WMU News

Five sign with Bronco women's basketball

Nov. 10, 2000

KALAMAZOO -- The Western Michigan University women's basketball team has announced the signing of five players to National Letters-of-Intent.

Guard Maria Jilian (Dearborn, Mich./Divine Child), 5-9 guard Casey Rost (St. John's, Mich.), 6-2 post player Kelly Koerber (Flint, Mich./Powers Catholic), frontcourt player Devon Hillstrom (Waterford, Mich./Waterford-Kettering), and 5-8 guard Nina Stone (Indianapolis/Pike) have signed letters to attend WMU and play basketball beginning in the fall of 2001.

"It's time to replenish, so to speak, and to renew as this era moves on," WMU head coach Ron Stewart said. "It's time to establish strength in years to follow. This group does that. We have addressed all five positions and added depth at the perimeter, players able to handle the
ball and shoot, and players with good offensive skills. Our front court players can get up and down the court with mobility and they have offensive skills."

The Broncos lose guard Sarah Hurrle following the 2000-01 season. The following year WMU will bid farewell to guards Brooke and Brianne Gallert, forward Karen Deurloo, center Casey Stevenson, and forward Shelly Jackovich.

Maria Jilian helped Divine Child capture the 2000 Detroit Catholic League championship. The Falcons have won district and regional titles every season since her freshman campaign. The 5-9 guard was named to the All-Metro West First Team, the Detroit Free Press All-Metro Third
Team, and the USA Today Honorable Mention roster as a junior. Jilian has also earned all-league, all-city, and all-area accolades during her career. She scored her 1,000th career point this season and is averaging 16. 8 ppg., 4.8 rpg., 4.0 apg., and 5.0 steals for the Falcons. Her 140 steals in 1999 rank No. 8 in the Michigan High School Athletic Association record books.

"Maria is an outstanding basketball talent," Stewart said. "Her attributes are great ballhandling and that she understands the game. She is relentless in terms of wanting to improve."

A USA Today honorable mention selection following her junior season, Kelly Koerber has helped the Flint Powers Chargers reach the state final four every season of her prep career. A 1999 Class B All-State choice, Koerber has helped Flint Powers capture two Big 9 conference crowns. She is averaging 16.5 ppg. and 10.2 rpg. and is making 57 percent of her field goal attempts this season and has scored 1,079 points and grabbed 708 rebounds during her career.

"Kelly is a post player that runs the floor," Stewart said. "She is lefthanded and that is an attribute inside. She comes from an outstanding program and is very well coached."

The All-Star Girls Report ranked 5-9 Casey Rost among the nation's top guards. Rost was named to the 1999 Mid-Michigan Conference First Team and was an AAU All-American. She was a third team all state Class A pick as a junior. Rost's season averages as a senior stand at 19.6
ppg., 5.0 rpg., 4.0 spg., and 3.0 apg. Her .873 free throw percentage during the 1999 season is a school record and ranks No. 3 in the state record books. The Redwings are 33-3 in conference games during her career. St. John's is 18-1 overall, 12-0 in MMC play this season.

"Casey is a pure shooter and an excellent 3-point shooter," the WMU coach commented. "She's probably the best outside shooter in the state in her class. Casey is also an outstanding free throw shooter and comes from a winning program."

Devon Hillstrom, a 1999 Detroit Free Press Honorable Mention All-Metro and All-North Third team selection, has helped the Waterford Kettering Captains capture district and regional championships every season since her freshman year.

"Devon is a winner," Stewart said. "She has a way of responding to coaching in a positive way that helps the team win. She's a post player that can move to the wing and is very efficient. Devon is a solid prospect in terms of defense and scoring in this league."

An All-Oakland Activities Association player as a sophomore and junior, the 5-11 Hillstrom guided Waterford Kettering to the state semifinals in 1999. She was a member of the Captains' 1996 Class A state champion softball team and is a three-time all-league honoree in that sport.

A candidate for 2001 Indiana Miss Basketball and state all-star honors, Nina Stone was Pike High School's MVP as a sophomore and junior and was also named to the All-Conference Indiana roster both seasons. As a junior, she was a third team all-state player and was selected to the MCGSA All-County team. Picked to play in the 2000 Junior All-Star game, Stone was also named to the Detroit Shock All-Tournament team. She averaged 18.8 ppg., 9.0 rpg., and 2.0 apg. during her junior season for the Red Devils.

"Nina is a capable shooter and scorer," Stewart said. "She is definitely a person that can make an impact in the conference. She has the ability to run the ball club or play the wing. Ballhandling is a strength, she also adds 3-point range."

For more information, visit the Broncos on the Web <www.wmubroncos.com>.

Media contact: Geoff Brown; 616 387-4138; geoffrey.brown@wmich.edu

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