SIOUX CITY -- The Morningside College women's basketball roster got a little stronger on Wednesday when Jalyssa Ceasar, a former two-time all-stater at North High School announced that she will return home and play for the Mustangs.
Ceasar a 5-10 forward who played on two state championship teams at North, will transfer to Morningside with sophomore eligibility. She played in four games at NCAA Division II Metropolitan State of Denver, Colo., before leaving the team.
"After this year we knew we had to get better and this is definitely a step in the right direction," Morningside Coach Jamie Sale said. "Jalyssa was a tremendous player at North. We needed rebounders, so we addressed that with our recruiting and hopefully Jalyssa will turn out to be one of the better rebounders we've had."
Ceasar averaged 8.8 points and 6.0 rebounds at Metro State, making 11 of 24 shots. She made an impressive debut, leading the Roadrunners with 17 points and a game-high 15 rebounds in a 60-52 exhibition game victory at NCAA Division I Northern Colorado. Ceasar was the team's leading rebounder in three of the four games she played, grabbing 10 against West Texas A&M while scoring 14 points against Fort Lewis.
The versatile Ceasar scored 1,120 points during her high school career, which ranked No. 7 in five-player Sioux City prep history at the time of her graduation. Ceasar earned first team all-state honors from the Iowa Newspaper Association, as well as All-Missouri River Activities Conference, All-Northwest Iowa and All-Metro honors as a senior at North.
North finished 25-1 en route to the Class 4A state championship. Ceasar scored 17 points in a 51-45 victory over Ames in the state championship game and was named captain of the all-tournament team after scoring 54 points in three games.
Ceasar was the Stars' leading scorer and rebounder last season with averages of 18.3 points and 8.6 rebounds per game. She led the team with 93 steals and shot 61.8 percent from the field.
As a junior, Ceasar paced the Stars with averages of 13.5 points and 8.8 rebounds, earning first-team all-state accolades. Ceasar was a fifth-team All-Northwest Iowa selection as a sophomore when she averaged 9.6 points and a team-high 6.2 rebounds for a North team that finished 24-2 and won the 4A state championship.
One of Ceasar's best games as a sophomore was a 25-point, nine-rebound performance in the Stars' 71-57 win over Des Moines Roosevelt in the state championship game.
At Morningside, Ceasar will join former North teammate Tanaeya Worden, a 5-6 guard who earned second-team NAIA Division II All-America honors as a junior this season. Morningside had a 21-12 record for its seventh consecutive 20-win season and made its eighth straight appearance in the national tournament.