NLI signing day for top hoopsters


For former Minneapolis North boys’ basketball standout RICO ALEXANDER, November 12, 2013 was a very special day. It wasn’t only because his daughter, 5-foot-6-inch girls’ basketball standout guard ALEXIS ALEXANDER (Champlin Park), was signing a National Letter of Intent (NLI) to attend South Dakota State University next year.

It was also the fact that fellow AAU teammates KENISHA BELL (5’-8” guard, Bloomington Kennedy), CHASE COLEY (6’-3” forward, Minneapolis Washburn), TIA ELBERT (5’-7” guard, Tartan), TONOIA WADE (6’-1” forward, Bloomington Kennedy), and CAYLA MCMORRIS (6’-0 guard, Park Center) were also signing their NLIs.

“I watched them develop into some fine ladies,” said Rico Alexander, who coached them in North Tartan’s AAU program. “I’m just so proud of them all.”

Bell, who signed with Marquette, averaged 12 points per game, leading Bloomington Kennedy to a runnerup Class 4A finish last spring.

Coley signed with Iowa after leading Washburn to the Class 2A state tournament, averaging 20 points, 17 rebounds and nine blocked shots.

Elbert, also headed to Marquette, averaged an eye-popping 36 points per game.

Wade, who teamed with Bell during the Eagles’ tournament run averaging 15 points and seven rebounds per game, will head to St. John’s University (NY).

McMorris, a 6’-0 guard who averaged 23 points per game last season, will attend Wisconsin.

According to Rico Alexander, Alexis Alexander, Bell, Elbert, Wade and McMorris have played AAU ball together since they were in 7th grade. Coley joined them last year.

Rico Alexander led North to a fourth-place finish in the Class AA (the big school class at the time) 1986 boys’ basketball tournament.


Jones picks Duke

Two days after Alexander, Bell, Coley, Elbert, Wade and McMorris invested in their future,  Apple Valley’s TYUS JONES, the nation’s top-ranked point guard and No. 4 player overall, announced that he will attend Duke University next season.

Jones, whose older brother JADEE JONES starred at DeLaSalle and Hopkins before attending Furman University and Minnesota State University-Mankato, led Apple Valley to the Class 4A state title last year.


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