Mulkey Signs Nation’s Top Class To LSU
BATON ROUGE – On Wednesday, LSU Women’s Basketball Coach Kim Mulkey signed her second class at LSU, adding four elite prospects that have been ranked the No. 1 class in the country by ESPN.
Headlining the class is the No. 1 player in the country (AGSR, Prospects Nation and Jr. All-Star National Rankings) and Bossier City, Louisiana native Mikaylah Williams, a 6-0 guard out of Parkway High School. LSU has also signed teammates at The Webb School in Tennessee and natives of The Bronx, New York, Aalyah Del Rosario and Angelica Velez. Del Rosario, a 6-5 forward, is considered the top post player in the country and is tabbed the No. 4 player overall by Just Women’s Sports. Velez is a four-star guard that is rated as the No. 21 player in the country by Prospects Nation. The Tigers also landed Janae Kent out of Oak Forrest, Illinois, Dan Olson’s No. 58 player in the class.
After Coach Mulkey earned AP Coach of the Year following her first season in Baton Rouge and leading the Tigers to a 26-6 record, LSU’s momentum on the court has shifted off the court to success on the recruiting trail as she looks to bring LSU to the apex of women’s basketball. Coach Mulkey’s second season began with a record-setting 125-50 win on Monday over Bellarmine as LSU looks to continue to build upon last year’s success.
As the top player in the country, Williams has had success on every stage she has played on. Playing overseas during the Summer, Williams earned two Gold Medals with Team USA, claiming the FIBA U17 World Cup and being named MVP during Team USA’s quest for the championship at the FIBA 3×3 U18 World Cup, both in Hungary.
Williams is the reigning Louisiana Gatorade Player of the Year after averaging 22.8 point, 8.0 rebounds, 3.7 assists and 2.2 steals, leading Parkway High School to a 34-3 record and a state championship appearance. With all-around elite talent, Williams is a natural scorer and lockdown defender whose effort and skill on both sides of the ball separate her from all the other players in the class. As a junior, Williams was a finalist for the 2022 Naismith High School Girls Basketball Player of the Year Award and she was a Junior All-America First Team selection by MaxPreps.
“Mikaylah is an incredibly special student-athlete,” Coach Mulkey. “Being from North Louisiana, Mikaylah chose to stay home and compete for championships as a Tiger. Her immense talent, combined with her unmatched work ethic sets her apart – making her the top player in the country. LSU fans you are in for a treat.”
“In order to take my game to the next level and to continue to learn and grow as a young woman, there’s only one place where I’ve wanted to be. Home,” Williams said when she announced her commitment to LSU.
Del Rosario is a five-star prospect who is the top true big in the country with a powerful inside game who can utilize the face up game. She sees the floor well and can play outside the key too. She is also a physical defensive presence who hits the boards hard. Del Rosario took home the Gold Medal from the FIBA U18 World Cup in Argentina over the Summer.
“Aalyah brings a dominant inside presence to our front court,” Coach Mulkey said. “She has closely followed post players that I have coached in the past and has the capability to be the next great post player at LSU. I can’t wait to get Aalyah to Baton Rouge and get to work.”
“I selected LSU because when I first arrived in this country, my first game I watched was of Coach Mulkey’s team,” said Del Rosario, whose family is from the Dominican Republic. “I loved her style. I loved the way she coached her girls. I knew then I wanted to play for someone like her. LSU for me felt like home when I was on campus. The development that I will be able to experience from Coach Mulkey and Coach Starkey will be what I will need to one day play professional basketball. Winning a national championship is a goal of mine and I know I am with the right people to do it with.”
During her junior season at The Webb School, Del Rosario averaged a double-double with 13.0 points per game and 11.0 rebounds per game while adding 4.0 assists per game. She was a finalist for the 2022 TSSAA Division II-A Miss Basketball Award.
Del Rosario and Velez have proved to be a lethal guard-post duo, leading The Webb School to the Tennessee Division II-A State Championship as juniors.
Velez is a shifty point guard who plays with the position with a flair with shifty ball handling skills. She is an athletic floor leader with a poised back court game. Velez scored 13 points to help bring the Tennessee State Championship home for The Webb School.
“Angelica is a true point guard who brings a competitive edge to Baton Rouge,” Coach Mulkey said. “As a former point guard, I appreciate her ability to make her teammates look great. Her on-court leadership is phenomenal and will be sure to have a huge impact on our team for years to come.”
“I selected LSU because I wanted to be coached by Coach Mulkey and win with the girls that are in that program,” Velez said. “I want to win a national championship and I feel under Coach Mulkey, I believe I will thrive and really prove that I can play at the next level.”
Kent comes from a basketball family who can score all around the court. She is a two-time South Suburban (Chicago) Conference Player of the Year and was a First Team All-State selection last year. Already with over 1,000 career points at Oak Forrest High School, Kent averaged 25 points and 9 rebounds throughout her junior season. Basketball is in Kents blood as her father played at Ohio University, mother played at West Virginia and brother is a starter at Bradley.
“Janae brings much needed size to our perimeter,” Coach Mulkey said. “Her versatility is a huge part of her game. From scoring to rebounding, she can affect the game in a variety of ways with her length. She is going to come to Baton Rouge ready to get to work and we are excited to see what she accomplishes at LSU.”
“I want to come to LSU to compete for championships,” Kent said. “Coach Mulkey has built a staff around her that I think will give me the ability to reach my full potential and play in a program that competes at the highest level.”