Smesko, Eagles Sign a Pair to National Letters of Intent
Thursday, November 10, 2011 | by Mike Hill (@mike_hill84)

FORT MYERS, Fla. – Florida Gulf Coast University Head Women’s Basketball Coach Karl Smesko has announced the signings of two student-athletes to National Letters of Intent. Katie Meador and Taylor Gradinjan will join the Eagle program for the 2012-13 academic year.

“Katie and Taylor are great additions to our program,” said Smesko. “They are both very competitive and will have the opportunity to contribute right away.”

Katie Meador, a 5-11 wing at Salem Communuity High School in Salem, Ill. chose FGCU over Northern Kentucky and Green Bay. A three-year varsity starter, Meador currently has 1,439 career points. She has played in 95 games and is averaging 15.1 points and 9.3 rebounds during her prep career. As a junior, Meador averaged 19.3 points and 9.6 rebounds and recorded 14 double-doubles. Meador scored double figure points on 28 occasions and scored 20 or more points 15 times en route to earning Illinois Basketball Coaches Association (IBCA) and Southern Illinois Baseball Coaches Association (SIBCA) first team honors as a junior.

“Katie is a really tough kid,” Smesko said. “She is physical, skilled and very aggressive.”

Gradinjan, a 5-9 guard, was a first team All-State selection as a junior at Cudahy High School, averaging 20.9 points, 8.4 rebounds, 3.7 steals and 3.3 assists per game. She also earned the title of Top Junior in Wisconsin from Wisconsin Women's Basketball Yearbook. Gradinjan, who became Cudahy’s all-time leading scorer (1,270 points) in just three years, chose FGCU over SIU Edwardsville, Evansville and Valparaiso.

“Taylor is a very versatile player who has all the tools,” said Smesko. “She can shoot, drive and pass and she loves contact.”

FGCU opens the program’s 10th season with a trip to Seton Hall on Friday, Nov. 11. Led by second-year head coach Anne Donovan, the Pirates are coming off an 8-22 season, where they finished 1-15 in BIG EAST play. The Eagles defeated Seton Hall, 64-57, in the 2010-11 season opener for both squads on Nov. 12, 2010.