On this Early National Signing Day, new Purdue Boilermakers head coach Katie Gearlds has signed her first recruiting class.
After bringing in 6 new players to the program following the news of her originally taking over the reins in 2022, Gearlds took over the head role following Sharon Versyp’s retirement from the program.
The former All-Big Ten standout turned coach finally has her own recruiting class in the books, and it’s a good one. The trio of Addison Potts, Lilly Stoddard, and Ainhoa Holzer officially pledged to the Boilermakers today to help bring in a new era for the program.
- Ainhoa Holzer is a 5-9 guard hailing from Martigny, Switzerland, and has been around the block in terms of basketball experience. Over the last four years, she has competed in the Swiss Basketball League and was named Rising Star of the Year for her performance in 2021. In the Swiss Basketball League, she averaged 4.2 points, 2.0 assists, and shot 41.8% from the field. These are not eye-popping stats, but younger players largely do not play major minutes in many overseas leagues. While playing in several lower-level leagues that were more comparable to college hoops, Holzer shined. She also played high school basketball in New York for one season before the pandemic forced her to go back home to Switzerland where she enjoyed a massive amount of success with Christ The King. Holzer has had the advantage of playing all across the world at such a young age, this experience with help her get going right from the jump when she arrives in West Lafayette next year.
- Lilly Stoddard is a 6-3 forward, who plays her high school career with Crown Point in Indiana. Stoddard has a long list of accolades, being ranked the 87th player in the country by ESPN’s HoopGurlz, an Indiana Junior All-Star last season and was a 2021 IHSAA Class 4A State Champion as well. She is just a straight-up winner, winning 79 games total in her first three high schools seasons which includes three Duneland Conference championships, three sectional titles, and the aforementioned state championship as well. As a junior last season, Stoddard finished a stellar campaign with 10.7 points, 9.1 rebounds, 2.3 blocks, and 1.4 steals per game. The Crown Point native will bring much-needed depth to the frontcourt next season, which will most likely consist of Ra Shaya Kyle, Mide Oriyomi, and Rickie Woltman. Stoddard has the ability to do several things effectively and be a solid defensive presence behind Kyle and Oriyomi specifically.
- Addison Potts is a 6-0, guard from Fort Myers, Florida. She is ranked as a 3-star recruit and the 103rd overall player in the country by ESPN HoopGurlz. Although she does not have the international resume of one Ainhoa Holzer, Potts has been playing high school basketball since she was in just seventh grade. Clearly, she will be more than prepared to step onto campus next fall. Potts has already passed the 2,000 point mark during her high school career and has been able to grow a lot during her almost six seasons at that level. Last season was a bit of a downtick in production after she switched schools, but still put up a line of 11.2 points, 5.4 rebounds, and 1.0 assists per game. Potts also has a nice list of accolades to her name, being named FACA 5A Player of the Year, FACA 3A Player of the Year, 3-time First Team News-Press SWFL All-Area among many others. This is maybe the most interesting addition for next season, as Potts will have the potential to come in and contribute right away on the offensive end especially.
The Katie Gearlds Era is officially underway and is putting her stamp on the former culture of the Purdue basketball program. Congratulations to Aihoa, Addison, and Lilly for signing their letter of intent and pledging to the Boilermakers!