EAST GREENSBORO – NC A&T Women’s Basketball head coach Tarrell Robinson announced the addition of four transfers, including two from Presbyterian College.
The four future Aggies are Laila Acox (6-0, Ridgeview High School, Blythewood, S.C.), Maleia Bracone (5-10, T.L. Hanna HS, Anderson, S.C.), Talia Davis (6-0, The Rivers School, Dedham, Mass.) and Nyah Willis (5-10, Valley Christian High School, San Jose, Calif.)
“The one word to describe the young women we signed out the portal in the spring is versatile,” Robinson said. “All four of these young women have the size, talent and skill to play multiple positions for us.”
Acox played her freshman season at East Carolina in 2021-22, playing 11 games and 74 minutes. As a prep standout, A1 Sports and SC Southern Hoops rated Acox the No. 1 recruit in South Carolina. She earned all-state honors as a senior, averaging 22.1 points and 14.8 rebounds. She also played in the South Carolina North/South All-Star Game.
“Laila was the one that got away from us out of high school, and we’re ecstatic that she found her way home,” Robinson said. “She is a force to be reckoned with on both ends of the floor because of her explosion and high-level athleticism. I envision us being able to play fast when she is on the court. Defensively, she will help create turnovers, and offensively, she will be on the finishing end of the turnovers.”
Bracone played two seasons at Presbyterian. She played in 29 games with 28 starts last season, scoring 10.6 points per game. Bracone led the team with 76 assists and 49 steals while averaging 4.6 rebounds. She averaged 8.0 points and 3.7 rebounds in her freshman season in 23.8 minutes per game. She scored in double-figures 10 times and led the team with 35 steals to finish eighth in the Big South Conference with 1.7 steals per game.
“She’s a versatile combo guard that we believe can score at an elite level here,” Robinson said. “She has range from outside and loves to attack the basket off the dribble. Competing against Presbyterian last year in the Big South, she was a person we focused on in our scout. We had then, and even more now, a great amount of respect for her as a basketball player.”
Davis played her freshman season at New Hampshire and played in 26 games with seven starts. She averaged 4.5 points and 2.5 rebounds per game on 39. 8 percent shooting.
She scored a career-high 17 points against Stony Brook, shooting 8-for-12 from the field, and nearly recorded a double-double with a career-high nine rebounds.
“Talia is a forward that can play in the paint and on the perimeter,” Robinson said. “Watching her play on film at New Hampshire, I recognized her ability to shoot the ball from the perimeter with confidence and efficiency. Having post players like Jazmin Harris and Chaniya Clark, who draw a lot of attention, we will need capable forwards that can stretch the defense.”
Willis played the last two seasons at Presbyterian after transferring from Chabot College. Last season, she played in all 30 games with 28 starts. She averaged 8.7 points and 5.5 rebounds and totaled 73 assists.
She started all 21 games in her sophomore season and averaged 28.0 minutes and 8.7 points. In her Blue Hose debut, she scored a team-high 14 points with two blocks at Clemson. She also scored a career-high 21 points on 8-for-13 shooting against UNC Asheville.
“Nayah will be relied on in so many offensive and defensive schemes for us,” Robinson said. “She is a jack of all trades on the floor and a fearless competitor. She will play both wing positions because she can shoot the ball from the outside and attack the basket. She will also be someone we count on to defend our opponent’s key offensive player. Coaching against her last year, I watched her guard everyone from our point guards to our forwards.”
Robinson signed three freshmen in the fall signing period with Taliya Council, Tamyra Council and Keona Curtis joining the NC A&T Women’s Basketball program.