TUCSON, Ariz.- Arizona women’s basketball head coach Joan Bonvicini today announced that she has received National Letters of Intent for the 2006-07 academic year from Rheya and Rhaya Neabors of Fullerton, Calif., Marie McGee of Las Cruces, N.M., and Beatrice and Suzanne Bofia, junior college transfers from Illinois Central College by way of Yaounde, Cameroon, Africa.
"This is potentially the best recruiting class we’ve had here at Arizona," Bonvicini said. "These student-athletes have the total package- they are great players, great people and great students.
"This is the first time I’ve ever had a set of twins and now I have two," she continued. "Our team is very close, like a family, and the twin connections will make us even closer and our team more special. We like to call them the Twin Powers (Neabors) and Twin Towers (Bofias)."
The Neabors twins played their freshmen seasons at Ayala High School in Chino, Calif., before moving to Fullerton, where they have played the past two seasons at Fullerton Troy High School.
Rheya Neabors, a 6-2 forward, is ranked No. 31 by The Blue Star Report heading into her senior season. She’s also listed as No. 16 at the position and 86th overall by the All-Star Girls Report (ASGR). A two-time Freeway League first team selection, she was named MVP of the Troy Tournament in 2004-05 and has been named to every all-tournament team in which she has participated in each of the last two years. In addition, she was named All-CIF in 2003-04 and was the state regional semifinals player of the game. Last year as a junior, she was the CIF Division II AA MVP.
Rhaya Neabors, a 6-1 forward, is ranked No. 56 by Blue Star. She’s also listed in ASGR. Also a two-time Freeway League first team selection, she, too, has been named to every all-tournament team in each of the last two years. Rhaya was a second team All-CIF selection in 2003-04 and a first team pick last season as a junior. She was also named first team all-county in 2004-05.
"The Neabors twins come from an outstanding high school program and were 2005 state champions," Bonvicini says. "Troy’s style of play is very similar to ours- an up-tempo, pressing style - so their transition should be easy. They can play anywhere from post to point, and their versatility should make them contributors right away."
A 5-9 guard from Mayfield High School, McGee is a two-time team captain and has twice been named all-district and all-state honorable mention. She was part of the 2004 state championship team at Mayfield and was named to the all-tournament teams at the Gallup and Hobbs Tournaments.
"Marie is an outstanding athlete with a tremendous work ethic and inner drive," Bonvicini says. "She plays for a great high school program and coach and is accustomed to winning and success. We will look for Marie to play the off-guard and point positions, which will be a change for her from high school, but we anticipate an easy transition due to her drive. Marie is excited to finally be a Wildcat and so are we!"
The jewels of the class are the Bofia twins. At 6-6 (Suzanne) and 6-7 (Beatrice), they are the world’s tallest female twins. Both played in the 2003 Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Mozambique with the Camerounian National Team. Last year, their Illinois Central team placed second nationally in the National Junior College Athletic Association Division II, and Suzanne was named to the NJCAA all-tournament team.
"We first heard about the Bofia’s about a year ago, but it wasn’t until Amina arrived that we really took a serious look," Bonvicini says. "We knew they were very good, but they have exceeded every expectation. They are highly skilled with great mobility. Beatrice has a classic hook shot and excellent moves around the basket. She also has the ability to dunk! Suzy is an excellent shooter from 17’, has the ability to put it on the floor, as well as post moves. They have been well coached and come from a strong junior college program."