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April 15, 2009

COLUMBIA, S.C. – University of South Carolina head women’s basketball coach Dawn Staley announced today that Kelsey Bone (Stafford, Texas/John Foster Dulles) has signed a National Letter of Intent to attend the University of South Carolina and play basketball for the Gamecocks. Rated the No. 2 recruit in the country, Bone will have four years of eligibility beginning with the 2009-10 academic year.

“Kelsey is a program changer,” Staley said. “Every program in America would love to build their program around her. We are fortunate that she chose us, but this is the kind of challenge she is looking for. She could have easily gone to a higher profile program, but she chose us because she believes in the vision of our staff. That ability to see the bigger picture is what people here will love about her. At 17, she already has a pretty worldly vision.”

The 2009 McDonald’s All-American Female Player of the Year and a WBCA All-American, the 6-foot-5 post player averaged 19.2 points, 8.7 rebounds and 2.0 blocked shots in 2008-09, leading Dulles to a 36-3 record and the Class 5A Region III semifinals. Bone won the 2009 Morgan Wooten Award, recognizing the nation’s top high school senior who demonstrates outstanding character, exhibits leadership and embodies the values of being a student-athlete in both her schoolwork and community affairs.

Bone was named to the 2008 USA Women’s U18 National Team in June 2008 and helped the team to a perfect 5-0 record in the FIBA Americas U18 Championship for Women in July. A three-time all-state selection, she was the District 23-5A MVP in 2008, its Offensive Player of the Year in 2007 and Newcomer of the Year in 2006. Bone was a member of the 2008 USA Today All-USA second team and a first-team Parade Magazine All-America selection that year as well. Over her four-year career, she averaged 17.0 points, 8.9 rebounds and 1.5 assists while shooting 51 percent from the field and leading the Vikings to a 122-28 record.

“Kelsey has been an impact player for us her entire career,” Dulles High School head coach Doug Letchenberger said. “She is one of two freshmen that has started four years for me, and the teams she has been part of are pretty impressive. With all she has done, her best basketball is still in front of her. Coach Staley and Kelsey are a perfect fit, and that relationship will help her blossom. Kelsey has dreams and wants to be something special. Coach Staley can help her accomplish those things.”

South Carolina was 10-18 last season and loses three seniors from that team – Demetress Adams, Brionna Dickerson and C.J. Pace. Bone joins Norman, Okla., native Ashley Brunner as today’s signees for the Gamecocks.