Transfer filling big shoes for CU women's hoops
When Aaronette Vonleh entered the transfer portal last year, Colorado head coach JR Payne didn't waste a single second.
"I mean as soon as she went in and I saw her name in there I immediately texted her, called her and she said 'I'd love to talk,'" said Payne.
CU's coach knew she needed someone to help replace Mya Hollingshed. The only player in the PAC-12 last season to lead her team in points, rebounds and 3-pointers made.
That meant the transfer from Arizona was going to face high expectations.
"It's hard to fill the shoes of a player who has been here for so many years and had such a big impact," said Vonleh. "I put that pressure on myself but I think the coaches have done a good job not putting that much pressure on me and wanting me to do what I can do."
So dealing with expectations is nothing new for Aaronette. Her older brother Noah was an NBA lottery pick back in 2014 and that can be seen as both a burden and a benefit.
"I guess it was a motivator, just wanting to live up to where he's at," said Vonleh. "it's nice to be related to somebody who has achieved all the great stuff he's done but it's nice to make my own path, my own name, my own thing."
And so far, so good. Aaronette is 2nd on the Buffs in scoring and rebounding and while she's only hit 1, 3-pointer, that seems destined to change.
"Yesterday we were doing an end-of-game scenario and she said coach ran a 3-point play for me," Payne recalled. "I'm like OK, I drew something up and she hit the 3 and her team won the game. I'm telling you she's gonna be great!"
If practice makes perfect, the sky's the limit for this sophomore standout.
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