Nov. 8, 2006
New Orleans - Head coach Lisa Stockton announced Wednesday that Tiffany Aidoo, Caitlin Cleveland and Kiara Slaton have signed National Letters of Intent to play women's basketball at Tulane beginning in the 2007-08 season.
"I'm very excited about this class," Stockton said. "They're not just talented players but quality people who are tremendously competitive. All three really know the game well and all of them will have a chance to contribute right away."
Aidoo, a 5-9 guard from Northshore High School in Slidell, La., was named First Team All-Metro and Second Team All-State as a junior. She earned First Team All-District honors as both a sophomore and junior. She led her team to the district championship in the 2005-06 season and has been named MVP of her team the last three seasons. Aidoo was named an AAU All-American this past summer at the 16 and under national tournament.
She was also named MVP of the Northshore volleyball team as a sophomore and a junior, and named First Team All-District each year as well. Off the court, she was an A & B honor roll member for both her sophomore and junior seasons.
"Tiffany is a tremendous athlete and a great defensive player," Stockton commented. "She has a long-range shooting touch. She's intense and that will contribute not just in games, but in practice."
Cleveland, another 5-9 guard, hails from Kenner, La. Her high school team, Mt. Carmel, is coached by Mary Ann Marino, who played for Stockton at Tulane for three seasons and was part of Tulane's first Conference USA Champion squad (1996-97). Cleveland has earned All-District honors as a freshman, sophomore and junior and was team MVP twice. She also is on the track & field team - holding the school record in the shot-put - and, like Aidoo, is an honor roll member and All-District volleyball player.
"Caitlin is a hard-nosed and very smart basketball player. She's one of those people who keeps a basketball team together and makes it click," Stockton continued. "She's been very successful in her high school career, playing at Mt. Carmel High School for Mary Ann. They have a system that distributes the ball and she's very unselfish in that system."
Aidoo and Cleveland have played together for seven seasons on club and AAU teams, including the two-time National Champion Kenner Angels. The Angels have been to the Final Four six times in the last seven years, the last four under the direction of current Tulane assistant coach Alan Frey.
"It's also great to see some local players who not only returned after Katrina, but wanted to stay in the New Orleans area to continue their basketball careers," Stockton commented.
The final member of the Tulane incoming class for 2007-08 is Kiara Slaton. A 6-3 post player, she plays high school basketball at Rockwall High School in Rockwall, Texas. Slaton earned First Team All-District honors as a freshman and sophomore at Ocean Springs High School in Mississippi before relocating to Rockwall after Hurricane Katrina. As a Junior with Rockwall, she earned All-District honors and led her team to the State Championship game last season, finishing as the runner-up. She also helped her team get to the district championship game as a freshman and sophomore at Ocean Springs. Off the court, she's a member of the honor roll and was named Academic All-District.
"Kiara reminds me a lot of (former Tulane All-American and current WNBA player) Janelle Burse. She's not as tall as Janelle, but she's very smooth and very aggressive. She has tremendous upside and is a hard worker," Stockton said.
The trio of newcomers will join a Tulane Green Wave squad that is expected to lose two seniors, both guards, to graduation. Tulane opens the 2006-07 regular season on Friday, Nov. 4 against Stephen F. Austin. The game is part of a doubleheader with the men's team. The Tulane women tip off at 6 p.m., with the men playing host to Butler at 8:30 p.m.