Sarah Imovbioh is making an impact on the Virginia women's basketball team just eight games into her college career.
The 6-foot-2 forward leads UVA with 6.6 rebounds per game, and her 12.4 points per contest is 0.1 of a point behind junior Ataira Franklin for the team lead.
Imovbioh has made and attempted the most free throws on Virginia, and is also #1 in the ACC in field goal percentage (68.1%).
"I even surprised myself that I was able to contribute this much," says Imovbioh, "but I guess my work this summer really helped me."
Imovbioh led St. Anne's-Belfield to the state championship game in her senior season, averaged 29 points and 22.6 rebounds per game for the Saints, but had to sit out last year with the Cavaliers due to a gap in her high school enrollment while living in Nigeria.
Senior center Simone Egwu says, "I think she learned a lot from watching. You gain a lot of experience watching a team work, and win, and lose. I think her basketball IQ has really improved from that."
Virginia head coach Joanne Boyle says while still a raw talent, Imovbioh is always finding a way to contribute.
"She's just a physical specimen," says Boyle. "You see her, and she's an unbelievable athlete. She's really just learning the game. Right now she's honestly just going off hard work, and having a nose where the basketball is."
Imovbioh says, "Rebounding is something that I love doing, so when the ball goes up, my mind is on the ball. It's something that comes to me naturally."
"Sarah is a great rebounder," adds Egwu. "She's so athletic. She comes out of nowhere to get the ball."
Imovbioh is currently classified as a sophomore, but NCAA rules state she could earn her fourth year back if she earns 80% of her degree by her fifth year.
If that does happen, she will play that fourth year as a graduate student.
Coach Boyle says, "I don't know that I know her ceiling right now. I can't imagine how talented she can be as a senior. When she really understands basketball, she's going to be really good."
Virginia returns to action December 18th, when they host Coppin State at 7pm.
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