- Category: Sports
21 Jun 2012
- Written by Tri-State Defender Newsroom
The University of Memphis women's basketball team added another local talent to the roster Tuesday as Central High School alum Jamila "Mimi" Ajanaku has decided to transfer to the Tigers from Middle Tennessee.
"Mimi was the first recruit I sat with when I took the Memphis job," Head Coach Melissa McFerrin said. "Unfortunately for us, she was so far down the road with Middle Tennessee in recruiting. When she contacted us about returning home for family reasons, it gave us a tremendous opportunity.
"She is from the city of Memphis, from a great high school program and already has high level collegiate experience," said McFerrin. "She is also a very high character student-athlete and will help aid in the leadership of a youthful team."
Ajanaku played in 38 career games at Middle Tennessee, where the 6-1 guard went to three straight NCAA tournaments (2010, 2011, and 2012). In 2012, Ajanaku appeared in 13 games, making two starts, averaging 1.3 points and 0.6 rebounds, while helping Middle Tennessee to a 26-7 overall record.
"As far as the transfer, I've always associated change with progress and I am very excited to play ball in my hometown," said Ajanaku.
As a prep player coming out of Central High School, where she played basketball under former Tiger Niki Bray, Ajanaku ranked as high as No. 20 in the country at the wing position by ESPN.com. She was named to The Commercial Appeal Best of Preps Class 3A team and helped Central to the state championship game in 2009.
Ajanaku also played AAU ball for Memphis Flight and Tennessee Flight Silver, where she was coached by Greg James. Her Tennessee Flight Silver squad won the 2008 Nike National Championship title.
The daughter of Pearl Washington and Dr. Karanja A. Ajanaku, she is majoring in psychology at Memphis and will pursue a possible waiver from the NCAA transfer rule in hopes of playing in the 2012-13 season.
Ajanaku will join five new Tiger teammates who are already at Memphis in summer school, as well as a returning corps of second team all-conference honoree Nicole Dickson, starting point guard Bilqis Abdul-Qaadir and letterwinners Krishunda Harvey, Ann Jones, Lauren McGraw and Jailyn Norris.