Neamo, Nwagbo Pick Schools

DuVal seniors Vernessa Neamo and Chinny Nwagbo have decided where they will continue their educations and basketball careers after high school, which means they have one less thing to worry about this year.

Neamo, a 5-foot-9 guard-forward, committed to George Mason University, while Nwagbo, a 6-foot forward, committed to Syracuse. They will sign national letters-of-intent when the early signing period begins Nov. 10.

"I didn't want to go throughout my senior year worrying about where I was going to go to school," said Neamo, who also considered the University of Maryland. "Now that I've decided, it's one less stress. . . . But just because I've signed doesn't mean I can slack off. I have to keep working. It's just a relief to know where I'm going after high school. I'm very happy."

Nwagbo said she chose Syracuse over Tulane, George Mason, Pittsburgh and Saint Louis. "It has the best academics all-around and the basketball program is strong," said Nwagbo, who hopes to major in premedicine. "It just came out on top."

Neamo averaged 21 points and Nwagbo averaged 14 points and 11 rebounds last season as the Tigers posted a 24-5 record en route to winning the Maryland 3A championship.

Gwynn Park Sets Up a Win

The Gwynn Park volleyball team had been waiting for a chance to play one of the county's top 4A programs. When the opportunity finally came Thursday night at Bowie, the Yellow Jackets responded with a 9-15, 15-12, 15-4, 16-14 victory.

"The girls were definitely looking forward to this match, because they always hear a lot about the Bowie and Eleanor Roosevelt volleyball teams," Gwynn Park Coach Marc Moore said. "We wanted to show that we could compete with the 4A teams."

Both teams have dominated county opponents in their respective leagues over the past three seasons--Bowie in 4A and Gwynn Park in 3A (though the Yellow Jackets have dropped to 2A this year)--yet they never played each other in that time.

Gwynn Park has not lost to a Prince George's County school since 1997, a span of 32 matches. The Yellow Jackets were led by senior hitters Reita Ward (17 kills) and Donna Williams (13 kills). Kelly Fitzpatrick, a 5-foot-8 senior, set a school record with 11 blocks, smashing the previous record of six (held by 6-2 Chonell Ford, who is a freshman volleyball player at Coppin State).

"We played well against a really strong team at their place, and I definitely think that's a confidence booster," said Moore, whose team could meet Centennial, winners of seven state titles, in the 2A South Region final. "We lost nine seniors off of last year's team, so we have a young team. For that young talent to start to believe in themselves is a good sign."