Virginia Recruiting Notes: Basketball Teams Sign Latest Commits

Yonta Vaughn signed with Virginia. ~ Photo courtesy of Virginia Athletics

Virginia women’s basketball coach Amaka Agugua-Hamilton continues to add players to her roster just a few weeks into her tenure. The latest to join the Hoos is Yonta Vaughn out of Bishop McNamara High School in Maryland. UVA announced her signing Monday.

“I’m so excited about Yonta,” Agugua-Hamilton said in the news release. “She is an amazing young talent on and off the floor. She knows exactly what she wants and is not afraid to work hard for it. She is an athletic, high-IQ facilitating point guard who can score at all three levels. She also understands the importance of the defensive side of the ball. She is a culture kid who will enhance our program in a variety of ways. We are blessed to welcome her into our Wahoo Family!”

ESPN HoopGurlz ranked Vaughn as the No. 72 prospect nationally in the 2022 class. She earned Washington Post All-Met honorable mention recognition this season and was second-team All-WCAC. Vaughn originally committed to West Virginia, but reopened her recruitment when WVU coach Mike Carey retired.

This marks the third recruiting pick-up for Agugua-Hamilton and her staff since officially taking the reins on March 21. She added Samantha Brunelle as a transfer from Notre Dame as well as high school senior Cady Pauley earlier in April.

Also Making It Official

Over the weekend, Ben Vander Plas announced his commitment to UVA as a graduate transfer from Ohio. The Cavaliers officially announced his signing on Monday as well. Vander Plas posted 1,572 points and 758 rebounds during his four-year career with the Bobcats.

“We are excited to add Ben to the Virginia basketball family,” Virginia coach Tony Bennett said in a news release. “Ben brings valuable experience, leadership and production to our team. He had an outstanding four-year career at Ohio University, and we look forward to having him join our program.”

“I am very excited to be a part of the basketball family at Virginia,” Vander Plas said in a news release. “The program has a great history of success, and I am looking forward to being able to contribute to continuing that success. I am thankful for the opportunity to be able to play for Coach Bennett and his staff and continue to grow as a person and player this next year. There is a great group of guys in that locker room, and I can’t wait to get to Charlottesville and start working with them.”

Vander Plas joins Kihei Clark and Jayden Gardner as players that will have more than 3,800 minutes of college basketball experience on next season’s roster.

Send It Deep

Houston Curry, who became the first high school commit of the Tony Elliott era in January, launched a deep home run in a Hillcrest High School baseball game last week. He shared the homer on Twitter.

The South Carolina native made the trip to Charlottesville on Saturday for the Virginia Blue-White Spring Game. The family apparently arrived in town at about 4:45 a.m. on Saturday after late-night baseball went to extra innings.

The Cavaliers had fewer than 10 healthy offensive linemen available for Saturday’s Spring Game, but Curry will be one of eight new offensive linemen coming into the program before next season.

More Virginia Visitors

Curry was not the only recruit at Scott Stadium on Saturday. Quite a few players attended the game, including some as part of a Junior Day recruiting event. Coaches and players from New Kent High School and Culpeper High School, for example, were at the UVA game.

A few of the confirmed visitors: Chris McCullers (Woodgrove High OL/DL, 2023), Cole Surber (Patriot High OL, 2023), (Jake Eldridge, IMG (FL) long snapper, 2023), Donte Hawthorne (Massaponax RB, 2023), Tyler Aronson (St. Thomas Aquinas QB, 2024), Jonathan Pennix (Appomattox CB/ATH, 2023), Chanz Wiggins (King George WR, 2024), Mekhai White (King George WR/DB/OLB, 2024), Gideon Davidson (Liberty Christian RB/S, 2025), Clay Ash (Independence High RB/ATH, 2024), Dylan Warren (Milton (GA) QB, 2024), and Jackson Wade (North Paulding (GA) WR/DB, 2023).

On The Road

The Blue-White Game, of course, was just part of the spring recruiting push. Recruits have been regular attendees at spring practices as high schools take spring break weeks. The Virginia coaches hit the road early this week as well.

Here are some of the schools that UVA assistants have visited already this week: Waynesboro, Fishburne, Broadway (Coach John Rudzinski); EC Glass, Staunton River, Liberty Bedford, Jefferson Forest, Brookville, Heritage, Franklin County, Bassett, Martinsville, and Patrick County (Coach Garett Tujague); Midlothian (Coach Kevin Downing); Kecoughtan, Northumberland, Christchurch, Gloucester, and Tabb (Coach Chris Slade); Montgomery Blair/Maryland (Coach Curome Cox); New Kent and J.R. Tucker (Coach Keith Gaither).

Virginia Basketball Sightings

While the football coaches were hosting recruits in Charlottesville this weekend as part of the Spring Game festivities, the Virginia men’s basketball coaches were on the road for an evaluation period weekend at NCAA certified events. UVA coach Tony Bennett was spotted at the Nike EYBL session in Indianapolis on Saturday and the Hoos were represented at the adidas 3SSB on Friday in South Carolina as well.