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December 9, 2008

Future looks bright for women's hoops as four standouts commit to Tech

By: Matt Kovatch

Head women’s basketball coach Beth Dunkenberger may have put together her best recruiting class at Tech with the signing of Porshcia Hadley, Alyssa Fenyn, Abby Redick and Aerial Wilson.

While the women’s basketball season still has about three months to go, it’s never to soon to begin thinking about next year, and the recent signing of four players to national letters-of-intent gives a great opportunity to do so.

Head coach Beth Dunkenberger and the Hokies’ staff will welcome a quartet of talented newcomers for the 2009-10 campaign, a group that includes Porshcia Hadley, a 6-foot-3 center/forward from Montezuma, Ga.; Alyssa Fenyn, a 6-0 guard from Newark, N.Y., Abby Redick, a 6-0 forward from Roanoke, Va.; and Aerial Wilson, a 5-8 guard from Cocoa, Fla.

“What we try to do is fit pieces of the puzzle together, and that’s what we’ve done with this class,” Dunkenberger said. “We needed a good mix. We needed some guards who could come in and be playmakers and we needed some help in the paint, so that’s what we got. I think they will mesh together to be an excellent class.”

Hadley is rated as the No. 52 prospect in the nation by Blue Star Basketball. She averaged 22 points and 18 rebounds per game last season at Macon County High School, where she is a three-time Georgia Class AA first-team selection. She is a Street & Smith’s Sporting News honorable mention All-American and has been an Atlanta Journal-Constitution all-state selection for the past three years.

“Porshcia’s numbers are incredible,” Dunkenberger said. “I don’t care what league you’re playing in or who you’re playing against – if you’re pulling down that many rebounds, that is something special. She is long and lean and she has a knack for getting to the ball off the boards.”

Fenyn is rated as the No. 103 prospect nationally by Blue Star Basketball, and she averaged 20 points and 10 rebounds per game last season at Newark High School. She is a two-time all-state first-team selection and she led her team to the 2008 state semifinals. Fenyn has been a varsity starter since the eighth grade and holds the school record for scoring after breaking the 1,000-point plateau in just her sophomore season. She is a two-time Street & Smith’s Sporting News honorable mention All-American and is a 2008-09 McDonald’s All-American nominee.

“Alyssa is a blonde-haired version of [current Hokie] Brittany Cook,” Dunkenberger raved. “They play very similarly. She’s a little bit of a better ball-handler than Brittany, and she has great 3-point range. She has unlimited potential and should be a special player for us.”

Redick is a local product from Hidden Valley High School and is the sister of former Duke star J.J. Redick. She is missing her senior season after suffering a knee injury, but she averaged 11 points and seven rebounds per game as a junior. A career 1,000-point scorer, she also led the two-time Virginia High School League Group AA champion Titans with 3.6 assists per game. Redick was a 2007 Associated Press first-team all-state selection and was a second-team selection following her junior season. She has been named to The Roanoke Times All-Timesland team on two occasions and was a member of the 2007 AAU national championship team.

“Abby is one of the smartest players I’ve seen,” Dunkenberger said. “She understands every aspect of the game and she’s a coach’s dream because she’ll do all the little things that make good teams become great. I think it takes a strong personality to play locally because there is a lot of pressure, but I think Abby can handle that.”

Finally, Wilson averaged 28 points per contest last season at Rockledge High School, where she finished the year as the second-leading scorer in the state. Wilson was named to the All-Central Florida second team after guiding her squad to a 24-4 record and she has twice been named to the All-Cape Coast team. She scored 33 points with nine steals, six rebounds and five assists in the semifinals of the Florida state tournament and has tallied 1,368 points entering her senior season.

“Aerial is a combo guard who could play the point if we needed her to, but she’s more of a wing scorer,” Dunkenberger said. “She can score in transition, she has a dribble pull-back jumper and she has 3-point range. She’s very explosive and is an ACC-level athlete.”