Harvard will bolster its roster with four incoming freshmen in 2016-17 (Gil Talbot).
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Harvard women's basketball is set to welcome four student-athletes from the Class of 2020 to the program this fall, head coach Kathy Delaney-Smith announced Monday.
The class, which spans three states and includes one from France, consists of a pair of guards and forwards. The incoming Crimson student-athletes combined to win 25 conference or sectional championship titles. Harvard returns two starters and 10 letterwinners from last season's squad that earned the program's sixth WNIT bid.
Mackenzie Barta, Freshman, Guard, 5-9, Maple Grove, Minn. / Maple Grove Senior
Four-time letterwinnner and three-year starter at Maple Grove Senior … Served as a captain as a junior and senior… Minnesota Miss Basketball nominee … MGBCA All-Star … MGBCA All-State honorable mention … Sports Jam Channel 12 All-Area … Two-time all-conference … St. Michael-Albertville Holiday Tournament and End of the Trail All-Tournament team … Finished third all-time in Maple Grove history with 1,205 points, set the single-game record with 37 points as a senior … MGBCA Academic All-State … National Honor Society … Played AAU with the Metro Stars for three seasons.
Delaney-Smith on Barta: MacKenzie is a tough guard who has a strong basketball background. Her dad works for the Minnesota Lynx, so she has been around great players her whole life. She is fiercely competitive, has a high court IQ and has the potential to be one of the greatest three point shooters to ever wear a Crimson uniform.
Katie Benzan, Freshman, 5-6, Guard, Wellesley, Mass. / Noble and Greenough School
Before Harvard: Five-year starter and two-year captain at Noble and Greenough School … Massachusetts Gatorade Player of the Year … McDonald's All-American nominee … 2,000-point scorer ... Two-time Boston Globe All-Scholastic … Four-time All-New England … Boston Herald All Scholastic … Sporting News Girls Basketball All-American … Three-time NEPSAC and two-time ISL MVP … Led Noble and Greenough to a 125-8 record over five years, including 14 straight ISL championships and five straight New England championships … Also lettered three years in volleyball and served as a senior captain …. Played three years of AAU with the New England Crusaders … Brother, Pat, plays basketball at Holy Cross.
Delaney-Smith on Benzan: Katie is the consummate point guard in every aspect of the game. What she lacks in size, she makes up in finesse and strategy. She has a deadly 3 point shot that she combines with an incredible ability to find teammates and pass the ball. Because she is so unselfish and knows the game, she makes everyone who plays with her better!
Jeannie Boehm, Freshman, Forward, 6-3, Winnetka, Ill. / New Trier
Before Harvard: Four-year starter at New Trier and captained the team as a senior … McDonald's All-American … Second McDonald's All-American in Harvard and Ivy League history … Naismith Trophy Mid-Season Team ... Naismith All-American honorable mention … Invited to the USA Women's U18 National Team trials … Nike Tournament of Champions All-Tournament team … Ranked No. 22 nationally by Prospects Nation and No. 81 by ESPN … Illinois Miss Basketball runner-up … Associated Press, Chicago Tribune and American Family Insurance/USA Today first-team All-State … Three-time conference player of the year … Finished career with 1,872 points, 1,169 rebounds, 375 blocks, 254 assists, 142 steals and shot 57.1 percent from the floor … Played four years of AAU with All In Athletics … Brother, Pete, lettered one year in basketball at Harvard.
Delaney-Smith on Boehm: Jeannie is the center everyone looks to get on their team. She impacts the game on both ends of the floor because of her size, her explosive power and her intensity. Defensively, she has the ability to shut down low post players and dominate on the boards. Offensively, she is going to be a tough match up for opponents because of her versatility and ability to pass and score.
Maria Guramare, Freshman, Forward, 6-2, Bedarrides, France / Marcelin Berthelot
Before Harvard: Three-year starter at Marcelin Berthelot … Played for three seasons for French National Institute of Sport … Selected to the South of France regional team … Competed on the French U15 and U16 national teams … Led U16 squad to the 2016 International Easter Tournament title … Also competed in judo … Father, Marin, played rugby professionally for 25 years.
Delaney-Smith on Guramare: Maria's international experience will serve her well. She has great size and touch around the basket and is just starting to understand how good she can be at both ends of the floor. Her development in the national system has contributed greatly to how competitive she is, how confident she is and how enormous her potential is.