Escanaba’s LaFave to join MTU b-ball team

HOUGHTON — Michigan Tech women’s basketball coach Kim Cameron today announced that Abbie Botz (Little Chute, Wis), Michelle LaFave (Escanaba, Mich.) and Bella O’Brien (Gaines, Mich.) have signed National Letters of Intent to attend and play basketball at Michigan Tech next fall. The trio of recruits includes two forwards and one center.

Botz is a 6-0 forward at Little Chute High School, where she earned All-Eastern Valley Conference First Team honors as a sophomore in 2012-13. She averaged 11 points and six rebounds per game. Botz sat out the 2013-14 high school season with injury, but stood out on the AAU circuit over the summer.

“Abbie is an extremely versatile player that can play a guard or post position,” said Cameron. “She has great ball handling skills and finishes well around the basket. She is a threat off the dribble and can shoot from anywhere on the floor. Defensively, her height will cause problems for guards, and her ability to move will make it difficult for post players to score. We have watched Abbie play for several years and she has only improved. Her attitude and work ethic will drive her, and she has an extremely high ceiling.”

LaFave is a 5-11 forward who earned all-state honorable mention honors each of the last two seasons at Escanaba High School. She averaged 19.8 points and 13.0 rebounds as a junior in 2013-14 en route to All-U.P. and All-Great Northern Conference First Team honors. LaFave earned both honors as a sophomore as well when she averaged a double-double (15 points, 10 rebounds).

“Michelle is a phenomenal offensive player with great height and size,” said Cameron. “She will cause match up issues for any defender with her ability to drive as well as shoot. Michelle stood out to us this summer and has improved consistently. Her attitude and drive to get better has been second to none. She will be able to play both inside and out, and fits into our offense perfectly. We are looking forward to everything that Michelle will bring to our team.”

O’Brien is a 6-2 center who averaged nearly a double-double for Goodrich High School in 2013-14. She posted 9.7 points and 9.9 rebounds per game for the Martians, who claimed their Class B district title. The previous season, O’Brien was a starter on Goodrich’s state championship team. She was a 2014 Associated Press All-State Class B Honorable Mention and a Basketball Coaches Association of Michigan Special Mention each of the last two seasons.

“Bella is a strong post player with great height and solid footwork,” said Cameron. “She has shown flashes of greatness throughout the recruiting process, and will be a sponge for knowledge when she gets here. She is a great rebounder as well as a good shot blocker and will be expected to be a force on the block. Bella is an amazing person with a great attitude and zest for life.”

The three recruits will join the Huskies’ roster next fall.

(Information Courtesy of MTU Athletics)