Thursday, April 26, 2012

Virginia Tech lands JC star Uju Ugoka

Here's all you need to know about the quality of recruit Virginia Tech just landed in junior college star Uju Ugoka - the Hokies beat out Tennessee to get her.

According to, the Nigerian-born Ugoka, one of three finalists for WBCA Junior College Player of the Year after her sophomore season at Gulf State College (Fla.), informed the Lady Vols on Wednesday night that she was heading to Blacksburg.

UPDATE: On Friday, Virginia Tech made it official. Said Hokies coach Dennis Wolff: "Uju is the type of impact player everyone is looking for. As good a player as she is, her style of play, personality and charisma will also help raise the bar for our team."

Can anyone remember when Virginia Tech got a women's basketball player Tennessee really wanted? Has this ever happened? Granted, there are special circumstances surrounding the Lady Vols these days. But still....

The Hokies have also added 6-1 Australian forward Hannah Young, "a skilled, versatile player who will add to our depth on the perimeter," Wolff said. This brings to six the total of incoming players for the Hokies for the 2012-13 season.

Ugoka, a 6-0 forward who won't turn 19 until May 23, grew up in Lagos, Nigeria and didn't touch a basketball until four years ago. She's obviously a fast study, though. Two years ago, she earned NJCAA All-America honors and led Grayson Community College (Texas) to a fifth-place finish in the national tournament. After Grayson disbanded its program, Ugoka moved to Gulf State and became a rare two-time Division I JC All-American after averaging 16.6 points and 8.7 rebounds a game.

The additions of Ugoka and Young are just the latest indications that the Hokies are serious about invigorating a program that has languished at or near the bottom of the ACC for years. Earlier this month, the Hokies signed Taijah Campbell, a 6-3 forward from Canada. And in November, Tech landed a three-player class of Alex Kiss-Rusk, Lauren Evans and Alexis Lloyd. Lloyd is ranked No. 81 in ESPN's ranking of the Top 100 recruits for 2012.

The newcomers will look to offset the loss of forwards Brittni Montgomery and LaTorri Hines-Allen, two sophomores who will transfer. They are the fourth players to transfer from Tech since Wolff became head coach last March.

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