GREENSBORO, N.C. - UNC Greensboro's women's basketball team has signed high school seniors Nneka Awuruonye and Breonna Patterson to National Letters of Intent to play for the Spartans next season, coach Lynne Agee announced Thursday.
Charlotte, N.C., native Awuruonye (pronounced NEH-ka ah-RUN-yay) is a 6-1 forward out of Providence Day School. The All-Charlotte Independent School Athletic Association performer helped the Chargers to a 25-5 record and the North Carolina Independent Schools Athletic Association's 3A title game in 2008-09, her first season at the school. Awuruonye averaged 11 points and eight rebounds per game under Providence Day coach Josh Springer after an all-conference season at Charlotte's South Mecklenburg High School in 2007-08.
Awuruonye played one season of AAU ball for the Garner Flames under coach Arne Morris.
"Awuruonye is a strong, skilled post player," Agee said. "She can go right or left, she runs the floor. She follows plays well and has a real good instinct for the game. She's a solid rebounder and is a good, strong body. Of course, she is an excellent student and thinking about something in the sciences. I think she will give us a missing piece in our post game. She'll face up to the basket, as well, but she's very strong block-to-block with either hand. She has some nice moves already."
Patterson, a Greensboro native, helped Dudley High School to a 30-3 mark and a 3A state title as a junior last season. The 5-6 guard was the Triad 3A Defensive Player of the Year and a second-team all-area selection by the News & Record in 2008-09. She averaged 16.5 points, 4.0 rebounds and 4.3 assists per game under Dudley coach Kris Britton and scored 23 points in the state championship game to lead the Panthers past Gastonia Forestview, 60-58.
Patterson has helped Dudley to three straight Triad 3A regular-season championships and was a member of the state tournament all-tournament team last year. On the club level, she played for the Lady Phoenix Elite AAU team for coach Delaney Rudd.
"Patterson is our first local in a long time who can make an impact, I think," Agee said. "We're excited about her. Her strength is her quickness and her speed. She can flat-out run. She steals the ball, she's very active with her hands and is an excellent defender. She really plays up-tempo. We're looking forward to using her in our pressure defenses, and I think she'll fit in well here."
UNCG opens the 2009-10 season Saturday when it hosts Morgan State at 3 p.m. at Fleming Gym.
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