Wednesday is National Signing Day for most every sport not named football around the country. Colleges finally get a chance to sign the recruits they have been working to convince to come to their school for in some cases years. That work has paid off for the Minnesota Gophers women’s basketball team who signed their highest rated recruiting class in program history on Wednesday in what is a consensus top ten class in the nation—and they are all Minnesotans.
One of the positives that Mark Coyle and others put on Lindsay Whalen when she took over the head coach job of the Gophers is that players, especially Minnesota players would want to flock to the Gophers to play for such a Minnesota and women’s basketball legend. It took a few years, but the fruits of that labor appear to be finally paying off as the 2022-23 Minnesota recruiting class is ranked #4 in the nation by Jr. All-Star and ranked #7 in the nation by ESPN.
The class consists of four Twin Cities metro players, three of whom are consensus top 100 players in the nation with a fourth right on the cusp. All four grew up watching Whalen play for the Minnesota Lynx and all bought into her being their head coach.
The class is headlined by 5’11” point guard Mara Braun from Wayzata. Braun is ranked #28 in the nation by ESPN and #34 in the nation by Jr. All-Stars.
Next is 5’11” point guard Amaya Battle from Hopkins. She is ranked #36 by Jr. All-Stars and #39 by ESPN. She becomes the first recruit from vaunted high school program Hopkins to commit to the U in a very long time. Her teammate Maya Nnaji who is ranked the #9 recruit in the country is headed to Arizona to follow her brother Zeke. Amaya is also following her brother—Gopher transfer Jamison Battle who is a junior for the Gopher men’s team.
Next is 6’1 forward Mallory Heyer from Chaska. Heyer is ranked #32 in the nation by Jr. All-Stars and #55 by ESPN.
Rounding out the class is 6’0 forward Nia Holloway from Eden Prairie. Holloway is ranked #90 in the nation by Jr. All-Stars and is not in the top 100 ranked by ESPN.
The #Gophers just got ! @TheNia_Holloway, the No. 90 ranked recruit in the nation, has officially signed to stay home and play for the #Gophers! #NSD22— Minnesota Women's Basketball (@GopherWBB) November 10, 2021
: https://t.co/D7633LnQyp pic.twitter.com/P0HUi20iXK
All four players have multiple tools in their arsenal. They are multi-talented scorers, can play defense, and crash the boards. These four players will make the Gophers better. Unfortunately they won’t be here until next fall. Because it appears Minnesota could use them all right now.
Congrats to Lindsay Whalen on a great recruiting class!