The Three Statesmen
Record-breaking threesome transfers to William Penn
Alan K. Fox | A Lanetitans.net exclusive
Greg Sheley’s Lady Titans may have taken fourth place during the regional championship tournament in December, but they’re No. 1 fare when it comes to recruiting.
Three more players from this year’s team have moved on, but what makes this group unique is the fact that they will remain teammates.
Sophomores Brittany May, Makenzie Ficek and Susan Smith are all heading to Oskaloosa, Iowa to play for the William Penn Statesman.
All three women are excited to continue their bond on and off the court.
“I’m so excited for the opportunity to continue playing next year, and to top it off I’m going with two of my really good friends, which will make the transition much easier,” Smith said.
“I’m really excited to even be able to continue my basketball career at William Penn University, but to be able to keep playing with Sue and Britt is the main reason I’m so excited,” Ficek said. “They both are two of my best friends, especially Susan because we have been playing against and with each other since middle school.”
May continued the excitement.
“I’m really excited to go to William Penn and compete at a good program and having two of my best friends get scholarships there too is a nice bonus,” May said.
William Penn is a National Association of Intercollegiate Athletes Division II school that finished last season with a 23-10 record and had only lost two games at home. Last season was the Statesmen’s best season since the 1982 season and they just missed making it to the national tournament.
Success at home is something that these three players are used to, being a part of the Lady Titans 83-game home winning streak.
“William Penn appealed to me because of the school and academic opportunities and to top it off they are coming off of a really successful season,” Smith said.
The three have all left their mark on the school record books, as well.
May is the Lady Titans’ all-time three-point queen, owning every record in the book.
Records she holds include most three-pointers in a career (159), in a season (105), highest three-point shooting percentage for a season (.44) and percentage in a career (.42)
“Brittany May is a tremendous three-point shooter that also seems to be well rounded and a 'heady' player,” Spielbauer said. “She also is a great kid and fit in well with our kids.”
Smith leaves the Lady Titans as the leader in assists in a season (210), season average (7.2 per game) and assists in one game (19).
“Susan Smith is a great point guard that has tremendous vision and passing ability,” Brian Spielbauer, William Penn head coach said. “She also has a great motor and loves the game.”
Ficek left her mark in the books by hitting the most three-pointers in a game with 10 and also finished up her career with being in the top five in three-pointers in a career (110) and in a season (65).
“Makenzie Ficek is a well rounded and taller guard, and she has very good range and also seemed to be a well-rounded player,” Spielbauer said.
“I am very excited for these young ladies to be able to continue their careers at William Penn,” Sheley said. “They will have a chance to be impact players and contribute right away. The fact that they will have each other will give them a huge advantage and comfort level.”
Spielbauer was excited to be able to recruit three players from such a successful program to try and help replace the eight starters that have moved on from his program.
“Anytime you can get several players from a quality and proven program like Lane you feel fortunate,” Spielbauer said. “We think it will be a good fit as we seek to take another step forward as a program.”