Crowley's Wilridge signs with Lady Cajuns

LAFAYETTE – Former two-time St. Thomas More High School standouts, Kia Wilridge and Ke’Alana “Keke” Veal have committed to play basketball at the University of Louisiana, announced first-year head coach Garry Brodhead on Tuesday.

Wilridge and Veal played side-by-side in high school, where they won back-to-back state titles in their junior and senior years, posting a combined record of 63-3.

“We feel that both players can step right in and make an immediate impact,” Brodhead said. “We are excited because they are local kids and they are winners, having won two state titles at St. Thomas More. Everywhere they have been they have won and recruiting winners will help advance this program.”

Wilridge, a 5-foot-5 point guard from Crowley, is rated as the 110th ranked player at her position in the country, according to ESPN Hoop Gurlz.

She is a two-time member of the all-district first team and the All-Acadiana team. This season she averaged 18 points, four rebounds, five steals and five assists per game, while being named to the all-tournament team at the Sandra Meadows Classic in Duncanville, Texas and was invited to participate in the 2012 Louisiana High School All-Star game.

As a junior she helped lead her team to a 33-2 record, while averaging 11 points, four steals and five assists per contest.

“Kia is a true point guard,” Brodhead mentioned. “She is a tenacious defender and offensively, she pushes the ball and sees the floor very well. She is a great player and we are excited to watch her develop because the sky is truly the limit for her.”

Veal, a 5-foot-7 guard, is ranked 59th nationally at her position based on ESPN Hoop Gurlz ratings.

As a senior she averaged 17 points, six rebounds, four steals and three assists, earning her first team all-state and All-Acadiana honors. Veal was the Class 4A state final MVP, scoring 14 points in the Lady Cougars 56-39 victory over Salmen. Like Wilridge, she was recognized on the all-tournament team at the Sandra Meadows Classic and was offered to play in the 2012 Louisiana High School All-Star game.

Last season she was named all-state after averaging 15 points, six rebounds, three steals and 3.4 assists per game as a junior. Veal also collected 2011 Class 5A state final MVP, All-Acadiana and first team all-district honors.

“Keke is super talented on the offensive end,” Brodhead stated. “She is a great jump shooter and a tremendous passer. She has the skill to create for herself and has a gifted ability to put the ball in the basket.”

Willridge and Veal are the third and fourth members of the 2012 class that also features junior college standouts Ashley Benjamen and Byronesha Santiago, who signed national letters of intent in April.

Acadia Parish Today

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