Well-rounded athletes always are on coaches’ wish lists during recruiting season.
Third-year Northwestern State women’s basketball coach Jordan Dupuy is no different, although Dupuy wants equally capable people and students, something he said he believes he has found in signees Anessa Dussette and Karyn Ford.
“They bring versatility on both ends of the floor, the ability to play multiple positions on offense and defense,” Dupuy said. “They can score on all three levels. They have good size and the ability to be physical down low. I’m very happy with what we have on the court, but the thing is they will be very good representatives off the floor, in the community and in the classroom. I’m very happy with what he have, and I expect us to add more in the late signing period.”
Both Dussette (Manvel High School) and Ford (YES Prep Gulfton) hail from the greater Houston area.
“That area is rich in talent,” Dupuy said. “We’ve got to make sure we recruit that area hard. Dallas has been good to us as well. Opening up those doors in Houston will be good for our program.”
Dussette is a 5-foot-10 guard/forward who has put up tremendous numbers for Manvel in the early part of the 2018-19 season.
A two-time, second-team all-district selection, Dussette has poured in 18 points per game while grabbing 10 rebounds and handing out 10 assists for coach Bryan Harris’ Mavericks.
As a sophomore, Dussette was named Manvel’s “Big Dawg of the Year.”
“She brings great energy,” Dupuy said. “She’s a great teammate. If she needs to score, she’ll score. If she needs to rebound, she’ll rebound. She’ll step in and take a charge. She just loves to play. You need that energy and passion. It’s tough at this level, so you need that energy, especially from your younger players.”
Dussette is an honor roll student who holds a 5.0 grade point average at Manvel. She was named to the all-tournament team at the Peggy Whitley Tournament earlier this season.
“I chose NSU because not only is it close to home, but the environment is so family-friendly, and it’s somewhere I want to be,” Dussette said. “If I need anything, I know they’ve got me, no matter the situation. It is so safe and secure to where I know I won’t have a problem at all. Plus, I have family close to me to where I won’t be alone up there.”
Ford has family ties to the Lady Demons program. Her older sister, Ebony, lettered for Northwestern State in the 2012-13 season.
In her first three seasons, Ford averaged between 22.6 and 30.6 points per game while grabbing between 10.7 and 13 rebounds per game.
Through six games of her senior season, Ford has averaged 34.5 points and 15.7 rebounds per game while swiping 6.2 steals per game. All three totals would be career highs if she maintains them.
For her 88-game career at YES Prep Gulfton, Ford has averaged 27.5 points, 12.1 rebounds, 5.4 steals and 2.4 blocks per game.
“She came to our elite camp and won MVP because of how well she played on both ends,” Dupuy said. “She was able to score from everywhere on the floor and also score with either hand over either shoulder. When you watch her, you don’t know if she’s left-handed or right-handed, especially in the paint. She can play within our system and will allow us to mix things up on both ends and create mismatches offensively.”
Like Dussette, Ford said NSU’s tight-knit atmosphere played a key role in her following her sister’s footsteps with the Lady Demons
“I loved the close-knit family atmosphere and how everyone supported each other no matter if they knew them or not,” Ford said. “The girls really made me feel like a part of the team already when I went on my visit, and I appreciated how welcome they made me feel.”
An honor roll student with a 3.3 GPA who also lettered in track, cross country and volleyball, Ford said she wants to follow her sister in her off-the-court pursuits as well.
“Because my sister went to NSU and majored in the same thing I want to (psychology), I already have a relationship with my academic advisor, Dr. (Jody) Biscoe, and we have a built-in trust,” Ford said.