Special report on the Florida Gators women's basketball team: GAINESVILLE, Fla. - A complete group of five prep stars have officially signed a National Letter of Intent to play basketball at the University of Florida, head coach Amanda Butler announced Wednesday. A player who can excel at each of the five positions on the basketball court comprise the 2016-17 Signing Class: * Mikayla Hayes (6-2, Forward, Brooklyn Park, Minnesota/Park Center HS) [name pronunciation: mih-KAY-la] * Tameria Johnson (5-6, Point Guard, Ocala, Florida/West Port HS) [name pronunciation: tah-MAIR-ee-uh] * Karissa McLaughlin (5-8, Guard, Ft. Wayne, Indiana/Homestead HS) * Priscella Smeenga (6-0, Forward, Celebration, Florida/Celebration HS) [name pronunciation: SMEENG] * Jalaysha Thomas (6-2, Forward, Ocala, Florida/West Port HS) [name pronunciation: jah-LAY-shu] Head Coach Amanda Butler on the Five: "This is a very complete group on and off the floor. They all bring something special that is going to give them a chance to make an immediate impact on our team. Each individual meets a need and reinforces our team culture in her own unique way. Our TLC factor went up today. I love who each and every one of them are. Our future is extremely bright!" Meet the Gator Signees: Mikayla Hayes (6-2, Forward, Brooklyn Park, Minnesota/ Park Center HS) [name pronunciation: mih-KAY-la] On the Court: * Junior Year (2015-16): averaged 12.4 points, 10.2 rebounds and 3.8 blocks ... Career high 21 rebounds ... Career high 9 blocked shots ... Reached career milestones of 700 points & 300 rebounds in the same game ... Team Record and accomplishments: 22-8, NWSC Conference Champions, Section 5AAAA Champions ... Individual Recognition: Class AAAA Honorable Mention All-State NWSC All-Conference Star Tribune Preseason All-Metro * Sophomore Year (2014-15): averaged 15.0 points, 9.0 rebounds, 3.8 blocks ... Led Park Center to the Class 3A state championship her sophomore year, when she scored a team-high 13 points in a 52-45 win against Marshall ... scored career high 29 points ... Team Record and accomplishments: 25-7, NWSC Conference Champs, Section 4AAA Champs, AAA State Champs ... Individual Recognition: Well Fargo State All-Tournament Team, AAA State Championship Player of the Game, Class AAA All-State, NWSC All-Conference, USA Today/American Family Insurance All Twin Cities Star Tribune Player of the Week * Freshman Year (2013-14): averaged 10.3 points, 8.2 rebounds, 3.5 blocks ... key component in the Pirate's 73-71 triple-overtime win in the 2014 state title game and named to the All-Tournament Team ... Team Record and accomplishments: 26-5, Section 4AAA Champs, AAA State Champs ... Individual Recognition: Wells Fargo State All-Tournament Team, Star Tribune Player of the Week, Hardware Hank Athlete of the Week, NWSC Honorable Mention All-Conference ... 5 State Hoops AAU Player of the Year * AAU/Travel Team: North Tartan Girls EYBL where she was coached by Gerard Coury and Greg Dietal * Three-Sport Athlete: Also an accomplished volleyball player and track athlete at Park, where she competed in both sports all four years; placed third in the conference meet in the triple jump * Worth Noting: Her mom Dana Joubert Hayes played basketball at the University of Minnesota (1988-92) and professionally overseas, while her dad Darren Hayes played football and basketball at Wilmer University (1986-87) * Influential coaches include: Chris Vanderhyde, Gerard Coury, Greg Dietel and her mom Dana Joubert Hayes * History: She will be the first Gator from the state of Minnesota in program history * Off the court: "I like to watch old 80's and 90's movies. Always listen to the 2000's R&B station on Pandora. Meet new people and I love to eat chocolate chip cookies" ... Played violin through her freshman year, was first chair; also did ballet, tap and jazz until age 11 * Why Florida: "I really liked the family feel of the program both, with the players and staff. I think Coach Butler is doing great things with the program and truly works to get the best out of her players. I fell in love with the campus, the academic and the athletic facilities. It is the perfect fit for me, it is everything I was looking for in a university," - Mikayla Hayes * Coach Butler on Hayes: "Mikayla Hayes will add a tremendous amount of size and improve our post presence. She's a great shot blocker and has surprising face-the-basket skills for her size. She is an all-around great person and is a fantastic fit to our program and our university." Tameria Johnson (5-6, Point Guard, Ocala, Florida/West Port HS) [name pronunciation: tah-MARE-ee-uh] On the Court: * Junior Year (2015-16): 12.8 points and a county-best 7.0 steals ... Team Record and accomplishments: 20-9 - Regional Semifinals ... Individual Recognition: 2016 All-County First Team * Sophomore Year (2014-15): averaged 9.9 points, 4.8 steals and led the county with 4.3 assists ... Team Record and accomplishments: 22-5 ... Individual Recognition: Ocala Star-Banner First Team, 2015 FABC/Source Hoops Girls All-State Team Class 8A Honorable Mention * Freshman Year (2013-14): attended and played at Potter's House Christian Academy in Jacksonville * Worth Noting: Played prep ball at West Port with fellow Gator signee Jalaysha Thomas, who also happens to be her cousin. * History: Thomas and Johnson are the first female athletes from West Port HS to sign NCAA Division I scholarship papers. * When She Became a Gator: verbally committed while standing on the sideline of the Gator football game against Ole Miss on October 3, 2015 * Why Florida: "I chose UF because I love the coaches. I grew up watching UF play and I always talked about becoming a Gator," - Tameria Johnson * Coach Butler on Johnson: "Tameria is a dynamic and spirited point guard. I don't think there is another point guard like her in the 2017 class. She has a fearless spirit, very aggressive with the ball in her hands and very excited to be a Gator. I love her competitiveness." Karissa McLaughlin (5-8, Guard, Ft. Wayne, Indiana/Homestead HS) On the Court: * Individual Career Highlights: 1,808 career points entering her senior season are also a school record ... School Record for Free Throw Percentage: 92% ... School Record Holder for Points in a Game: 39 ... School Record Holder for Points in a Season: 721 * Homestead HS Highlights with McLaughlin: 75-8 overall record ... 3 Sectional Championships ... 2 Regional Championships ... 1 Semi-State Championship ... 3 Conference Championships * Junior Year (2015-16): averaged 24.9 points (721 total), 5.0 rebounds, 3.2 assists and 2.7 steals ... Team Record and accomplishments: 26-3 - Regional Champions, Summit Athletic Conference Regular Season Champions, Summit Athletic Holiday Tournament Champions ... Individual Recognition: Indiana Junior All-Star Core Team, Indiana All-State Supreme 15 Underclassmen, WPTA 21 Alive/Parkview Sports Medicine Player of the Year (NE Indiana), News Sentinel Player of the Year, Journal Gazette News Player of the Year, Summit Athletic Conference: Tiffany Gooden Award Winner - Given to the best basketball player (boys and girls combined) in the SAC, ICGSA (Indiana Coaches of Girls Sports Association) First Team All-State, Summit Athletic Conference First Team * Sophomore Year (2014-15): averaged 23.1 points (671 total), 4.1 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 2.0 steals ... Team Record and accomplishments: 26-3 - Semi-State Champions (State Runner-Up), Northeast Hoosier Conference Champions ... Individual Recognition: Indiana All-State Supreme 15 Underclassmen, ICGSA (Indiana Coaches of Girls Sports Association) First Team All-State, Northeast Hoosier Conference First Team, WPTA 21 Alive/Parkview Sports Medicine Player of the Year Finalist, News Sentinel First Team All-Area Team, Journal Gazette News First Team All-Area, WPTA 21 Alive Player of the Week * Freshman Year (2013-14): averaged 16.6 points (416 total), 3.5 rebounds, 2.2 assists and 2.0 steals ... Team Record and accomplishments: 23-2 - Sectional Champions, Northeast Hoosier Conference Champions ... Individual Recognition: Indiana All-State Honorable Mention, Northeast Hoosier Conference First Team, News Sentinel First Team All-Area Team, Journal Gazette News First Team All-Area, WPTA 21 Alive Player of the Week * Getting Them Ready: member of the Indiana Junior All-Start Core Group; plays two games against the Indiana Senior All-Star Team that helps prep for the big Indiana vs. Kentucky series * AAU/Travel Team: Spiece Indy Gym Rats Silver - NIKE EYBL - the 2015 Nike EYBL National Runner-Up; coached by Danny Riego * Influential coaches include: Rod Parker and personal trainer Vernard Hollins * Most Memorable Moment in her athletic career: "My most memorable moment was playing for a state championship. Being given the opportunity to play in Bankers Life Fieldhouse with my teammates. It was awesome to see how much the community supported us and the state of Indiana." * Worth Noting: Her dad Bert McLaughlin played basketball at Grace College (NAIA) from 1993-97 * Why Florida: "Florida's team culture instantly stood out to me. It is one of the biggest things that defines them from anyone else. I loved how much they love and play for each other. They play for something bigger than themselves. TLC - Trust, Loyalty, and Commitment are what it's all about. Florida is also one of the top academic universities in the nation and will provide me with many incredible opportunities. I am truly blessed and looking forward to the challenge of playing in one of the toughest and most respected conferences in the country," - Karissa McLaughlin * Coach Butler on McLaughlin: "Karissa is the best shooter in the 2017 class. She's also used to competing for championships. She's very well-rounded and will being a winner's mentality to every day." Priscella Smeenga (6-0, Forward, Celebration, Florida/Celebration HS) [name pronunciation: SMEENGE] * Attended and played at Southlake Carroll High School in Texas, before her family moved at the end of the 2016 school year to Florida where she is concluding her prep career at Celebration (FL) High School * Of Note: Father is Joel Smeenge, the current head football coach of Celebration High School and an 11-year NFL defense end, who played with the New Orleans Saints and Jacksonville Jaguars * On the Court at Southlake Carroll (TX) High School: * Career Honors: First Team All-District 2014, '15, '16 ... Second Team All-State 2016 ... Academic All-District 2014, '15, '16 ... Team Captain (junior year 2015-2016) ... Led team in scoring in rebounding during the 2015-16 season ... 2015 District Newcomer of the Year * Junior Year (2015-16): averaged 14.5 points, 7.4 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 2.7 steals * Sophomore Year (2014-15): averaged 13.8 points, 5.0 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 2.5 steals * Freshman Year (2013-14): averaged 6.3 points, 4.0 rebounds, 1.1 assists and 1.3 steals * Coach of Note: Teri Morrison (Southlake Carroll) * AAU/Travel Team: Cy-Fair coached by Jason Wallen and Earl Allen * Onto the Track: ran track her freshman year (200 meters, 400 meters, 4x200 relay) and plans to participate again her senior season * Runs in the Family: Her father Joel Smeenge played 11 seasons in the NFL (1990-2000) - played college football at Western Michigan University ... cousin, Isaac Nauta, is currently a freshman tight end at the University of Georgia * Why Florida: "I am confident in my decision to commit to The University of Florida because I truly believe I will be held to a standard of excellence as a student-athlete. It has become evident that whenever great things are expected, great things can happen in life. I feel that the University of Florida will provide me with the tools I need to be successful in the classroom and on the court. I was really impressed with the gator nation fan-base and how supportive the student-body, faculty, and residents in Gainsville, FL are of the athletic department. I love how every athletic team along with the student body as a whole, unite together to create a fun, energetic atmosphere at every sporting event. The scenic views around the campus really caught my eye and the brand new facilities for student-athletes stood out to me as well. I am a native-born Floridian so attending a college in my home state was something that I was always open to. I have relatives that live in Florida so being close by to family is a great bonus to have. The coaching staff for the Gator women's basketball team are extremely hardworking and seem to truly care about each individual player's and the team's success. I am so grateful for the opportunity to continue my basketball career at the University of Florida and desire to glorify God in all that I do moving forward," - Priscilla Smeenge * Coach Butler on Smeenga: "Pricilla is extremely athletic and versatile. She can shoot the ball and play multiple positions. She is going to fit perfectly into our style or running, pressing and playing tone-setting basketball. She's a tremendous young lady, on and off the court and I'm thrilled to coach her." Jalaysha Thomas (6-2, Forward, Ocala, Florida/West Port HS) [name pronunciation: jah-LAY-shu] On the Court: * Junior Year (2015-16): averaged 16.0 points and a county-best 17.7 rebounds ... Team Record and accomplishments: 20-9 - Regional Semifinals ... Individual Recognition: 2016 Ocala Star-Banner Player of the Year * Sophomore Year (2014-15): averaged 13.6 points, 6.4 rebounds ... led the county with 60 blocked shots ... Team Record and accomplishments: 22-5 ... Individual Recognition: Ocala Star-Banner First Team, 2015 FABC/Source Hoops Girls All-State Second Team Class 8A * Freshman Year (2013-14): attended and played at Potter's House Christian Academy in Jacksonville * Worth Noting: Played prep ball at West Port with fellow Gator signee Tameria Johnson, who also happens to be her cousin. * History: Thomas and Johnson are the first female athletes from West Port HS to sign NCAA Division I scholarship papers. * AAU/Travel Team: FGB * When She Became a Gator: verbally committed while standing on the sideline of the Gator football game against Ole Miss on October 3, 2015 * Coach Butler on Thomas: "Jalaysha is one of those players that every team needs. She's solid, catches every pass. She can impact the game a lot of ways. She is going to be a player who will contribute in a lot of different lineups, and will also fortify our post play. I'm excited about all the ways she makes us better."