Aggies Get USC Transfer
New Mexico State women's basketball head coach Mark Trakh announced that Stefanie Gilbreath, a guard and transfer from USC recently signed a Financial Aid Agreement to play basketball at NM State beginning in the fall of 2012.
A former McDonald's High School All-American, Gilbreath comes to Las Cruces as a senior with one year of eligibility left. She will reconnect with Trakh at NM State who previously recruited her to Los Angeles. Gilbreath persevered through three injury-riddled seasons with the Women of Troy that included multiple anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tears.
Last season a healthy Gilbreath played in all 30 games for Southern Cal, starting 17 contests while averaging 16 minutes per game. The 6-1 guard averaged 3.9 points and 2.6 rebounds per game for the Women of Troy and led the team in free throw percentage at 83 percent (24-of-29). On Feb. 23 Gilbreath led USC with 18 points in a 78-62 home victory over Arizona last season and was the team's leading rebounder with five caroms at Colorado Jan. 26.
"We're really excited to get a player of Stefanie's caliber, a former high school All-American, to come to New Mexico State," Trakh said. "She was one of the top players that I recruited while at USC. She has battled back from multiple ACL injuries but is healthy now and looking good.
"She's really going to help our team next year, even with one year of eligibility left. She can play multiple positions on the court at two, three or four. Gilbreath will bring a lot of maturity to the squad. I've known her since the ninth grade. She comes from a great family and her sister Briana was just selected in the 2012 WNBA draft by the Washington Mystics. I am thrilled to add Stefanie to the Aggie family and look forward to working with her again."
Prior to last season, Gilbreath saw limited playing time in 2010-11 due to additional injuries suffered throughout the year. She appeared in 13 games and earned her first career start against Long Beach State on Nov. 21. She averaged 3.9 points, 1.7 rebounds and 0.4 assists on the season and went 4-for-4 on 3-pointers against Stanford.
During the 2009-10 campaign, Gilbreath was forced to sit out a third straight season after enduring another torn ACL in her right knee and undergoing surgery in the offseason. The previous year she suffered a second tear to the ACL in her right knee and did not play at USC. Gilbreath redshirted her first season at USC in 2007-08 in order to heal a torn ACL suffered just before the 2007 McDonald's High School All-American Game.
Gilbreath had a spectacular high school career, starting all but one game in her at Cinco Ranch High School in Katy, Texas. She averaged 18 points, 4.5 rebounds, 4.0 steals and 3.5 assists, shooting 40 percent from the floor and 35 percent from 3-point range. She was tabbed the Houston Chronicle Preseason Player of the Year entering her senior year and named District MVP in 2005 and 2006.
In addition to her McDonald's High School All-American accolade, Gilbreath was named a Second Team Parade All-American in 2007 and Fourth Team pick in 2006. She also earned second-team All-America recognition in 2006-07 by both Street & Smith and HoopGurlz.com. Additionally, Gilbreath garnered selections to the 2007 WBCA All-American Team and 2005-06 USA Today Underclassman All-USA Team.
Gilbreath played on the West Coast All-Stars/Elite team and was a member of the 2006 U.S. Under-18 National Team that earned a gold medal. Coming out of high school, Gilbreath stood as Scout.com's 11th-ranked recruit and rated the No. 7 player in the country by Blue Star.
Gilbreath is the seventh recruit inked by the Aggie coaching staff for the 2012-13 signing class joining fellow spring signees Danesia Williamson, a 5-6 guard from San Diego, Alexis Nelson, a 5-7 guard from Aurora, Illinois and Sam Donald a 5-6 guard from Melbourne, Australia. They join fall signees Abby Scott, a 6-1 guard from Madras, Ore., Sasha Weber, a 6-0 guard from Lacey, Wash., and Shay Young, a 6-0 guard from San Diego.