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Knights Commit to College Athletics

On Feb. 4, the following members of the Pace Academy Class of 2024 committed to continue their athletics careers at the collegiate level:

Grace Agolli – University of California at Berkeley, volleyball  

Tucker Ausband – Piedmont University, baseball 

Hevin Brown-Shuler – Clemson University, football 

Jordan Burns – University of Tennessee, football

Kyle Greene – University of Central Florida, basketball

Caroline Hood – Duke University, cross-country, track and field 

Christian Johnson – United States Naval Academy, football

Terrence Kiel – Texas A&M University, baseball

Dhru Lalaji – Wake Forest University, volleyball

Gabby Mautner – Brown University, gymnastics

LJ Moore – University of Chicago, basketball

Ethan Rucker – Georgetown University, baseball

Ellie Siskin – University of Pennsylvania, volleyball

Matthew Wells – Colorado College, cross-country, track and field 

A four-year starter and two-year co-captain of the varsity volleyball team, Grace Agolli has led the Knights to four consecutive state titles. A three-time State Player of the Year, Agolli landed on the 2023 All-Area First Team roster and was named 2022 All-Area Player of the Year. This past season, Agolli became the first Pace volleyball player to notch 1,000 career kills and 1,000 career assists, and to be recognized as the Gatorade Georgia Player of the Year. The American Volleyball Coaches Association honored Agolli as a 2022 Phenom, a 2023 Best and Brightest, and a 2023 First Team All-American. In addition, Agolli made the All-Tournament Team in the Platinum Division of the 2023 Nike Tournament of Champions and was the National Silver Division’s 2023 MVP. Agollo is also an AAU national champion and All-American and has appeared on Prep Volleyball’s Top 150 List the past four years. Off the court, she is a National Honor Society member, an Academic All-American, and a two-time Jim and Lesley Wheeler Scholar Athlete Award recipient. Agolli’s on-campus activities include involvement in the Women’s Entrepreneurship Club, PASS and the Upper School Student Council.

Tucker Ausband is back on the diamond for his fourth season as a member of the varsity baseball team. At second base and shortstop, Ausband helped lead the Knights to the 2021 and 2022 region championships, the 2022 Final Four and the 2023 Sweet Sixteen. As a member of 643 DP Baseball, Ausband has received multiple honors. He made the 2021 15U, 16U and 17U All-Tournament teams and earned the 15U Team Award; he landed on the 2022 All-Tournament roster; and he was a member of the 2023 PG East World Series champion squad. This past season, Ausband recorded the highest OPS on his team. Beyond baseball, Ausband has served as an Isdell Center for Global Leadership Fellow and a Young Life member. He has also been involved in numerous community causes, including the Sandwich Project, Books for Africa, Bloom Closet and the 643 Foundation. The past two years, Ausband and his teammates have organized a baseball equipment drive, donating collected items to nonprofits throughout Atlanta.

Defensive lineman Hevin Brown-Shuler has been a playmaker for the Knights since his freshman season when he earned a spot on the All-Region First Team, a designation he received in each subsequent season. As a junior, Brown-Shuler landed on the All-State roster and on the Northside Neighbor’s Super 7 list. This past season, he was selected to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Pre-Season All-State team and to the Northside Neighbor’s Super 6. He is a MaxPrep All-American, the varsity football team’s defensive MVP and a recipient of the Iron Knight Award. Last month, Brown-Shuler played in the 24th All-American Bowl, which took place in San Antonio’s Alamodome and was broadcast live on NBC and Peacock. He also founded SE7ENTH HE7IN, which is dedicated to empowering youth and supporting single-parent families by providing mentorship, education, and advocacy. In addition, he earned Pace’s Lance and Shield Award, which recognizes student-athletes who are role models for their peers, demonstrate tremendous passion for their sports and are committed to being the best they can be on and off the field. Last year, Brown-Shuler competed for the Knights as a member of the varsity track and field team and advanced to the region competition. 

Jordan Burns joined the Pace community as a junior and made an immediate impact on the football field. The linebacker and running back earned First-Team All-Region honors as a junior and, this past season, made the Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Pre-Season All-State team, the Northside Neighbor Super 6 and the All-Region squad. In addition, he received All-State Honorable Mention accolades. This spring, Burns will compete for the Knights as a member of the varsity track and field team.

Point guard Kyle “KJ” Greene joined the varsity basketball team as a sophomore and quickly established himself as a force to be reckoned with. In his first season as a Knight, Greene averaged 8.6 points, 6.5 assists and two steals per game, and helped propel Pace to a 25-5 overall record and the region championship. As a junior, Greene averaged 11.6 points, 6.4 assists and 2.7 steals per game, and played a pivotal role in securing a 25-7 overall record and the Class AAAA state title. He was named Region 5-AAAA Player of the Year and earned a spot on the GBCA/GACA All-Star Team. This season, Greene has led the No. 1-ranked Knights to a 20-3 overall record and a formidable 11-1 record in the region. He has averaged 10.4 points, 6 assists and 3 steals per game, and was named WSB-TV/Montlick Injury Attorneys Athlete of the Week. In addition, Greene is now a member of the illustrious 1,000 Points Club, has notched 500 assists and is four-star ranked on ESPN’s list of the top 100 players in the country. 

Caroline Hood has rewritten the Pace cross-country and track record books during her four years on the school’s varsity squads. It’s no coincidence that the cross-country team has earned four consecutive state-championship titles, or that the track team has brought home both gold and silver state medals. As an individual competitor, Hood topped the podium at the 2021 state cross-country meet and is a two-time state champion in both the 3200 and 1600 meter events. In addition, she has been part of two state-champion 4x800 relay teams, the most recent of which holds both the school and state records in the event. Hood has been named to four Powerade All-Metro teams and has landed on All-State cross-country rosters three years in a row. This year alone, she placed first at the Alexander/Asics Classic, the Coach Wood Invitational and the OrthoWest Invitational, where she set the meet record. She has received Pace’s Scholar Athlete and Lance and Shield awards, and she is the first Knight to be recognized as a Gatorade Georgia Cross-Country Player of the Year. When she’s not competing, Hood, a National Honor Society member, volunteers her time with the Isdell Center for Global Leadership Student Council and the National Charity League. 

Running back and linebacker Christian Johnson has been a force on the field throughout his four years on the varsity football team. As captain of this year’s squad, Johnson led the Knights by example, modeling excellence, positivity and leadership in the face of adversity—qualities for which he received the team’s JS 20 Award. The third player in Pace history to rush for more than 1,000 yards in a season, Johnson landed on the 2022 and 2023 All-Region Team rosters; his performance as a sophomore earned All-Region Honorable Mention. This year’s Most Valuable Offensive Player, Johnson was also recognized as a member of the scoutSMART All-Academic team. Off the gridiron, Johnson is a leader in the Pace community. He serves as an Admissions Ambassador and a Peer Leader; founding president of the Crossword Club; and a member of the Upper School band, Miracle Knights, PASS, Pace Against ALS, Pace Student-Athletes of Color and the Knights of the Round Table. He is also active in the Young Men’s Service League, Meals on Wheels Atlanta and the Atlanta Entertainment Basketball League, and he has coached flag football camp for Lower School students. 

Terrence Kiel II excels on the baseball diamond and on the football field. A four-year standout on the varsity baseball team, Kiel helped lead the Knights to the 2021 and 2022 region championships, the 2022 Final Four and the 2023 Sweet Sixteen. A captain of both this year’s team and his travel baseball squad, Kiel has made All-Region rosters the past three seasons, was a 2022 All-State honoree and was named 2023 Region Player of the Year. Over the past four years, Kiel’s versatility on the gridiron has translated into success for the Knights. He has twice been named All-Region Player of the Year, was an Atlanta Journal-Constitution All-Metro Team selection and, the past two seasons, was recognized as a member of the All-State Team. He holds the Pace record for career touchdowns with 40. When he’s not wearing a Pace jersey, Kiel contributes to the school community as a member of the Black, African-American, African Diaspora Affinity Group (BAAAD) and a Community Engagement volunteer. He earned a Gold Key for photography in the 2023 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards; he volunteers with LifeLine for Pets and Dust Off the Glove Baseball Clinic; and he is a baseball camp counselor.

For four years, Dhru Lalaji played her heart out as a defensive specialist and libero for the varsity girls volleyball team, and her skill and determination helped the Knights earn their past four state titles. Lalaji is a three-time First Team All-Area and First Team All-State honoree, an American Volleyball Coaches Association All-Region player and a Senior All-Star. As a member of A5 Pure Volleyball club teams, Lalaji brought home the 2020 USA Volleyball national title and the 2020 and 2021 AAU national championships. She contributes to the Pace community as a member of the National Honor Society, the Student Advisory Board, the Asian Affinity Group, the Pickleball Club and the Taylor Swift Club. 

As a freshman, Gabby Mautner left her mark on the Pace gymnastics program, finishing the season as GHSA Class A-AAAA balance beam state champion and placing second in the all-around competition. Mautner has continued to rack up accolades as a competitor for Atlanta North Star Gymnastics. In 2021, she was third in the state and first in the region in the beam competition; in 2022, she placed third in the state on the uneven bars to advance to region; and in 2023, she once again qualified for the regional competition. Outside of the gym, Mautner spends her time giving back to the community. Rough Draft Atlanta named her to its 2024 20 Under 20 list for her work as a leader of The Bloom Closet Club, which supports children in Georgia’s foster care system, and she volunteers her time with students at The Boyce L. Ansley School who are experiencing homelessness. In addition, Mautner is co-editor-in-chief of the Pace yearbook; a member of the National Honor Society and the Jewish Affinity Group; and a gymnastics coach and an active babysitter. 

In his fourth year on the varsity basketball team, LJ Moore is once again leading the Knights to the top of GHSA Class AAAA. He is a two-time region and state champion and, following the Knights’ 66-54 victory over Fayette County High School in the 2023 state final, was named the state championship MVP.  Moore is a First Team Academic All-American and a two-time All-Region nominee. He won Pace’s 2023 Lance and Shield Award, which recognizes student-athletes who are role models for their peers, demonstrate tremendous passion for their sports and are committed to being the best they can be on and off the field. In addition, Moore serves as a mentor to ninth-grade students as a Peer Leader and is the founder of the Health and Wellness Club.

As the varsity baseball team’s 2022 Rookie of the Year, Ethan Rucker helped lead the Knights to the region title and the state semifinals that season and, last year, was part of the squad that advanced to the Sweet Sixteen. A two-time All-Region honoree, Rucker will be back on the mound for the Knights this spring as they attempt to return to postseason play. Off the diamond, Rucker is a member of the Upper School robotics team and the Black, African-American, African Diaspora Affinity Group (BAAAD). He serves as an Admissions Ambassador, a member of the Isdell Center for Global Leadership’s Fellows Program and a Keeping Pace counselor. You’ll also find him at Play It Again Sports, where he is a sales associate. 

Ellie Siskin brought home her fourth consecutive state-championship volleyball title this past fall and has helped lead the Knights to the No. 7 spot in the national rankings. She is a four-time All-State and All-Area honoree, an Academic All-American and a MaxPreps Georgia Player of the Week. The American Volleyball Coaches Association named Siskin a Phenom in 2021 and 2022, and this past year, recognized her as a Senior All Star, a Best and Brightest honoree and A Second Team All-American. VolleyballMag and the Junior Volleyball Association included Siskin on their High School Player of the Year Watchlists; she made the All-Tournament Team at the Nike Tournament of Champions; and her A5 club team won the 2022 16 Premier National Championship. As one of two award recipients Pace’s 2023 Horowitz Award, Siskin leads the schools Athletic Leadership Council. A standout on the court and in the classroom, Siskin is an AP Scholar with Distinction, a National Merit Semifinalist, a National Honor Society member, and a recipient of Pace’s Lance and Shield Award and Wheeler Scholar Athlete Award. In addition, she is co-editor-in-chief of the Upper School newspaper, an Isdell Center for Global Leadership Fellow, a PASS mentor and a member of Women Mentoring Women. She serves on the American Jewish Committee’s Leaders for Tomorrow Advisory Board, works as a lifeguard and swim team coach, and volunteers with Children Read and Family Promise. 

A four-year member of the varsity cross-country team, Matthew Wells captained the squad this past season and led the Knights to the region title and a fourth-place finish at state. He was the 2023 individual region champion and placed sixth in the state, the Knights’ top finisher. His performances over the years have landed Wells on three All-Region and two All-State teams, and he ranks fourth on Pace’s all-time list of top 5k finishers. As a three-year competitor on the track team, Wells helps facilitate practices for long-distance runners and, last season, was part of the 1600-meter region-champion relay team. He is a member of the National Honor Society, an Academic All-American, an Eagle Scout and a recipient of Pace’s Lance and Shield Award, which recognizes leadership and achievement in athletics. In addition, Wells serves on the Philanthropy and Life Skills committees of the Young Mens’ Service League. His work experience includes stints at the National Outdoor Leadership School, Publix and Pace Camp. 

These 14 students—12% of the Class of 2024—continue a long tradition of strong student-athletes at Pace Academy.