Setsuko Ishiyama Director of Women’s Basketball Tara VanDerveer announced the signing of Brittany McPhee, Kaylee Johnson and Taylor Rooks to National Letters of Intent Wednesday.
Johnson (Casper, Wyo./Natrona County HS), McPhee (Des Moines, Wash./Mount Rainier HS) and Rooks (Warren, N.J./Gill St. Bernard’s School) will join the Cardinal program ahead of the 2014-15 season.
“This is a very talented, very exciting group of young women that will be coming to Stanford next year,” said VanDerveer. “Brittany, Kaylee and Taylor bring a variety of talents as well as a lot of energy that will fit right into our program. I am very pleased to have them join the Stanford family.”
The trio joins a Stanford team that has captured 13 straight Pac-12 regular-season titles as well as the past seven Pac-12 Tournament crowns. Stanford is currently 1-1 in 2013-14, splitting the season-opening road trip at Boston College and Connecticut. The Cardinal opens its home campaign at Maples Pavilion this weekend, hosting Cal Poly Friday night at 7 p.m. and UC Davis Sunday at 2 p.m.
Johnson, a two-time Wyoming Gatorade Player of the Year (2012-13), is a 6-3 forward who casts an imposing defensive presence on opponents. The Casper, Wyo. native set a career high with 15 blocks in a game against Billings High School in 2012-13, and that year averaged 5.9 blocks per game in addition to 18.0 points, 13.9 rebounds and 2.3 steals per game as Natrona County reached the state 4A semifinals. In 2010-11 Johnson led Class 4A in scoring and rebounding and helped lead her team to the state title game.
“Kaylee is a shot blocker and a very energetic post player,” VanDerveer said. “She has proven that she can score and rebound, but we are very excited about her defensive skill and how that will boost us on that end of the floor.”
Hailing from the Pacific Northwest, McPhee, like Johnson, is a two-time state Gatorade Player of the Year, nabbing Washington’s top honor in 2012 and 2013. McPhee averaged 27.0 points per game last year, helping lead Mount Rainier to its second straight state 4A semifinal appearance.
The six-foot wing also scored in bunches as a sophomore, averaging 22.7 points and 11.0 rebounds as the Rams reached the semifinals of the state 4A tournament.
“Brittany is a scoring machine, and we look forward to having her here at Stanford,” VanDerveer said about McPhee. “She’s hard-nosed, runs the floor well and we’re really excited about the way she plays.”
“The long story [of why I chose Stanford] would be that I saw them when I was in 5th of 6th grade, and that’s when I knew where I wanted to go,” McPhee said Wednesday. “What also drew me to Stanford were the great academics and athletics together, as well as the great atmosphere of excellence. Everyone there is striving to do better.”
Rooks comes to The Farm with a Gatorade Player of the Year award under her belt, having captured New Jersey’s honor following last season. A six-foot wing/off-guard along with McPhee, Rooks averaged 27.4 points, 9.6 rebounds and 3.2 steals a game as Gill St. Bernard’s School finished 23-5 and claimed the Somerset County title. Her performance during the season also earned her player of the year honors from the Newark Star-Ledger.
“Taylor is a versatile, strong body that can play the two or the three positions,” noted VanDerveer. “She can rebound and score at a fast pace, and she also brings a solid defensive game into our fold.”
“I feel that Stanford offers me the best of both worlds,” Rooks told GoStanford.com. “[At Stanford] I’ll be able to compete for a national championship with a program where those achievements are expected, and academically I’m going to one of the best schools not just in the country, but in the world. I knew that Stanford would give me an opportunity to excel as both a student and an athlete.”