NEW YORK – The Columbia women’s basketball team has announced the addition of six newcomers who will join the squad in the fall as the Class of 2018.
“We are excited to welcome this talented Class of 2018 to our Columbia family,” said head coach Stephanie Glance. “They bring a variety of skill sets that will be a great asset to our team!”
Jillian Borreson – Mt. City, Texas – Jack C. Hays High School – Center – 6-3
Borreson, a two-sport athlete in basketball and volleyball, is one of two newcomers that hail from the Lone Star State. The four-year letterwinner on the varsity basketball squad developed into a dominating presence for Jack C. Hays HS.
“Jill brings size, agility, and a post presence that can score, rebound and be a factor in the paint,” commented Glance. “She runs the floor very well, has great hands and can finish.”
After being named All-District 27-4A honorable mention as a sophomore, she earned a spot on the all-district first-team as a junior and senior and was also a first-team all-academic selection. As a senior she garnered a spot on the All-Central Texas third team and the all-state academic team.
Her 12 points and 10 rebounds per game in 2013-14 ranked among the best players in central Texas, while her two blocks per game led the district.
Borreson supplemented her high school experience as a member of Austin Glory.
Riley Burke – Jupiter, Fla. – The Benjamin School – Guard – 5-9
A two-sport star in basketball and track and field, Burke will join the Lions via The Benjamin School in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. A district and regional champion, as well as a state finalist on the track in the 200 and 400 meter events, Burke was a force on the court and earned a McDonald’s All-America nomination.
“Riley is a shooting guard with the ability to score in a number of ways,” stated Glance. “She is an outside threat, but also has a very good mid-range game. She has good length and athleticism, which makes for a great upside.”
Burke was a two-time all-state selection and a first team all-area and all-county selection by the Palm Beach Post and Sun-Sentinel. She holds the school record for points per game in a season at 25.3 and the single-game record of 40 en route to leading her team in scoring all four years.
The two-time varsity co-captain led The Benjamin School to a pair of regional playoff appearances, while being named the team MVP. Burke competed in AAU action for Blue Star Florida in 2012-13 and was named to the U.S. Junior Nationals All-Star team at the Windy City Classic in 2012.
Burke is also accomplished in the classroom and in supporting her community. She has served as a National Honor Society officer and was an AP Scholar with Honors. She made the Head of School List all four years and won the Princeton Book Award as a junior. She was the founding president of the Sunshine Club, a community service organization. In addition to helping Make-A-Wish as a fundraiser for three years, she volunteered as a translator at the El Sol Neighborhood Resource Center.
Alexa Giuliano – Hackettstown, N.J. – Morris Catholic – Guard – 5-8
Giuliano will bring her sharp-shooting expertise to the Big Apple next season, after a stellar career at Morris Catholic. The four-year letterwinner served as team captain as a junior and senior.
“Alexa is a 3-point specialist with a quick release and great accuracy,” said Glance. “She can also put it on the floor and score. Her ball-handling skills and passing ability make her a triple-threat offensive player. Defensively, she plays with a lot of energy and tenacity.”
A third-team all-state and first team all-conference selection in 2014, Giuliano was a two-time all-county choice. At the 2014 Morris County Tournament, she earned MVP honors, leading Morris Catholic to its third title in her four years. The Crusaders also won three conference titles and three sectional championships during her career.
Throughout her career she has ranked among New Jersey’s best from behind the 3-point line, making 79 as a senior, the fourth most in New Jersey. During her senior campaign, she averaged 17.5 points, 2.4 rebounds and two steals per game, finishing her career with 1,342 points. Her basketball acumen continued to develop outside Morris Catholic, competing on the NJ Sparks Elite Team in AAU competition.
A member of the National Honor Society and Spanish National Honor Society, Giuliano was named to the all-academic team three times.
Kathleen Ryan – Scotch Plains, N.J. – Blair Academy – Guard – 5-8
Ryan will join the Lions after a strong career at the Blair Academy in New Jersey. Over the last two seasons, she has earned all-state (Prep) honorable mention accolades, as well as a spot on the All-MAPL (Mid-Atlantic Prep League) second team. As a senior she was named to the New Jersey All-Prep third team, averaging 12 points, four assists and two steals per game.
“Kate is a combo guard who can play point or wing,” commented Glance. “She has 3-point range but can also get to the paint and finish around the basket. Her ball-handling and passing skills enable her to create shots for herself and others. She is a heady player who plays to her own strengths and the strengths of her teammates.”
She comes to Columbia with a knack for winning, as Blair earned both the MAPL and state champion title in 2013 and 2014 with her serving as the team’s captain. Ryan was also the captain of her team at Mt. St. Mary’s in 2011-12, where she started her high school career. While at Mt. St. Mary’s she was named All-Skyland Conference with her team finishing 13-1 in league play.
In addition to her high school experience, Ryan also played for the AAU’s NJ Sparks Elite. Off the court, she is a member of the National Honor Society and was on the Headmaster’s List at Blair. During the summers, she enjoys coaching at “Hoops America.”
Paige Tippet – League City, Texas – Clear Springs High School –Guard – 5-8
Tippet, Columbia’s second recruit from Texas, saw her prolific career at Clear Springs culminate with a nomination as a McDonald’s All-American.
“Paige is a combo guard who has the ability to play point or wing positions,” acknowledged Glance. “She loves to play an up-tempo game. She pushes the ball very well, can shoot it or create for her teammates. While she is a threat with the ball in her hands, she is also a terrific defender, both on the ball and off.”
The four-year varsity letterwinner, four-time all-district and all-academic first team member, led Clear Springs to three undefeated district championships, two regional runner-ups, as well as a regional championship and state semi-finalist during her junior season.
A career 12-point, five rebound, five assist and 3.5 steals per game performer, Tippett was a John Lucas 40/40 Combine participant.
Her list of honors for her work in the classroom is equally as impressive. She will graduate this spring Magma Cum Laude as a member of the National Honor Society, a Superintendent Scholar and Mu Alpha Theta.
Tippet played for a pair of AAU squads, Texas Elite and Cy-Fair Shock Nike Elite.
Camille Zimmerman – Tempe, Ariz. – Tempe Preparatory Academy – Forward – 6-1
A two-sport athlete at Tempe Prep, Zimmerman journeys from Arizona to join the Lions in the fall. She is a four-year letterwinner in both basketball and track and field, while serving as the captain on the hardwood as a junior and senior.
“Camille is a talented, versatile forward who has a great skill set,” stated Glance. “She has 3-point range and can score inside and out. With great hands and an ability to run the floor, Camille is an offensive threat at all times. She also has great passing skills and rebounding ability.”
The two-time Arizona Basketball Coaches Association Player of the Year finished a great career with 2,054 points, 1,047 rebounds, 425 steals, 301 Assists and 150 blocks. She set the Arizona single-game scoring record with 46 points in February against Bagdad.
The two-time Arizona Republic all-state first team selection was named the Arizona Republic Small Schools Player of the Year as a senior. Her senior campaign has also been highlighted with selections to the Arizona Republic All-Arizona team, as well as Division IV and Section IV Player of the Year accolades.
Her high school squad won the Division IV state championship in 2012 and finished as the runner-up the following season. Zimmerman also competes for Team Miller on the AAU circuit and was ranked the third-best prospect by Arizona Preps. Off the court, she is an active member in the National Honor Society.