Jayla Stone

On hand to see Jayla Stone (seated, second from right) of East Ridge High School sign on to play basketball with Georgia Northwestern were (front row, from left) Autumn Reynolds, Kentarius Hampton and Shenika Stone. On the back row are East Ridge coach Lebron Williams and Georgia Northwestern coach David Stephenson. (Messenger photo/Scott Herpst)

It took nearly 10 years for the Georgia Northwestern Lady Bobcats to get their first recruit from East Ridge (Tenn.) High School.

It took a little less than 10 days more to get their second.

Just about a week after picking up Kyanna Kendrick, head coach David Stephenson crossed back into the Volunteer State to collect the signature of Lady Pioneer senior guard Jayla Stone.

“It feels very good to start a new journey and know I’m getting to play college basketball,” Stone said. “I’m excited for it.”

The lightning-fast guard was an All-Region and All-Region Tournament selection for the Lady Pioneers this past season. She averaged nearly 23 points a game and finished with over 1,800 points for her high school career.

“She’s a great young lady and an amazing basketball player,” East Ridge coach LeBron Williams stated. “She’s really been the bell cow for our offense. She did it all - scoring, ball-handling - the whole nine yards, but it’s her ball-handling skills that I think will translate to the next level. She has great speed and quickness. She’s kind of a slasher who can get to the hole.”

Stephenson said his team was getting someone who knows how to fill up the ol’ peach basket.

“We’re getting a scorer,” he said. “One thing we’ve had a hard time with lately is putting the ball in the basket, so we’re emphasizing that in recruiting and trying to find people that can score.

“When I watched her play, she was like a little atom out there, bouncing all over the place. She’s a speed demon and she gives us another ball-handler. I’m super excited to get her and being able to continue to build this relationship with East Ridge is huge.”

Apart from her speed, Stone said she likes to be a motivator on the court.

“I’ll bring a lot of spirit to the team,” she added. “I want to keep everyone’s heads up and keep them in a good mood. I like that we’re really kind of starting over (at Georgia Northwestern). Coach (Stephenson) is going out and getting a lot of new people and bringing them in. I like to meet new people and find out how they are different from me.”

Stone is also a track standout at East Ridge.

Among her personal bests are a 13.74 seconds in the 100 meters, 16.04 in the 100-meter hurdles, 51.34 in the 300-meter hurdles, 16-feet, 4-inches in the long jump and 31-1.25 in the triple jump.

Stone said she wants to major in Criminal Justice.