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UAA women’s basketball team adds top prospects from Alaska, Nevada

  • Author: Anchorage Daily News
  • Updated: November 17, 2020
  • Published November 17, 2020

The rich got richer this week at UAA.

The UAA women’s basketball team, which has posted a staggering 185-17 record since November 2014, added two recruits for the 2021-22 season, including a top prospect from Alaska and an all-state player from Nevada.

Signing with the Seawolves are Sunny Pedebone of Anchorage and Taysia “Tubby” Tovia of Las Vegas. Both are 5-foot-8 forwards who will be freshmen next season.

Pedebone played two years at West High before transferring to Anchorage Christian last school year. She averaged 8.0 points, 3.1 rebounds, 1.6 assists and 1.8 steals as a junior for an ACS team that was 27-1 when the season was canceled in March because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

UAA coach Ryan McCarthy called her “one of the best players in our state.”

“What has been most impressive about Sunny is how well-rounded her game is,” McCarthy said in a UAA release about the signings. “She does the things that it takes to win — obviously something that’s extremely important in our program.”

Tovia played for Liberty High School in Las Vegas, where two of her teammates signed with Division I teams this week.

She was the co-MVP of Nevada’s Southeast League last season with per-game averages of 10.4 points, 6.6 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 2.2 steals. She ranks No. 5 on the NBCA’s 2020-21 ‘Tremendous 10’ list and is considered one of the top prospects in Nevada.

“To say we are excited to have her at UAA is an understatement," McCarthy said. "She can score at all three levels, is a great rebounder, and competes at an elite level. ... We believe she will have a special career.”

The 2020-21 season has been canceled but McCarthy said all of his players from last season’s 31-2 team plan to return next year except for one — Amelia Motz, a 5-10 forward who transferred to UAA from Division I Iona last year and averaged eight minutes per game. UAA’s other seniors will take the extra year of eligibility the NCAA is giving to players whose season is canceled because of COVID-19, McCarthy said.

Pedebone is McCarthy’s latest in-state recruit. She’ll join a team that includes Tennae Voliva, Jahnna Hajdukovich and Nicole Pinckney of Anchorage, Elaina Mack of King Cove, Alexia Novelli of Wasilla and Sierra Tate of Fairbanks.