Lady Topper Basketball Head Coach Michelle Clark-Heard has announced the signing of a trio of student-athletes on Wednesday evening, with Akira Levy, Elysa Wesolek and Kallie Searcy joining the Lady Toppers as the first members of the Class of 2022.
“I am extremely excited to introduce our newest class of Lady Toppers to Lady Topper Nation!” Clark-Heard said of the newest Lady Toppers. “First and foremost, the most impressive thing about our newest Lady Toppers is that they are winners. Combined, they have won five state championships, have seven state championship game appearances and own countless region and district championships. I truly believe that Akira, Elysa and Kallie will continue our winning tradition and excite our fans. We are excited for all that they will achieve during their senior years and the added championships they will bring to The Hill next fall!”
A diverse class of one guard (Levy), one forward (Wesolek) and one center (Searcy), the trio is set to help fill the shoes of Tashia Brown and Ivy Brown following their graduation in May 2018. The three will join a highly successful program that has posted a 130-39 record over the last five seasons since Clark-Heard was named head coach; the Lady Toppers have also captured 84 wins over the last three seasons, the most by any team over a three-year span in C-USA history.
2017-18 WKU Lady Topper Basketball Early Signees
Akira Levy, 5-8, Cookeville, Tenn. (Upperman High School)
Elysa Wesolek, 6-1, Charleston, S.C. (Northwood Academy)
Kallie Searcy, 6-3, Brentwood, Tenn. (Brentwood Academy)
Levy heads north to join the Lady Toppers following a decorated career at both the high school and club level, garnering national recognition for her dynamic play as a floor general at the point guard position.
Ranked 66th overall and 18th among point guards in the ESPN Hoopgurlz recruiting rankings, Levy is a very well-rounded player capable of both distributing the ball as well as creating her own shot. As a junior in 2016-17, she averaged 21.5 points, 3.9 rebounds and 6.3 assists per game while shooting 55 percent from the floor, putting her diverse skillset on display night in and night out for Upperman.
As a result of her strong performance across the board last season, Levy was crowned TSSAA Miss Basketball at the AA level, becoming the second statewide Miss Basketball award winner to join the Lady Toppers under Clark-Heard. Ivy Brown was named Miss Kentucky Basketball as a senior in 2013-14 and has since developed into a First Team All-C-USA forward for WKU.
The TSSAA AA record-holder for points in a quarter with 20, Levy also received a glowing profile from the Collegiate Girls Basketball Report, ranking 63rd overall and 15th among point guards across the entire nation. As with many Lady Topper recruits, Levy has been a consistent winner at the high school level, culminating in the 2017 TSSAA AA State Championship that saw her earn recognition as the state tournament’s most valuable player.
Adding to her long list of accolades, Levy was also named the Region 4 Tournament MVP, the District 8 Tournament MVP and the Upper Cumberland Player of the Year during her junior season. As she begins her career with the Lady Toppers in the 2018-19 season, Levy appears poised to become yet another strong guard under Clark-Heard, joining the likes of Lady Topper legends Kendall Noble and Micah Jones as she begins her journey on The Hill.
Clark-Heard on Levy…
“Akira is a dynamic point guard that has the ability to score but also passes the ball extremely well. I am looking forward to Akira’s energy and personality electrifying our fans and elevating the play of those around her. She will allow us to speed up the tempo of our high-scoring offense even more and I know she will thrive in our system. Akira has played at a high level at both Upperman High School for coach Dana McWilliams and on the Nike EYBL circuit with the Tennessee Flight.”
Wesolek is set to join the Lady Toppers from Northwood Academy in Charleston, S.C., and will become the first letterwinner in program history from the state of South Carolina.
Receiving strong marks across the board from ESPN Hoopgurlz (89), Collegiate Girls Basketball Report (19+) and All Star Girls Report (91), Wesolek brings the ability to play in multiple spots on the floor to the Lady Toppers, whether playing as a post while battling for baskets and rebounds inside the paint or scoring from the perimeter with her ability to shoot the ball.
A two-time SCISA All-State selection and the 2017 SCISA State Player of the Year, Wesolek led Northwood Academy with 13.1 points and 8.4 rebounds per game while also shooting a stellar 58 percent from the floor. The incoming freshman was also named the SCISA Tournament MVP after leading Northwood to its third consecutive SCISA 3A state championship.
Like Levy, Wesolek has been a proven winner at the high school level with her three state championships and at the club level while playing for the SC 76ers. Standing at 6’1”, she will help to ease the departures of Ivy and Tashia Brown during her freshman campaign.
Clark-Heard on Wesolek…
“Elysa is a versatile forward that can score in a variety of ways. She fits perfectly into our offensive system and stretches the floor with her ability to score from both the paint and the perimeter. Elysa has experienced a great deal of success at the high school level and I am excited that she is bringing that championship mentality to WKU.”
A member of the Brentwood Academy squad that reached the state championship game at the TSSAA Division II Class AA level in 2017, Searcy will bring an immediate boost in size to the Lady Toppers when she joins the program in the fall of 2018. At 6’3”, Searcy will combine with Arame Niang and Raneem Elgedawy to give WKU a towering presence inside against opponets.
Over the last two seasons, Searcy has helped to lead Brentwood Academy to a 52-12 (.813) overall record and averaged 4.8 points and 4.2 rebounds per game as a junior this past season. A strong force inside the paint, Searcy has received strong grades from both the All Star Girls Report (91) and Collegiate Girls Basketball Report (18-) entering her final high school season.
As a future Lady Topper, Searcy will bring size on both ends of the court and a strong defensive-minded presence underneath the basket. With the Lady Toppers losing a pair of forwards to graduation, Searcy’s size will be counted on to make an immediate impact on The Hill.
Clark-Heard on Searcy…
“Kallie has been a part of one of the most successful high school programs in Nashville, playing at Brentwood Academy for head coach Rhonda Brown. Kallie will give us needed size at the forward and center positions and added toughness on the defensive end.”
– @WKUSports –
Currie P. McFayden
WKU Associate Director of Athletic Communications
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