Former South Side standout Gulley inks with IPFW

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FORT WAYNE, Ind. – Fort Wayne women’s basketball head coach Niecee Nelson and her staff are pleased to announce the signing of high school seniors Amaya Johns (Plainfield, Ill./Oswego East) and Ellie Dykstra (Byron Center, Mich./Byron Center), and transfer Lakyn Gulley (Fort Wayne, Ind./Southeast Missouri State/Southside H.S.). Johns and Dykstra will begin play for the Mastodons in the fall of 2018, while Gulley will be available in the spring of 2019.

“We are excited to announce our 2018 recruiting class,” Nelson said. “Our three signees are high-character student-athletes who fit our team culture, family atmosphere and bring a level of competitiveness that will elevate our team success.”

Dykstra, a 6-1 guard, is a two-sport standout in both volleyball and basketball. She is a three-time Class A All-Ottawa-Kent Conference basketball selection as well as a three-time All-Area honoree. She has been named a Basketball Coaches Association of Michigan Class A Honorable Mention the last two seasons. Dykstra helped lead the Bulldogs to a conference and district title in 2015-16 and another conference title in 2016-17.

During her junior year, Dykstra averaged 13.9 points a game while adding 6.0 rebounds, 4.4 assists and 3.2 steals. She participated in the Lady Ballers Insider Battle of the Border as a member of Team Michigan. Off the basketball court, she is also a member of the volleyball and track teams. Outside of athletics, Dykstra excels in the classroom where she has been named to the academic honor roll each year at Byron Center. She is also part of the National Honor Society and serves as the Class President. 

Nelson on Dykstra: “Ellie brings creativity to the point guard position with the ability to get to the rim and also distribute to help make her team better. A point guard who has the ability to score in addition to her length on defense will make her a threat on both ends of the floor.”

Johns, a 5-9 guard, was a 2016-17 All-Southwest Prairie Conference selection. She was also named to the Record/Ledger Second Team All-Area as a junior. Last season, Johns averaged 10.0 points a game to go along with 4.0 rebounds and 1.7 assists, while setting a school record for free throws made in a season with 71. She helped lead her team to back-to-back conference titles, including a 24-5 record last season and a No. 4 ranking in the state by the Associated Press.

As a sophomore Johns was named to the Voyager Media All-Area Third Team, after averaging 15.8 points, 5.5 rebounds and 3.0 assists a game. Off the court, Johns has been named to the honor roll each year.

Nelson on Johns: “Amaya is a scoring guard with an offensive mentality. She has the ability to shoot the three or get to the rim with a quick first step. She adds diversity to our scoring and can defend with pressure.”

Gulley, a 5-8 guard, most recently played at SEMO where she ranked third in the Ohio Valley Conference in 3-point field goal percentage. She spent the 2015-16 season at Owens Community College, where she was a first team All-Ohio Community College Athletic Conference selection. While at Owens, Gulley set single-season records with 103 steals and 104 three-pointers made. Her 445 points that season rank 20th all-time in Owens history. Her prolific shooting helped lead Owens to the National Junior College Athletic Association Division II National Tournament, where they finished fifth. As a local product from South Side High School, she led her team to a 24-4 record with a trip to the state title game.

Nelson on Gulley: “Lakyn will bring maturity and experience to our young group next year. She competes at a high level and her 3-point shooting ability along with defensive intensity will be a perfect mix next season.”

Fort Wayne kicks off the 2017-18 season when it travels to Illinois Friday, November 10, for a 2 p.m. ET tipoff.

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