DURHAM, N.H. – The University of New Hampshire women’s basketball program had four players sign National Letters of Intent to play basketball for the Wildcats in 2009-10. Head coach Kristin Cole announced that the class of 2013 includes Diamon Beckford (Philadelphia, Pa.), Jilliane Friel (Durham, N.H.), Jaclyn Lyons (Reading, Mass.) and Carissa Reed (Oswego, N.Y.).
"I am incredibly excited to welcome these four outstanding student-athletes to our program,” said Cole. “My staff did a great job and worked extremely hard to make sure we signed the best people, athletes and students to join the UNH family. I believe this class will fill a lot of our needs as a team and help us to move this program forward.”
Beckford, a 5-foot-11 guard/forward, is in her fourth season with the Upper Darby High School and became the fourth player in the school’s history to surpass the 1,000-point marker, in her junior season. She totaled 422 points in her junior year and has 709 rebounds, 216 assists and 120 steals in her career. The three-time All-Delco first-team member was a third-team all-southeastern Pennsylvania selection her junior year. She played AAU basketball for the DVBA Comets. The Comets finished in the top 16 three years in a row, and finished third in 2007 at the AAU Nationals.
Friel, daughter of the late UNH men’s basketball head coach Gerry Friel, was a three-sport standout at Oyster River High School. The 5-foot-10 guard is a second-team all-state basketball selection her junior year and is a three-time Foster’s Daily Democrat Basketball Dream Team member. In 2006, the Bobcats went undefeated (22-0) and won the Class I state championships. The squad made the state quarterfinals during her junior year.
The youngest of five children, Jilliane will be the third member of the Friel family to play basketball for the Wildcats, as her brother Jeremy played from 2003-05 and her sister Jennifer played for the women’s team from 1993-97. Friel played for the New England Crusaders AAU team. She also played soccer and was the goalie for the 2007 Class I state champions and was selected to the first-team all-state team. She was also the number one singles and doubles player on the tennis team.
Lyons scored 436 points last season at Reading High School and was the Woburn Times Chronicle Player of the Year in 2007. The 5-foot-7 guard was also named to the Boston Herald All-Scholastic team. Lyons, the 2007 conference leading scorer, averaged 18.1 points per game in the season and was selected to the Middlesex All-League team. She played for the Massachusetts Thundercats AAU program.
Reed, a six-foot shooting guard, is a three-time selection to both the All-League First-Team and the All-CNY (Central New York) Team while playing for her father, Phil, at Oswego High School. The Buccaneers are the defending league champions for the third straight year and have advanced to the Class AA sectional finals each of the past three seasons. She was selected as the conference Player of the Year in 2008 and was also a member of the all-state ninth-Team. Reed, a National Honor Society member, is the highest honor roll scholar athlete at Oswego. She played AAU basketball for the Unity Wildcats.