Spartanburg, SC — Coach Brett Phillips has announced the addition of five student-athletes to the basketball team for next season. Ashley Arff, Kelsey Lambdin, Kathlyn McClain, Jessica McMahan, and Stephanie Whitaker have committed to play at Converse College. Coach Phillips, who is entering his second season at the helm of the All-Stars, is very excited about this class. “This recruiting class will help to take this program to new heights,” says Phillips. “Besides having exceptional talent, they bring a winning attitude.”
Arff is a 6-0 Forward from Fox Lake, Illinois. The 2006 graduate of Grant High School is a very skilled, athletic, and versatile player. She can play in a lot of different spots on the floor and is a scorer. Arff help led her high school team to back-to-back 20 win seasons. Proving that you should never be satisfied, she led the Bulldogs to a school record 22 wins in her junior season.
Coach Phillips says, “Ashley is a diamond in the rough; we got a steal. She is always working to improve and comes from a winning program.”
Lambdin is a 5-8 wing player from Raleigh. This will be Lambdin’s second stint under Coach Phillips, she was coach by the All-Stars’ leader while in middle school. Lambdin brings a good shooting ability to the floor as well as an incredible work rate both on and off the court.
“Kelsey brings the type of character the entire Converse community will be proud of,” says Coach Phillips.
Lambdin is excited to be joining the Converse family. When she is not trying to shoot the lights out of the gym, she will be studying in the Education Department preparing for a career in teaching.
“The coach and girls on the team have made me feel so at home here,” states Lambdin. “I am very proud to be a part of the Converse program!”
McClain is a 5-7 combo guard who graduated from Marian Catholic High School in Chicago. McClain’s high school team amassed an impressive 107-25 record during her time with the Spartans. She help led the team to three Elite 8 finishes in Illinois.
“I am excited to be attending Converse in the fall and I cannot wait to get basketball season started,” says McClain. I want to help the team turn this program around.”
If her senior year is any indication, she will do just that. The captain averaged 10.6 points and 4 rebounds per game in her final season. She saved the best proving her worth in the state playoffs by posting a career high 25 points the Supersectionals round only to follow that performance with a half-court buzzer-beater to win in the next round. Marian head coach, Annie Basic, describes McClain as loyal, hard working and passionate. McClain left a lasting impression on Coach Phillips during her official visit by sporting a shirt that read “Pain is Temporary – Pride is Forever,” which represent an attitude the coach hopes to instill in the program.
“We are very excited to have Kathlyn here,” the All-Star’s coach says. “She has the attitude we are looking for.”
McMahon is a 5-7 shooting guard from Clover, SC. The shooting part of her position is all most people need to know. Coach Phillips hopes her range will help to open the floor for some returning post players.
McMahon’s high coach, Paula Blackwell, says, “Everyone that plays the Lady Cougars is aware Jessica can nail 3-pointers.”
McMahon has already been working on her floor awareness to help make her more well-rounded player. “I want to get better before going to Converse,” says McMahon. “When I get there, I want to compete for playing time.”
Coach Phillips is hoping for the same. “She comes from a winning program and is a hard-worker with a great desire to get better and win,” he says of his South Carolina freshman. “She is just a great kid with a winning attitude.”
Whitaker is 5-10 and will most likely be used as a face up/post player. The Kentucky native might be considered a little small for that position by most, but she plays bigger than