Women's Basketball Signs Pair To National Letters of Intent
Nov. 9, 2011
SAN DIEGO - San Diego State women's basketball head coach Beth Burns announced the signing Wednesday of forward Aleiah Brandon (Corona, Calif.) and point guard Tia Levi-Dixon (San Diego, Calif.) to National Letters of Intent. The two high school seniors, who are each ranked among the top recruits in the nation, will join the Aztecs in 2012.
Aleiah Brandon attends Centennial High School in Corona, Calif., where she helped the Huskies to a 20-10 record last season as a junior, averaging 10.4 points, seven rebounds, three steals and two blocks per a game. She was a first-team all-league honoree in 2011 and was also tabbed second-team all-CIF.
"Aleiah Brandon is a versatile forward, who will contribute in many ways," Burns said. "She has had a double bonus in terms of her development: a terrific teacher and mentor in coach Martin Woods at Corona Centennial High, as well as with Brian Crichlow of West Coast Premier Basketball Club. We believe Aleiah's fundamental skills, her basketball IQ and her love of the game make her a great fit for the Aztecs. In addition, yet another assist goes out to our SDSU College of Business. Aleiah is an extremely bright young woman and is eager to major in business with a focus in entrepreneurship."
Brandon was an all-Big 8 Conference pick for the Huskies as a sophomore and more recently, was named an honorable mention girls high school All-American by The Sporting News. She is the No. 82 ranked forward nationally and received a three-star scouts grade of 85 by ESPN's Hoopgurlz website.
"She is a very intellectual player and is a perfectionist both on the court and in the classroom," said Centennial High head coach Martin Woods. "She is a true competitor, who works extremely hard. She will show tremendous growth during her career at SDSU."
The 6-foot-1 forward plays during the summer for West Coast Premier, which is the same club basketball team that produced current Aztec freshman Ahjalee Harvey, sophomore Kiyana Stamps and junior Chelsea Hopkins under head coach Brian Crichlow. The squad won a pair of AAU events this summer and claimed first place at the prestigious 2010 End of the Oregon Trail tournament.
"Aleiah is very well-rounded and comes from a strong, tight-knit family," Crichlow said. "She's a hard worker, who always wants to get better. She understands the game well and is very patient on the court. She has a competitive nature and plays within the flow of the game."
Brandon currently boasts a 4.1 cumulative grade-point average and her father, David, has been one of her coaches throughout her high school career.
"San Diego State was the best fit for me," Brandon said. "The coaches and the players were a big part (of my decision to come to SDSU). I got along really well with everyone right away and the coaching style is what I've been used to playing with my club team."
Tia Levi-Dixon is a three-time Cal-Hi Sports all-state selection who has led San Diego High to a combined record of 78-21 over the last three seasons. Levi-Dixon has been tabbed a first-team all-CIF pick three times and is the 39th-ranked point guard nationally in this year's recruiting class by Hoopgurlz.
"Tia is pure passion with a basketball in her hands," Burns said. "A catalyst for her team, Tia has the speed, strength, and hoop savvy we like on the basketball court as a 5-foot-6 point guard. Building on this year's class of youth and athleticism, Tia is a critical piece in our desired full court style of play. Of course, we are partial to Cavers [Paris Johnson, SDHS Class of 2007] and are excited to keep the best of San Diego right here at home. Tia plays for coach Lonnie Jones, who has continued the tradition of excellence at SDHS."
As a junior, the 5-foot-6 point guard averaged 21.2 points an outing in leading the Cavers to a 27-7 record and a perfect 10-0 mark in league play in 2010-11. San Diego High has advanced to the CIF championship game two consecutive campaigns, winning the title in 2010 before moving on to the quarterfinals of the state tournament. The Cavers have yet to lose a league game during her career and she has twice been tabbed the conference player of the year.
Levi-Dixon will be following in the footsteps of another former San Diego High alum Paris Johnson, who started every game and was a four-time all-conference honoree for the Aztecs at center from 2008-11.
"Tia brings the never-say-die attitude," said SDHS head coach Lonnie Jones. "She's a scoring point guard, who has outstanding vision and unlimited range. She has great tenacity and leadership skills and never wants to lose. She's a fighter, who leaves it all on the court."
The three-time first-team all-league pick who boasts a career scoring average of 25 points an outing was an honorable mention All-American by The Sporting News. Levi-Dixon also competes in track and field for the Cavers in the high jump and long jump and is interested in majoring in either criminal justice or athletic training at San Diego State.
"The coaches were in constant communication with me during the recruiting process and really made me feel comfortable," Levi-Dixon said. "I love California and (being close to home) will make it easier for everyone who supports me to come and watch."
Joining Brandon and Levi-Dixon in next season's freshman class will be forward Deajanae Scurry (Los Angeles, Calif.), who will redshirt the upcoming 2011-12 campaign.
"Both Tia, with her mom, Trina, and dad, Roswell, and Aleiah, with her mom, Sharon, and dad, David, are about team and family," Burns said. "We are proud that today, they all became a part of ours."
The Aztecs officially begin their 2011-12 season next Monday, when first-time opponent Arkansas-Pine Bluff comes to Viejas Arena for a 7 p.m. tip-off. Tickets are available in advance for as little as $8 through ticketmaster.com.
2011 Aztec Fall Basketball Signees
Pronunciation Guide Aleiah Brandon uh-LAY-uh