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Asoro signs on to strengthen North's line-up; BASKETBALL.

CHRIS BUNTEN can sense the Swede smell of success after signing yet another hoops ace to his talent-stacked roster ahead of the new season.

The Team Northumbria playcaller has followed up last week's swoop for Belgian guard Chloe Bully by adding hot prospect Abi Asoro.

The former Daytona State standout and twotime JUCO All-American arrives on Tyneside today - and Bunten admitted: "I'm super excited.

"She had an incredible pedigree but injuries have held her back in the last year.

"That's something we're acutely aware of but we have a programme in place to get her back to her best.

"I have been open and honest with her - if she commits to her strength and conditioning programme and gets back to 100% health she will be the best player the WBBL has seen.

"Her defensive game is second to none and Abi is exactly what we need to compete with the best teams in the WBBL and BUCS."

Asoro is a Swedish international and was recruited by NCAA powerhouse Western Virginia State earlier this year.

The Stetsons had high hopes for the versatile forward/guard but a potentially rewarding move didn't work out.

"I think there were certain issues within the programme that meant Abi didn't feel entirely comfortable," added Bunten.

"And I know she wanted to be closer to home after several years in the States.

"A couple of members of her family have recently moved to the North East and of course that was a huge factor.

"TN have signed a player who can go on and enjoy a successful career as a professional in the future - it's my job to prime Abi for that step up."

Asoro earned honourable mention NJCAA All-America honours with Daytona State in 2012-13.

She ranked second in the nation in scoring, averaging 23.4 points and 10.1 rebounds per game for the Falcons.

In 2013-14, Asoro was selected for the WBCA Coaches' All-America Team as a member of Iowa Western.

She averaged 18.6 points and 9.4 rebounds per game, helping lead the Reivers to a 25-7 record and a Region XI Championship.

A native of Stockholm, Sweden, Asoro earned MVP honours for the Under 18 Swedish National Team.

In 2011 she helped Sweden capture the Nordic Championship and was named to the All-Star Team.

She also competed in the 2011 European Championship, in which Sweden finished runnerup.

In 2009, Asoro was part of the Under 16 Swedish National Team that competed in the Under 16 Olympic Games. She also participated in the Baltic Sea Cup for three straight years.

"You just have to look at the individual and team honours that Abi has racked up in a relatively short time to realise she's a very special player," added Bunten.

"If you add her into the mix then it's clear these are exciting times for the basketball programme at Northumbria University."

Bunten still hopes to confirm three further signings before preseason is out with two familiar faces in the frame.

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Northumbria new girl |Abi Asoro arrives today

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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Date:Sep 11, 2015
Words:508
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