VCU women’s basketball head coach Beth O’Boyle announced the addition of graduate transfer Jessica Ogunnorin on Aug. 24, who has one year of eligibility remaining.
Ogunnorin’s transformation is a unique case and she will be able to play immediately as per the NCAA’s rule on graduate transfers. Players with eligibility remaining who have earned their undergraduate degree may transfer and play immediately if they are pursuing a graduate degree not offered by their previous school.
Born and raised in Athens, Greece, Ogunnorin moved to the United States on a basketball scholarship.
“(Being away from my family) was different but it was part of growing up and I wanted to be independent so it was part of the process,” Ogunnorin said.
Ogunnorin began her college basketball career in 2010 at University of California, Riverside. She was redshirted due to an injury in her first season with the Highlanders. During the 2011-2012 season, she was eligible to play and averaged 8.6 points per game, ranked first on the team in rebounds per game and was third in points per game. That year, Ogunnorin was named Big West All-Academic.
In 2013, O’Boyle began her last season coaching at Stony Brook University, before making the move to VCU. During her last season, she recruited Ogunnorin.
The 6-foot-1 forward averaged 9.0 points per game. Ogunnorin led her team and was third in the conference in rebounding with 7.8 rebounds per game. She was named America East All-Defensive and America East All-Academic.
“She is very aggressive on the boards, both offensively and defensively,” O’Boyle said. “She can also be a really good shutdown defender and has a really smooth pull up jumper. She had some really big games for us when she was at Stony Brook and I think she helps us with our competition in practice. It’s really important when you can create that atmosphere in practice when everyone’s competing.”
Ogunnorin graduated from Stony Brook with a bachelor’s and master’s in public policy. At VCU, she is looking to pursue an education in computer information systems security.
“I was looking for the school to give me the best opportunity academically and challenge me basketball-wise,” Ogunnorin said.
Ogunnorin has only been in the VCU program for three weeks now, but is eager to offer her experience and her mindset of pushing through.
“I’ve been in the college environment for so long and I know Coach O’Boyle,” Ogunnorin said. “The players here are new with her and I can be positive and just show them that by trusting the process, good things happen.”
As second year head coach, it was exciting for O’Boyle to see a familiar face join the program.
“I was really excited, it was a long process with the waiver, but we’re really lucky,” O’Boyle said. “Jesse obviously knows my system and how hard we want to play and complete and she’s very athletic and she’s going to fit in our uptempo style. She’s going to be a battler on the boards for us and that position was something we’re really looking for.”
Sophia Belletti, Staff Writer
Sophia is a sophomore journalism major who writes for the Odyssey in addition to the news, sports and spectrum sections of the CT. Sophia also works in sales at Nordstrom and likes hiking and going to concerts. // Facebook | Twitter | LinkedIn