By Chris Sharp
Ahyiona Vason, a sophomore guard for the Pirates, will be joining the University of North Carolina Wilmington (UNCW) women’s basketball team after making her official signing November 8 in the Lou Ross Center.
Vason started in 27 of 28 games, contributing 9.9 points per game (ppg) and earning an average of 16.4 minutes per game over the course of her freshman season.
Vason also managed to shoot 71 percent from the free throw line. While playing defense, Vason grabbed 44 rebounds and collected 54 steals, proving to a be talented defensive player.
She attended Jefferson Davis High School in Montgomery, Alabama, accomplishing two State Championships, All-Metro first team, All-USA Alabama second team and the ASWA Class 7A First Team.
“It is a highlight for her, to have the opportunity to get seen a lot earlier. Opposed to being signed in the spring shows how good of a player she is,” said Women’s Basketball Head Coach Clenita “Penny” Belford.
Vason had to decide between several programs such as New Mexico State University and Coastal Carolina, but ultimately decided to choose UNCW after making her official visit to campus.
“The team made me feel very welcomed. They made me feel like I needed to be there,” said Vason.
UNCW Women’s Head Basketball Coach Karen Barefoot knows she is getting a player with a lot of potential.
“We are excited that she picked us over several Power 5 schools and can’t wait for her to join our program. She is a very quick guard who is as tough as nails. Ahyiona is one of the best defenders I have seen during my coaching career,” said Barefoot to UNCW staff.
“I know I can bring a lot of energy defensively and offensively,” said Vason. “I can benefit the team when they (UNCW) are in transition.”
As the new season begins, coach Belford is confident in Vason’s future and her development as a player.
“I just wish her the best. If she continues to do what she has done for us here, continue to take her game to the next level and continue to be a facilitator and a leader, the sky is the limit,” said Belford.