LINCOLN, Neb. The Nebraska women’s basketball team received National Letters of Intent from three outstanding young players on the first day of the early signing period on Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2018.
Australian Isabelle Bourne brings an impressive international resume with her to Nebraska. The 6-2 forward won a pair of gold medals in 2017 while representing Australia at the Oceania Championship in Guam and at the FIBA Under-18 Asia Cup 3-on-3 tournament in Mongolia.
Trinity Brady, a 5-11 guard from Indianapolis, was one of the top players in Indiana at Lawrence North High School in 2017-18, before transferring to national power Hamilton Heights Christian Academy in Chattanooga, Tenn., for her senior season. Brady is a big, powerful guard who has the potential to be a strong rebounder and potent scorer at the Big Ten level. As a junior at Lawrence North, she earned a spot on the IBCA Subway Supreme 15 Underclass All-State Team after averaging 21.0 points, 8.5 rebounds and 4.0 assists per game.
While Bourne and Brady will provide Nebraska with size and strength, guard Makenzie Helms is expected to be a play-maker at the point. Helms averaged 17.5 points and 7.2 assists as a junior at East Haven High School to earn a spot on the USA Today All-Connecticut team. She was ranked as the No. 27 point guard in the class of 2019 by ESPN.
6-2, Forward, Canberra, Australia (Australian Institute of Sport)
One of the most talented young players in Australia, Isabelle Bourne led Australia’s Under-17 team to gold at the 2017 Oceania Championship in Guam by averaging 19 points, 9.8 rebounds and 2.6 assists to claim a spot on the all-tournament team. She was also the MVP of the 2017 FIBA Under-18 Asia Cup 3-on-3 tournament in Mongolia, leading her team to another gold medal. Bourne was also named to the Gems squad for the 2018 FIBA Under-18 Asian Championships.
Nebraska Coach Amy Williams said Bourne’s high-level international experience could help her make a quick adjustment to Big Ten women’s basketball.
“Isabelle Bourne will be a fantastic addition to our program,” Williams said. “She has been training with high-level coaches and high-level players at the Australian Institute of Sport and has become a skilled and versatile forward. She is crafty around the basket and effective as a weapon on the perimeter. Her experiences competing internationally for Australia have prepared her to transition seamlessly to Nebraska.”
The 6-2 forward from Canberra trained at the Australian Institute of Sport and Basketball Australia’s Centre of Excellence under Coach Kristen Veal. She was also a developmental player in the University of Canberra Capitals program.
Bourne chose Nebraska over Marquette, Arizona State and Utah. Her older sister, Callie, is a freshman guard at Idaho State, and her oldest sister, Emma, also plays in the Canberra Capitals Academy. Her father, Trent, played in the Australian Football League, while her mother, Ann, was also a basketball player.
“I really connected with the coaches when I first met them, and then was very impressed with the team culture, facilities and Lincoln when I came on an official visit,” Bourne said. “I also knew to former players who spoke very highly of the NU experience.”
5-11, Guard, Indianapolis, Indiana (Hamilton Heights Christian Academy)
The final piece of Nebraska’s three-player recruiting class, Trinity Brady will come to Nebraska after completing her senior season at Hamilton Heights Christian Academy in Chattanooga, Tenn. Brady competed for Lawrence North High School in Indianapolis her first three seasons. As a junior, Brady averaged 21.0 points, 8.5 rebounds and 4.0 assists to earn a spot on the IBCA Subway Supreme 15 Underclass All-State Team. She was also a member of the Indiana Junior All-Star Team and the Central Indiana Super Team.
As a junior, she led Lawrence North to a 20-4 record and produced several huge individual efforts, including a 38-point performance against Tindley, 30 points in a win over Pike and 28 points against nationally ranked North Central.
Nebraska Coach Amy Williams said Brady’s skill, work ethic and high basketball IQ could make her a strong contributor to the future of the Husker program.
“We are thrilled that Trinity Brady will be joining the Nebraska women’s basketball family and living out her dream to play in the Big Ten Conference,” Williams said. “She spends a great deal of time in the gym working on her game, and it shows in her skill level. She is dangerous with the ball in her hands and can score comfortably at all three levels. Her size and strength combined with her basketball IQ, make her a valuable addition for our program.”
As a sophomore, Brady averaged 15 points and 7.5 rebounds per game for Lawrence North, after averaging 7.2 points and 6.0 rebounds as a freshman.
She played her club basketball with the George Hill Lady Stars for coaches Mike Saunders and DeJuan Howard.
Brady, who had approximately 20 scholarship offers, chose Nebraska over Marquette, Dayton and Illinois.
“I fell in love with the atmosphere when I visited. I really liked the warmth of the relationships the coaches had with each other and the players, and I felt like I would fit in great with the team and the community.”
She is the daughter of Vincent and Jamie Brady, an she has a younger brother, Vincent II.
5-8, Guard, East Haven, Conn. (East Haven)
Makenzie Helms was the first commitment to Nebraska’s 2018-19 class, making her intentions known in January of 2018. Helms averaged 17.5 points, 5.0 rebounds, 7.2 assists and 4.0 steals per game for an East Haven High School team that finished No. 3 in the state of Connecticut with a 25-3 record in 2017-18. Helms earned first-team all-state honors and was a USA Today first-team All-Connecticut selection.
Nebraska Coach Amy Williams said the creative and competitive instincts of Helms will make her an asset for the Huskers in the future.
“We are excited to add Makenzie to the Husker women’s basketball family,” Williams said. “She has incredible court vision and creates offense for her teammates with tempo and passing ability. Combining that with her confident scoring mentality and her ability to score at all three levels, Makenzie is a great fit for the versatility we like in our system. She is an intense competitor, and we are eager to have her fighting for the Huskers.”
As a sophomore, Helms averaged 16.7 points, 5.0 rebounds, 6.0 assists and 4.0 steals at the Loomis Chaffee School. She earned All-New England accolades as both a freshman and sophomore.
She played her summer basketball for New Heights NYC for Coach Rock Rosa, averaging 20 points, six rebounds, eight assists and five steals per contest. ESPN ranked her as the No. 27 point guard in the class of 2019.
An outstanding student, Helms carried a 4.72 GPA as a junior and plans to major in chemistry at Nebraska.
She chose Nebraska over Syracuse, Wake Forest, Wisconsin, Iowa State, Kentucky, Yale, Penn, Rutgers and Georgia Tech.
“I chose Nebraska because of the amazing family atmosphere I felt. It was as if I was already a part of the team from the first time I stepped onto campus. Fans and family members approached me at the game last January as if they had known me forever. I had the best experience possible on my unofficial visit and knew this place was meant for me. It is true what they say, “There is no place like Nebraska!”
The daughter of Lance and Jocelyn Helms, Makenzie has two older sisters, Cynthia and Cassie, and a younger brother, Logan.