Stanford women’s basketball coach Tara VanDerveer announced the signings of three of the country’s top players to National Letters of Intent on Wednesday. Fran Belibi (Aurora, Colo./Regis Jesuit), Hannah Jump (Los Altos Hills, Calif./Pinewood School) and Ashten Prechtel (Colorado Springs, Colo./Discovery Canyon) will join the Cardinal ahead of the 2019-20 campaign.
Stanford’s class is again one of the nation’s strongest, collectively rated No. 3 by espnW HoopGurlz.
“These three young women are some of the best players and among the brightest minds in the country and we are thrilled to be able to welcome them to Stanford,” VanDerveer said. “They’ve worked incredibly hard to be in this position, possess the on-court skills we look for in our players and are just as impressive off the floor. They will fit in seamlessly with the culture we have here and I’m confident they will thrive on The Farm. We cannot wait to have them on campus watch them grow over their four years.”
The three are strong additions to a program which has won a pair of national championships, been to 31 consecutive NCAA Tournaments, advanced to the Final Four in seven of the past 11 seasons and the Elite Eight in 11 of the past 15, won at least 20 games for 17 straight years and claimed a combined 35 Pac-12 regular season and conference championships.
Fran Belibi, a 6-foot-1 forward, is a five-star talent and the No. 23 prospect in the espnW HoopGurlz Top 100. During her three-year prep career at Regis Jesuit in Aurora, Colo., she has started 54 of 78 games played and amassed 938 points, 674 rebounds, 120 assists, 153 steals and 162 blocked shots.
As a junior in 2017-18, Belibi averaged 13.7 points, 8.3 rebounds, 2.3 assists, 2.6 steals and 1.6 blocks in helping lead her team to a 24-4 record and state runner-up finish. A year prior she averaged 15.7 points, 11.6 rebounds, 1.6 assists., 2.6 steals and 3.2 blocks to help the Raiders to a 20-7 mark and the state tournament semifinals.
When Belibi was a sophomore, she became the first girl to dunk in a Colorado high school game on Jan. 6, 2017. She began playing basketball in September 2015 and averaged 6.3 points, 5.9 rebounds and 1.5 blocks that freshman season. Yesterday she was named to the 50-person watch list for the 2019 Naismith Trophy Girls’ High School Player of the Year.
“I chose Stanford because it is such a beautiful blend of high-level academics and athletics,” Belibi said of her choice. “My mom always tells me to be excellent in all that I do and Stanford affords me the greatest opportunity to excel in both sports and in school.”
A USA Basketball veteran, Belibi won gold medals with the United States at the 2018 FIBA U17 World Cup and 2017 FIBA Americas U16 Championship. This past summer at the World Cup in Minsk, Belarus she averaged 8.0 points and 5.7 rebounds. She averaged 4.8 points and 5.8 rebounds at the Americas U16 Championship in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
“Fran’s dunks are amazing and she’s a leaper that will be a huge help for us on the glass,” VanDerveer said. “Especially since we’ll lose Alanna [Smith] and Shannon [Coffee] to graduation, having someone coming in with her exceptional rebounding ability is vital.”
A 5-foot-11 guard, Hannah Jump is another five-star prospect rated as the No. 50 player nationally and widely considered the best shooter in the class. From nearby Pinewood School in Los Altos Hills, last season Jump helped the Panthers pull off epic upsets of Archbishop Mitty and St. Mary’s in the CIF Open Division playoffs in their run to the state final. She scored 19 points and was 4-of-5 on 3-pointers in the 59-56 regional semifinal win over St. Mary’s and dropped in 24 on 6-of-11 shooting from deep in the regional final victory, a 78-67 victory over Mitty.
Jump has played in 89 career games and averaged 14.7 points, 4.9 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 1.4 steals. She’s a career 43.4 percent shooter from deep (266-of-613) and hits from the floor at 47 percent overall (470-of-1,008).
“Stanford has always been my dream school and I chose it for the outstanding opportunities it provides both academically and athletically,” Jump said. “Being so close to home will also allow my family to continue to watch me play.”
As a junior, Jump played in all 30 games and averaged 16.7 points, 5.6 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 1.6 steals as Pinewood went 27-3 and finished ranked eighth nationally in the MaxPreps Top 25. She scored 15.5 points, grabbed 4.5 rebounds, handed out 1.7 assists and had 1.3 steals in 29 games as a sophomore and had averages of 12.0 points, 4.7 rebounds, 1.0 assists and 1.3 steals as a freshman.
“Hannah is a lights-out shooter on a championship team,” VanDerveer commented. “Her proficiency from the outside will allow us to stretch the defense, spread the floor and be a big weapon added to our offense.”
Another five-star talent is the 6-foot-5 Ashten Prechtel, who is the No. 16 overall player in the espnW HoopGurlz Top 100. A mobile and versatile center at both ends of the floor, Prechtel averaged 18.4 points, 14.3 rebounds and 3.0 blocks for Discovery Canyon in Colorado Springs, Colo. as a junior last season. She led the Thunder to a 15-9 record and the second round of the Class 4A state playoffs, the school’s first postseason win.
Prechtel has played in 71 career games and averaged 15.1 points, 12.6 rebounds and 3.9 blocks. She posted numbers of 13.8 points, 11.9 rebounds and 3.8 blocks in 2016-17 and 13.1 points, 11.7 rebounds and 5.0 blocks as a freshman.
“Choosing Stanford felt like the right fit, both for sports and academics,” Prechtel said of her decision. “In terms of basketball, Stanford has incredible coaches and amazing program that I can’t wait to be a part of!”
Prechtel is on the Naismith High School Girls’ Watch List along with Belibi.
“Ashten, while 6-foot-5, is so much more than just her size,” VanDerveer said. “Maybe one of her greatest skills is her passing and the court awareness that comes with a player at her position will be a big plus for us.”
*Care of Stanford athletics