Blossom Basketball add seven players in 2023 recruiting class


The University of Arkansas at Monticello Blossoms and head coach David Midlick have started a series of Tweets on the UAM Twitter social media platform to introduce the 2023 Blossom recruiting class .

The Blossoms lost one senior this past season in Aeryn Hawkins, who had played for the Blossoms for three seasons.

Hawkins played in 20 games in the 2022-23 season contributing with 60 rebounds, 11 steals, 10 blocked shots, and scoring 90 points in 338 minutes of play.

In her career, Hawkins played in 52 games, recording 189 rebounds 26 blocks, 33 steals, and scoring 216 career points in 946 minutes played.

Under head coach Davis Midlick, in his first season as the head coach of the Blossoms, the team was able to get back in the win column after losing every contest in the 2021-22 season and only winning one contest the previous season.

In Midlick’s first season as the coach, the Blossoms defeated non-conference opponent Delta State on November 15, 2022 to snap the 36 game losing skid with a 63-61 win.

The Blossoms would go on to win nine contests during the course of the season to finish with an overall record of 9-19 and a Great American Conference record of 6-16. 

The Blossoms will add three college transfers and four high school recruits. 

Coming from Kilgore College in Kilgore, Texas, Alyssia Thorne played in 30 games for Kilgore in the 2022-23 season. 

The Tyler, Texas native recorded 202 rebounds, 35 steals, 27 blocked shots, and scored 307 points in 781 minutes played.

Thorne is a 5’11” forward and will be entering her junior season.

Haliegh Crews comes out of the University of Mount Olive in North Carolina and is from Raleigh, North Carolina. 

Crew started 25 games last season recording 95 rebounds, 52 assists, and scoring 265 points in 791 minutes played.

Crews is a 5’6” guard and will enter her junior season in 2023.

Kelsey Blakemore played last season at Southwest Baptist University in Bolivar, Missouri. 

The Flourissant, Missouri native is a 5’9” Guard/Forward that is entering her junior season.

Blakemore started 18 games for the Lady Bearcats last season recording 106 rebounds, 82 assists, 45 steals, scoring 346 points. 

Joining the three college transfers will be four highschool recruits. 

From Royse City High School in Royse City, Texas is Nicole Weaver. 

Weaver played for Royse City from 2019-2023 with the team amassing a record of 100-32 with three first place finishes in district play and a third place finish. 

Weaver is a 5’9” guard/forward.

Jayla Stirgus comes to UAM from Sylvan Hills High School, playing four seasons for the Lady Bears. 

In her career, Sylvan Hills amassed a record of 64-34 including an appearance in the 5A State Basketball Championship Tournament, making it to the quarterfinal round after the fourth seeded Bears upset the number one seed Benton in the first round of the tournament with Stirgus scoring 19 points in the contest. 

Stirgus comes to UAM as a 5’5” guard from Sherwood, Arkansas.

Thailan Payne is a 5’11” forward from Southaven, Mississippi that attended Desoto Central High School.

The Lady Jaguars finished the 2022-23 season with an overall record of 13.8 advancing the quarterfinal round of the Mississippi 6A Championship Basketball Tournament. 

Joining the recruiting class will be local athlete Ali Jo Cruce who was a three sport athlete for the Drew Central Lady Pirates and a member of the Arkansas High School Rodeo team for Drew Central. 

Cruce played basketball, softball, and was a member of the track and field team, earning a runner-up performance in the 3A State Discus throw.

Cruce has committed to UAM but has not signed her commitment letter for the Blossoms but has signed to be a part of the UAM Rodeo Team.

Cruce was All-State and All-Conference in basketball.


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