University of Arkansas women’s basketball coach Mike Neighbors has help recruit one of the nation’s top prospects in 2022 thanks to two current Razorbacks and a future.
ESPN 4-star guard Ysabella Fontleroy is friends with Arkansas first-year forward Maryam Dauda and first-year guard Jersey Wolfenbarger as well as 2022 guard engagement Karley Johnson.
All three are on Fontleroy’s ear to become a Razorback. She and Dauda were teammates for four years as they played for the Missouri Phenom Spring and Summer program.
Fontleroy was also Wolfenbarger’s teammate as he played for the Missouri Phenom and for Willpower, a youth team coached by Fontleroy’s father, Will.
“I think I get a text from Maryam and Jersey once or twice a week,” Fontleroy said of them urging him to join them.
Johnson, of Mustang High School in Oklahoma, was a teammate with Fontleroy this spring and summer while playing for the Arkansas Banshees.
“Oh my God, she’s literally a better recruiter than them [Arkansas coaches] are, “Fontleroy said.” Every day I get a text… “You know we could do this together in a few years if you commit. I said, ‘Karley, we haven’t even been in yet. visit.’ She’s a good recruiter. “
Fontleroy, 6-1, of Springfield (Mo.) Kickapoo has about 30 scholarship offers from schools such as Arkansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, State of Oklahoma, State of Ohio, Virginia, Louisville, Kansas and others.
As Dauda, Wolfenbarger and Johnson pursue Fontleroy, Neighbors and his team are doing more than their fair share of recruiting.
Neighbors attended every Fontleroy and Banshees game at events in Hoover, Alabama and Atlanta in late July.
“I really don’t think he missed [a game],” she said.
Fontleroy left in awe of Neighbors’ chic shoe collection that was on display while he attended his games.
“It was super nice to see him there,” Fontleroy said. “He didn’t have to do all the extras to get anyone’s attention. He was just sitting there with a new pair of shoes every game. A different pair every day.”
During the July 6-12 review period, an Arkansas staff member was at all of their games while Neighbors made their fair share of appearances.
“There were very few that she missed,” she said.
Neighbors’ program has made steady progress over its first four years at Fayetteville, including last season when the Razorbacks went 19-9 with wins over Baylor and Connecticut.
“Coach Neighbors started recruiting me in seventh or eighth grade,” Fontleroy said. “Over the past few years the turnaround he has had with the program has been tremendous and the growth they have had and shown has been truly impressive to follow and watch.”
Despite the loss of All-American Chelsea Dungee and the transfer of graduates Destiny Slocum to the WNBA draft, Fontleroy does not see a fall with Dauda, Wolfenbarger, transfer from Oregon State Sasha Goforth and rookie. in the red Elauna Eaton shirt on the list.
“They’re all going to step up and be great when they step onto the pitch this season. So I’m excited to watch,” she said.
Fontleroy plans to make his five official visits, including one to Fayetteville, when the Hogs play Texas football at Reynolds Razorback Stadium on September 11.
“I don’t know about the other dates, but I can tell you I’m coming to Arkansas on September 11,” she said.
She narrowed down her long list of schools to just a few.
“At this point, I’ll say it’s five or six, six being generous,” Fontleroy said.
Fontleroy has an idea of when she will make her college decision.
“I want to make my decision before I go too far into the school season, but I don’t have a set time yet,” Fontleroy said.
Email Richard Davenport at [email protected]