WASHINGTON – The 2019-20 American University women's basketball incoming class continues to grow, as head coach Megan Gebbia announced the signing of Karla Vres on Wednesday, April 24.
Vres (VREZ), a 6-foot-3 forward from Zagreb, Croatia, who has spent the last few years living in Stockholm, Sweden, will join AU next year alongside Lauren Stack (Naperville, Ill. / Benet Academy) and Sadie Stetson (Waterford, Vt. / St. Johnsbury Academy).
"Karla brings so many qualities that we were looking for to complete our 2019 class," said Gebbia, who will enter her seventh season at the helm of the Eagles in the fall. "She has a high basketball IQ and the size to play the '5' along with the versatility to play inside-out which will help her fit into our system quickly.
"Her ability to run the floor and rebound as well as be our rim protector on the defensive end will help keep our defense stay near the top in the Patriot League."
During her time playing in Zagreb, Vres was a three-time silver medalist and three-time gold medalist nationally. She is also a two-time Adriatic League gold medalist.
Vres currently lives in Stockholm and plays for the Swedish First League. She also played club for Visby Basket, Brahe Basket, AIK Basket, and Alvik Basket.
"Karla's experience playing in Sweden has allowed her to mature and develop against a higher caliber of athlete, which will help her make an immediate impact as a freshman," Gebbia said. "More importantly, I love Karla's work ethic, her enthusiasm for basketball, and her outgoing personality that just seemed to click with our returning core of players."
|Lauren Stack||F||6-2||Naperville, Ill.||Benet Academy|
|Sadie Stetson||G||5-7||Waterford, Vt.||St. Johnsbury Academy|
|Karla Vres||F||6-3||Zagreb, Croatia||Jensen Gymnasium Sodra (Stockholm, Sweden)|
Naperville, Ill. (Benet Academy) | Club: Illinois Lady Lightning
Forward | 6-2
- Averaged 7.4 ppg and 3.8 rpg in 2017-18 to help lead her team to a 28-5 record
- 2017-18 conference champion
- 2016-17 conference co-champion
- 2015-16 state champion
Why she chose American: "It was a feeling I got when I was on campus – it felt like I was home. The people there are amazing, and it is a great school academically."
Head Coach Megan Gebbia: "Lauren is a terrific system fitting post player who comes from a rich basketball tradition. Both her high school success and long line of family members who have played collegiately make me think her best days are ahead of her. I love that Lauren is the consummate team player who believes in playing both ends of the floor. She fit in immediately on her visit, and her versatility and skill set as a perimeter post threat will help replace what we are graduating."
Waterford, Vt. (St. Johnsbury Academy) | Club: Lone Wolf Athletics
Guard | 5-7
With St. Johnsbury Academy…
- Averaged 16.0 ppg, 5.0 rpg, 5.0 apg, and 3.0 steals per game while leading her team to the 2017-18 Division I state title
- Three-time Gatorade Vermont Player of the Year (2017, 2018, 2019)
- Three-time VT Basketball Coaches Association Player of the Year (2017, 2018, 2019)
- Three-time VT Basketball Coaches Association Dream Dozen for Division I and II (2016, 2017, 2018)
- 2017, 2018 League Player of the Year
- 2017, 2018, 2019 Burlington Free Press Miss Basketball and Player of the Year
- Three-time Caledonian Record Dream Dozen (2016, 2017, 2018)
- 2017, 2019 Caledonian Record Player of the Year
- 2017 USA Today High School Sports VT Player of the Year
- 2017 Northern New Hampshire and Northeast Kingdom Player of the Year
Why she chose American: "I chose AU because I felt really comfortable there with the coaches and the team. I feel like their style of play fits me well, and I am looking forward to becoming part of their program. I wanted to go to a school with strong academics and many opportunities, and D.C. is the perfect place for that."
Head Coach Megan Gebbia: "Sadie is a proven winner and has the high school championship experience that will help her transition to the next level. Her game is reminiscent of Emily Kinneston with the same type of competitive drive and scoring ability. Sadie has a range to 3, a seasoned pull-up game and great body control around the basket. I am most impressed, however, with her lateral quickness and ability to defend at the guard position."
Zagreb, Croatia (Jensen Gymnasium Sodra, Stokholm, Sweden) | Club: Swedish First League
Forward | 6-3
In Zagreb, Croatia...
- Three-time national gold medalist
- Three-time national silver medalist
- Two-time Adriatic League gold medalist
Why she chose American: "When I was choosing a university, I was looking for a balance between high academics, a highly competitive conference, as well as a team and coaching staff who could help me improve and a place where I could make an impact. After considering other options and visiting AU, I realized it fit right into what I was searching for. And, after being born and raised in the capital of Croatia, and later living in the capital of Sweden, it only makes sense to study in the capital of the U.S."
Head Coach Megan Gebbia: "Karla has a high basketball IQ and the size to play the '5' along with the versatility to play inside-out which will help her fit into our system quickly. Her ability to run the floor and rebound as well as be our rim protector on the defensive end will help keep our defense stay near the top in the Patriot League. Karla's experience playing in Sweden has allowed her to mature and develop against a higher caliber of athlete, which will help her make an immediate impact as a freshman. More importantly, I love Karla's work ethic, her enthusiasm for basketball, and her outgoing personality that just seems to click with our returning core of players."
For the latest on American University Women's Basketball, stay tuned to AUEagles.com and follow the team on Twitter @AU_WBasketball.