar because I felt like it was a perfect fit and a place I could continue to develop and a place that we can take to the championship if we all lock in!”
  • Anaya Bernar

    Anaya Bernard (5’10, Guard, Mansfield, TX)

    • Idaho State University
    • Two-Time All-District
    • Guided Duncanville HS to a State Title
    “I chose Lamar to be closer to home, but more importantly because I believe in Coach Aqua’s vision to building a winning program. That is something I want to be a part of”
  • Telisha Brow

    Telisha Brown (5’6, Guard, Houston, TX)

    • NJCAA All-American
    • Averaged 13.6 ppg
    • Led conference in three-point field goal percentage (42 percent)
    “I chose Lamar because it felt like home. The relationship everybody has with each other is like family.”
  • Jay Buckley

    Jay Buckley (6’0, Guard / Forward, Shelbyville, TX)

    • 18.4 ppg, 4.6 rpg, 7.8 ap
    • 2 Star Prospect
    “Coach Brooks and the coaching staff made me feel like family from day 1. Being a part of a family environment and a winning culture is what made me choose Lamar”
  • Nate Calmese

    Nate Calmese (6’2, Guard, Gilbert, AZ)

    • Arizona Region Player of the Year
    • Arizona 4A All-State
    • 31.0 ppg, 5.0 apg
    “I just loved the culture and how some teachers and coaches all went to Lamar and came back to give back.”
  • Alyiah Craf

    Alyiah Craft (5’6, Guard, Huntsville, TX)

    • Guided Huntsville HS to four consecutive district titles
    • Two-Time District MVP
    “I wanted to go to Lamar because it’s close to home. Watching the team play and being on campus allowed me to see another world outside of Huntsville. Meeting everyone on campus and the team made me want to be a part of Lamar University even more. I can’t wait to start my journey”
  • Adam Hamilton

    Adam Hamilton (6’9, Center, Buckeye, AZ)

    • NJCAA All-American
    • Conference Defensive Player of the Year
    • 18.5 ppg, 10.6 rpg and 3.5 bpg
    “I chose Lamar because it was the best fit for me. The culture surrounding the students (student-athletes especially) is a family.”
  • Cody Pennebaker

    Cody Pennebaker (6’5, Guard, Brooklyn Park, MN)

    • Guide Prep Squad to first State Title
    • All-State Selection
    • Scored More than 1,000 points during his career
    “I chose Lamar university because the coaching staff showed a lot of love throughout recruiting me. I also chose Lamar because of the nice weather and nice facilities. The main reason is because I felt comfortable there and it felt like home!”
  • Chris Pryor

    Chris Pryor (5’11, Guard, DeSoto, TX)

    • NJCAA All-American
    • NTJCAC Player of the Year
    • Averaged 12.0 ppg and shot 47-percent from 3-point range
    “Coach Brooks has a good relationship with Coach Gill & my high school coach Coach Dyer. When I went on my visit it felt like a home away from home and that the program was very family oriented. Another thing that attracted me towards my decision on Lamar is that I get to reunite with my old high school teammate Xavier Ball.”
  • R’Mani Taylor

    R’Mani Taylor (5’6, Guard, Houston, TX)

    • Shadow Creek’s all-time leading scorer
    • TABC Region Player of the Year
    • District MVP
    “I chose Lamar because of the welcoming feeling I got on my visit. Everything felt natural-Meeting the coaches and players felt as if we were already family. Putting on the uniform just topped it off. It felt like I was where I was supposed to be! And knowing that I have a coach willing to help me get to where she has been, playing my position I couldn’t pass up such a great opportunity.”
  • Jason Thirdkill Jr

    Jason Thirdkill Jr. (6’7, Forward, Dallas, TX)

    • 3-Star Prospect
    • No. 17 Prospect in the State of Texas (
    • No. 45 Small Forward in the Country (
    “I chose Lamar because from the start of recruiting with them I just felt the love and it felt like family. Once I took the visit, it was a deal breaker. It was a family. All the coaches are going to push me to be my best and that’s all I can ask for. I love the environment and want to get them back into the madness.”

Women's Basketball

Looking to build upon last season in which they reached the second round of the Western Athletic Conference Championship tournament, Lamar University head women's basketball coach Aqua Franklin is adding four key signees for the upcoming 2022-23 season. The Cardinals will be welcoming in two Houstonians in Telisha Brown and R'Mani Taylor, one Huntsville native in Alyiah Craft, and one Mansfield native in Anaya Bernard.

"This is a great day for our program," said LU head coach Aqua Franklin. "We are so excited to welcome Alyiah, R'Mani, Telisha and Anaya to the Cardinal family. During the recruiting process our staff wanted to find players that would fit perfectly in what we want to do on the court and our culture off the court. These four individuals will truly impact our program, university and the Beaumont-Golden Triangle community."

Anaya Bernard - 5'10" - Guard/Forward - Duncanville HS/Idaho State (Mansfield, Texas)
Bernard joins the Cardinals after spending last season with the Idaho State Bengals. There, she appeared in 25 games scoring 49 points and grabbing 21 rebounds.
While at Duncanville High School, Bernard led the Panthers to a state championship in 2020 while earning the first of two second-team all-district honors in 2020 and in 2021 was named to the District 11-6A First Team. She also excelled off the court earning two academic all-district honors while being a member of the National Honor Society. Bernard plans to major in biology while at LU.
"We are excited about the addition of Anaya," said Franklin. "She will add experience, size, versatility and depth to our program. She has a great skill set and can defend multiple positions."

Telisha Brown - 5'6" - Guard - Legacy School of Sport Sciences/Blinn Junior College (Houston, Texas)

Transferring in from BJC, Brown is currently a redshirt freshman. Averaging 13.6 points per game on 40.0% field goals made, she led the conference in three-point percentage with 42% made from downtown. She tallied 6.2 assists, 4.5 rebounds, and 5.4 steals per game. Brown would earn multiple honors including second-team All-American in the NJCAA DI, all-conference, all-region, and being named the Region XIV Tournament MVP for the tournament champion Buccaneers.

At Legacy, Brown was the district MVP in 2017 and the 2018 district player of the year.

"We are so thrilled to have Telisha join our program," said Franklin. "She is a dynamic and efficient scorer. "TT" is very shifty with the ball in her hands and has great court vision."

Alyiah Craft - 5'6" - Guard - Huntsville HS (Huntsville, Texas)

Arriving to Beaumont from Huntsville, Craft will join the Cardinals after earning her second district MVP and leading the Lady Hornets to the area round of the playoffs.Throughout her high school career, Craft was a vital part of her team leading them to four straight district titles and being tabbed as the 16-5A Player of the Year in 2021 and 2022.

"Alyiah has an unbelievable motor and never takes a play off on either end of the floor," said Franklin. "Her hustle, toughness and competitiveness will make an immediate impact."

R'Mani Taylor - 5'6" - Guard - Shadow Creek HS (Houston, Texas)

Taylor will start her freshman campaign in Cardinal Red for the 2022-23 season after leading the Lady Sharks of Shadow Creek to a 29-5 record, a share for the district 23-6A title and a run to the regional quarterfinals as a senior. Throughout her career, Taylor scored 1684 points to become the all-time leading scorer for the Lady Sharks, dished out 575 assists, stole the ball 272 times, and secured 381 rebounds to go with 50 blocks.

This two-time district MVP and TABC All-Region Player of the Year was also selected as three-time district all-academic team and part of the Greater Houston Area Girls Basketball Association all-state team. Taylor will major in kinesiology at LU.

"R'Mani is an exciting player to watch," said Franklin. "She is a three-level scorer that can also defend. R'Mani is the total package and I know our fans are going to enjoy watching her over the next four years." more