Finkbeiner Announces the Addition of Balla and Shelton for 2011-2012
Balla, a 6’2” freshman post from Pecs, Hungary, joins ORU following an impressive high school campaign in which she averaged 15 points, 20 rebounds and 5 steals per game in her final year with Baar-Madas.
“Bernadett has a very high ceiling,” noted Finkbeiner. “She is an inside-out player, who is very mobile, a solid passer and has a nice all-around skill set. She has gained a tremendous amount of experience playing at the international level and we believe that she can begin contributing right away.”
Balla also represents ORU’s fourth international player, joining Dominique Allen (Birmingham, England), Georgia Jones (Manchester, England) and Cristal Turner (Maidstone, England).
A 6’3” junior forward from Fort Worth, Texas, Shelton will be joining ORU as a transfer from Southern Methodist University in Dallas.
As a 2009 graduate of Nolan Catholic High School, Shelton was named Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools (TAPPS) class 5A first team all-state and all-district, and selected to the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches all-state team. She was also a McDonald’s all-American nominee as a senior, while averaging 14 points, 10 rebounds and 4 blocks per game for NCHS.
“We recruited Sarah as a high school athlete, so we know her well,” stated Finkbeiner. “She is long, athletic and will be a good fit in our system as a true five. Sarah will bring a new dimension to our team both defensively and to our fast break game.”
As an SMU Mustang, Shelton averaged 1.2 points and 1.79 rebounds per game over two seasons. She competed in 34 games with four starts, while combining for 68 rebounds and shooting 50 percent (13-26) from the field.
Shelton will redshirt the 2011-12 season due to NCAA transfer rules.
“Balla and Shelton will add size and consistency to the post position. They will be a big boost for us in the paint over the coming years and will also be a good fit in the ORU community,” added Finkbeiner.