– Women's basketball head coach Stephanie White
announced Thursday that six student-athletes have signed a National Letter of Intent to continue their academic and athletic careers at Vanderbilt. The three guards and three forwards set to join the team prior to the 2019-20 include Kiara Pearl, Demi Washington, Yaubryon Chambers, Koi Love, Kaylon Smith and Taylor Hutchins.
"We are really excited about this class as we continue to build on becoming a more athletic, versatile and competitive team in the SEC," White stated. "As we take steps in our building process, adding length, depth, competitiveness, toughness and versatility are key. This class adds all of those things as well as each player possessing an intense desire to develop, learn and grow."
Kiara Pearl is a 5-8 guard from Eastern High School out of Louisville, Kentucky. She was an all-district team selection as a sophomore. Pearl won the team's steals award, was named to the 28th district all-tournament team, all-region second team and earned a 1,000-point ball her junior campaign. Last season, the Kentucky native averaged 12.8 points and four rebounds.
"Kiara is a combo guard that can stretch the floor with her ability to shoot the three, as well as play off the bounce," said White. "She's another player that adds depth on the perimeter with the versatility we look for as well as the ability to defend multiple positions."
Demi Washington is a 5-10 guard from New Hope Academy in Hyattsville, Maryland. The Wake Forest, North Carolina, native is ranked 97th-best recruit nationally by ESPNHoopGurlz
and 132nd by ProspectsNation
. Washington is a two-time first team all-conference selection, a two-time all-district team selection and a two-time John Wall Holiday Tournament all-tournament team selection. She received her 1,000-point ball during her junior campaign and was named to the all-metro team. Academically, Washington was granted membership into the National Achievers Society in 2016 and was named to the 2017 all-academic team for basketball.
"Demi is an athletic slashing wing that adds speed and length to our perimeter rotation," stated White. "She's an outstanding defender and competitor that will help us immediately as we continue to improve on the defensive end of the floor."
Yaubryon Chambers is a 6-1 forward from Providence Christian Academy out of Murfreesboro, Tennessee. She is a two-time all-district team selection, two-time all-district tournament team member and was a state tournament team selection her sophomore season. Academically, Chambers was named the student of the year, was named to the principal's list and was a three time A/B Honor Roll member.
"Yaubryon is the most naturally athletic signee we've had since we stepped foot on campus two and half years ago," White said. "She's a rim protector, a natural rebounder and can really run the floor. She gives us depth in the front court and with her strong work ethic, her best days on the floor are in front of her."
Koi Love is a 6-0 forward from Lake Highland Preparatory School in Orlando, Flroida. Love comes to Vanderbilt ranked the 89th-best recruit nationally by ESPNHoopGurlz
and the 40th-best recruit nationally by ProspectsNation
. The Miami, Florida, native also recently was one of 50 high school girls named to the prestigious 2019 Naismith High School Girls' watch list. She has averaged at least 15 points and 11 rebounds all three seasons as a prep. During her junior campaign, Love averaged 22 points and 12 rebounds. The forward is a three-time FABC first team selection and 4A all-state selection. In 2017-18, she was also named team MVP.
"Koi is a dynamic, versatile playmaker that adds size, speed and athleticism to our team," White stated. "She's a player that will make an immediate impact not only because of her offensive skill set and ability to score at will, but her ability to defend multiple positions and her intense competitiveness."
Kaylon Smith is a 5-10 forward from Oxbridge Academy of the Palm Beaches in West Palm Beach, Florida. Smith was an honorable mention her sophomore campaign and an all-county first team selection her junior season after averaging 11.3 points and 8.6 rebounds.
"Kaylon is another player that will add depth to our front court," said White. "She's a solid, disciplined, hardworking natural rebounder that can stretch the floor with her face up game as well as pound and finish inside."
Taylor Hutchins is a 5-9 guard from Cedar Hill High School out of Mansfield, Texas. She is a two-time 7-6A first team all-district selection, second team all-district selection and TGCA all-state selection. Hutchins has averaged at least nine points and six rebounds each season.
"Taylor is a player that can flat out score the ball," said White. "She's versatile, has a knack for getting to the rim and can stretch the floor with the three."