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It's official: the best girls basketball player in the history of Section 1 is headed to the best program in the country.
Ossining girls basketball standout Saniya Chong made a verbal commitment on Saturday morning to play for the University of Connecticut. The 5-foot-9 senior guard was making her official visit to the campus in Storrs, Conn. this weekend, ending two-year recruiting process.
Chong informed MSG Varsity of her decisions minutes after telling the UConn coaching staff.
"I would actually say this is something I didn't expect," Chong said while watching UConn practice on Saturday morning. "I didn't expect that I'd come here and absolutely love it this much. It's the perfect fit."
Chong, the two-time MSG Varsity girls basketball player of the year for the Hudson Valley, made official visits recently to Louisville and Ohio State.
"I went back and forth and really didn't know what she was going to decide," Ossining coach Dan Ricci said. "She's a private person and she wanted to go through the process."
Chong has been a starter since she was a freshman and topped the 2,000-point plateau this season, leading Ossining to its second straight Section 1 Class AA title. As a junior she averaged 33.3 points, 9.7 assists, 5.2 rebounds, 5.0 steals and 1.4 blocks per game.
In 70 career varsity games, Chong has led Ossining to a 61-9 record and averaged 29.4 points, 6.8 assists, 5.9 reboundss, and 5.2 steals per game.
Ossining reached the state semifinal, losing to eventual champ Cicero-North Syracuse and star Breanna Stewart, who's now a freshman at UConn.
According to Ricci, UConn coach Geno Auriemma said the school is only recruiting two players from the class of 2013.
Chong said the UConn staff said she could play a big a role as a freshman.
"They're graduating three guards and I could play a big role handling the ball," she said. "I'm really happy and really excited."
Chong said making the decision was a relief.
"It shows how far our program has come," Ricci siad. "The only thing missing now is a state championship and she's going to lead us to that this season."
SANIYA CHONG PROFILE
Stats by season:
Freshman: 22 games, 449 pts, 116 asts, 132 rebs, 99 steals
Sophomore: 24 games, 812 pts, 155 asts, 155 rebs, 143 steals
Junior: 24 games, 799 pts, 232 asts, 125 rebs, 120 steals
TOTALS: 70 games, 2,060 pts, 473 asts, 412 rebs, 362 steals
AVERAGES: 29.4 ppg, 6.8 asts, 5.9 rebs, 5.2 steals
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