Nov. 19, 2013
DeKALB, Ill. - The Northern Illinois women's basketball team added three players, all from neighboring Wisconsin, during the early signing period for the Class of 2014. The class is the fourth by Head Coach Kathi Bennett.
"I'm very excited about all three of these players and their addition to our program," Bennett said. "All three of these players understand the game of basketball and have a high basketball IQ, so we're excited have them next season."
The Huskies added three players from Wisconsin in Georgia Breunig (Sauk Prairie, Wis.), Renee Sladek (Merrill, Wis.) and Kelly Smith (Hartland, Wis.) to the roster for 2014-15. All three are multi-sport athletes for their respective high schools with Sladek actually receiving offers to play Division I volleyball.
Northern Illinois will graduate two players at the end of the 2013-14 season in combo guards/forwards Alicia Johnson and Ashley Sneed.
Complete bios of each signee with quotes from Bennett are listed below.
NIU will return to the court Thursday Nov. 21 at 7 p.m. as they host in-state Missouri Valley foe, Bradley. Season tickets start at $40 with single game tickets beginning at just $6. Follow the Huskies on Twitter @NIUathletics and @GoHuskiesWBB.
CLASS OF 2014
Georgia Breunig (Bry-nig) | 5-10 | G | Sauk Prairie, Wis. (Sauk Prairie)
Renee Sladik | 6-1 | G/F | Merrill, Wis. (Merrill)
Kelly Smith | 6-1 | G | Hartland, Wis. (Arrowhead)
6-1 | G/F
Merrill, Wis. (Merrill)
MERRILL HIGH SCHOOL:
Played volleyball, basketball and was a member of the track team ... Co-Wisconsin Valley Player of the Year in 2012-13, despite missing half the season after tearing her ACL ... Twice named all-conference ... AP All-State Honorable Mention ... 46 percent shooter from the field ... Registered a 69 percent free throw shooter ... 704 points through her first three seasons with the Bluejays ... Averaged 17.9 points, 7.3 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 2.4 steals per game last season ... Three-time all-conference middle blocker on the volleyball team ... Team captain the last two seasons ... totaled 1,234 kills the last three seasons with 136 total blocks ... Wisconsin Valley Conference indoor high jump and 4x100 meter relay champion as a freshman ... State qualifier as a thrower ... Finished sixth in the discus as a sophomore.
COACH BENNETT ON SLADEK:
"I'd recruited Renee for a long time. She brings a lot of athleticism and is very complete basketball player that can do it inside and out. She's the kind of kid that gets stronger as the game goes on and is very competitive. She's not afraid to be physical, can shoot from outside, can handle the ball a little bit and is an aggressive rebounder. Not only is Renee a Huskie but her family as well. They're Huskies through and through."
6-1 | G
Hartland, Wis. (Arrowhead)
ARROWHEAD HIGH SCHOOL:
Honorable Mention Division I WBCA All-State ... First Team All-Classic Eight ... First Team All-Area ... Averaged 14 points and seven rebounds per game as a junior ... 75 percent free throw shooter ... Ranked 19th best player in the state of Wisconsin by MaxPreps.com ... Also played volleyball at Arrowhead, accumulating 270 kills and 25 solo blocks as a junior.
COACH BENNETT ON SMITH:
"Kelly fits us. At 6-1, the improvements that she's made from her junior year at the state tournament to last summer, her physical presence was night and day. She really worked hard in the weight room and on her three point shot and she has the ability to be strong in the post. She has a high basketball IQ, she's aggressive and her outside shot can stretch a defense out. She's definitely what we were looking for in a defensive first player."
5-10 | G
Sauk Prairie, Wis. (Sauk Prairie)
SAUK PRAIRIE HIGH SCHOOL:
Played basketball, soccer and tennis ... First Team All-Badger North Conference in 2012-13 ... Averaged 13 points per game last season ... Twice selected second team all-conference ... Has scored 718 points through first three seasons ... Scored a career-high 22 points against Fort Atkinson as a junior ... Two-time all-conference soccer player ... Honor roll student ... National Honor Society member.
COACH BENNETT ON BREUNIG:
"Georgia plays for one of my favorite AAU coaches in Bob Johnson, who's had a lot of good players and really coaches the game well, so I know she's smart player. We need shooters who can catch off the move and she's a phenomenal shooter. She has a quick release and she understands how to play the game. The thing that makes her special is she knows how to move without the basketball. She really adds that dimension to our class.