Illini women land Baylor transfer center Vasconcelos

May 29—CHAMPAIGN — Illinois women's basketball coach Shauna Green went back to the transfer portal to add some help to the Illini frontcourt.

After Tenin Magassa originally committed to Illinois in late April before the 6-foot-6 center flipped to Oklahoma State on May 19, Green recruited another center in the portal.

An effort that paid off on Wednesday with the announced addition of Lety Vasconcelos, who signed a Big Ten Tender of Financial Aid with the University of Illinois and will join the program for the 2024-25 season.

"I could not be more excited to have Lety join our family," Green said. "She is someone we knew we needed as soon as she was in the portal. We have watched her since high school and the sky is truly the limit for her. Lety brings size, great hands, the ability to be a major scorer on the low block, and will add great rim protection with her ability to block shots. This is an area we needed to address and Lety is the perfect fit for our system. Lety is a hard worker with big dreams, and I can't wait to have her here to get started in the process of her reaching all her goals. She is a great basketball player, but more importantly, she is a high-character person who fits our culture."

Vasconcelos, a 6-7 sophomore center from Miguel Calmon, Bahia, Brazil, appeared in 17 games off the bench for Baylor as a true freshman last season while averaging 1.1 points and 2.1 rebounds.

Vasconcelos was a former four-star recruit rated 36th overall in the Class of 2023 by ESPN's HoopGurlz after playing her final two seasons of prep basketball at Montverde Academy in Florida. Current Illini guard Cori Allen played with Vasconcelos at Montverde, where they helped the preps program win back-to-back GEICO High School National Championships.

"The idea of playing in the Big Ten truly fascinates me," Vasconcelos said. "Having coaches like (the Illinois staff) really make me even more excited because I know they will prepare and develop me to have a successful career. I can't wait to get back on campus with my new teammates and get to work."

The addition of Vasconcelos means Illinois has filled 12 scholarships for the 2024-25 season with eight returning players led by forward Kendall Bostic, guard Genesis Bryant and guard Makira Cook, all of whom are taking advantage of their bonus COVID seasons.

The Illini also added Mississippi State transfer Jasmine Brown-Hagger, freshman center Hayven Smith and freshman wing Berry Wallace. Wallace comes in as a five-star recruit rated in the top-25 nationally for the 2024 class.