LUBBOCK, Texas – Texas Tech Lady Raider basketball coach Marlene Stollings announced the signings of four student-athletes to National Letters of Intent on Wednesday afternoon. Nyam Thornton, Daija Powell, Khyla Wade-Warren and Khadija Faye will join the program for the 2020-21 season.
"The future of Lady Raider Basketball is here!," Stollings said. "When I think of this class, the word 'transformation' continually comes to mind. Highlighted by a myriad of skills, Nyam, Daija, Khadija, and Khyla all possess those intangible qualities that will propel our program to take the next step in our journey to transforming this team into a perennial powerhouse."
Columbus, OH // Columbus Africentric HS
5'7" // Guard
On the court: Thornton is an impressive guard that has helped lead Columbus Africentric High School to much success over her three high school seasons so far. A two-time Ohio Central All-District selection, Thornton has been a contributor to two state titles for Africentric, which has posted a 65-5 overall record during her time there. Thornton ranks as the No. 30 overall guard in the 2020 class, according to ESPN.com.
Personal: Thornton was born Nov. 14, 2001 in Columbus, Ohio. Her parents are Howard Thornton and Janina Thornton, and she has three brothers and sisters. She also competes in wrestling at her high school and owns an undefeated record. Undecided on a college major, Thornton's other hobbies include art, dance, music, sports, games and movies.
From Coach Stollings: "Nyam is a tough, aggressive floor leader with unrivaled experience of winning at the highest level. The two-time Ohio Division III state champion's offensive firepower, assertive defensive demeanor, superior basketball IQ, and ability to create will be invaluable assets that will aid in the transformation of our program. There is no doubt Nyam will play a key role in helping our program take the next step to becoming a perennial powerhouse and will electrify the atmosphere of United Supermarkets Arena with her game. "
From Thornton: "Texas Tech was the clear choice not only because it felt like home, but because I believed in Coach M's vision, it was a perfect fit! I am excited that I have found a University that will help me reach my goals academically and athletically! I cannot wait to be a part of this journey I believe it's going to be a memorable ride!"
Tyrone, GA // Sandy Creek HS
6'1" // Power Forward
On the court: Powell has posted a stellar career during her time at Sandy Creek High School in Tyrone, Ga. She has raked in numerous awards in each of her three years of high school thus far. As a junior last season, Powell was named Region Player of the Year and County Defensive Player of the Year, while being named as a 4A All-State selection. Those honors followed a 4A Region First Team selection as a sophomore and her County Player of the Year honor as a freshman. Boasting averages of 16.8 points, 10 rebounds and two steals per game, Powell has led her team to regional titles three years in a row, along with a state semifinal appearance her freshman season and a state quarterfinal appearance last season. Powell is ranked as the No. 13 power forward in this year's class by ESPN.
Personal: Powell was born Nov. 29, 2001 in Atlanta, Ga., to parents Derick and Rose Powell, and is one of three siblings. Both of her parents played basketball at North Carolina A&T, and her sister, Dariah, plays volleyball at Valdosta State. Powell intends to major in kinesiology at Texas Tech and hopes to play in the WNBA or be an orthopedic physician. Her hobbies include spending time with family and friends, and watching Netflix.
From Coach Stollings: "Powerful, physical, and dominant are three great descriptors of Daija and her game. Her ability to elevate, draw contact, score at the basket combined with her defensive presence makes her elite presence in the paint! Daija's competitive mentality, unshakeable toughness, great hands, ability to score in multiple ways will create an exhilarating atmosphere that Lady Raiders fans will love."
From Powell: "I chose Texas Tech because I can see it being my home for the next four years. I believe I will thrive as an individual under the guidance of the amazing coaching staff and reach my full potential. I believe they will get me where I want and need to be on and off the court. I'm ready to join the movement and help restore the winning tradition."
Selmer, Tenn. // McNairy Central HS
6'2" // Forward
On the court: Wade-Warren joins the Lady Raider program from McNairy Central High School in Selmer, Tenn. The six-foot-two forward is a multiple-time all-district, all-tournament, all-region and all-state selection in Tennessee. Wade-Warren helped lead the Bobcats to a district title as a sophomore, turning in a triple-double in the championship game. As a junior in 2018-19, Wade-Warren broke the school single-game scoring record with 37 points and averaged 18.4 points, 6.4 rebounds and 2.0 blocks per game.
Personal: Wade-Warren was born on Oct. 22, 2001 in Jackson, Tenn. Her parents are Jermaine Warren and Misty Reece, and she has five brothers and sisters. She intends to major in business and minor in interior design at Texas Tech, and hopes to start her own business. Off the court, she is involved in her church choir and a summer outreach program. Her hobbies include being creative artistically and relaxing with family and friends.
From Coach Stollings: "As a stretch four with great athletic prowess in the paint, Khyla is a player that will surely make an immediate impact in the post. When you combine her size, versatility, passing ability, footwork, ability to hit from the outside, and desire to be the best, she becomes one of the most dangerous power forwards in her class. We are elated to have Khyla as a part of the Lady Raider Family. There is no doubt her skills will help us push us into new territory."
From Thornton: "I decided to attend Texas Tech and be a part of Red Raider Nation because of the leadership provided by Coach M and the entire coaching staff! The environment made my family and I feel very comfortable. The players, support staff academic support counselors and community were amazing! I know will be able to excel academically and athletically as a Lady Raider! This is truly one of the best days of my life!"
Dakar, Senegal // Father Lopez Catholic HS (Daytona, Fla.)
6'4" // Center
On the court: Faye joins the Lady Raider program from Dakar, Senegal by way of Father Lopez Catholic High School in Daytona, Fla. Faye will be playing her first season at Father Lopez Catholic in 2019-20 after having to sit out last season after transferring from Florida Prep where she was a standout. A member of Essence AAU basketball club, Faye is ranked as the No. 13 center in the class of 2020 by ESPN.
Personal: Faye was born in Senegal. She is one of five children in her family, and is the first in her family to play collegiate sports. Off the court, she is a member of her school's French Honor Society. Her hobbies include watching movies and hanging out with friends. Faye hopes to one day be a gynecologist.
From Coach Stollings: "Khadija is a low post force whose shot blocking ability will set United Supermarkets Arena on fire! Her athleticism, ability to finish at the basket, hustle in transition, and footwork will load the Lady Raider arsenal with incredible fire power down low. Khadija's work ethic and hunger to be great will give Lady Raider fans a lot to cheer for. We are very excited to add her to the Lady Raider family."
From Faye: "I am very proud to be a Lady Raider and honor that represents! Texas Tech University is truly a place where opportunities for success are endless. The resources they afford to their student-athletes both academically and athletically are second to none. I am extremely thankful for the opportunities Coach M has extended to me and I am looking forward to playing for great coaches, working hard with my teammates and competing at the highest level!"