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Appalachian State Women’s Basketball Adds Five to Roster

App State women’s basketball coach Alaura Sharp announced the signing of true freshmen Hekla Nökkvadóttir and Jazlyn Harris, junior transfer Emily Hege, and senior transfers Mara Neira and Georgia Gray on Friday. The quintet will join the Mountaineers for the 2024-25 season.

“Our program got better with the addition of these five players,” said head coach Alaura Sharp. “They all represent everything that embodies Mountaineer Women’s Basketball. They are winners and play with competitive excellence.”

Georgia Gray | 6-3 | F | Melbourne, Australia | Mooroolbark College | Dodge City CC & Idaho
Hailing from Melbourne, Australia, Gray will join the Mountaineers as a forward and plans on studying journalism. Gray joins the Mountaineers after spending her junior season at Idaho, where she appeared in the season opener against Walla Walla. Prior to her time at Idaho, Gray competed at Dodge City Community College, where she appeared in 64 games for the Conquistadors. She was a Victorian State Team Basketball U20 bronze medalist and played for the Hawthorn Magic club team prior to starting her collegiate career. Gray enjoys reading and spending time with family and friends. She also has a background in dance, loves camping and water sports, was the champion by age for her high school for six consecutive years and remains her high school’s record holder for the backstroke.

Why Gray Chose App State: “I wanted to play and grow as a player and person under Coach Sharp.”

Sharp on Gray: “Georgia has all of the tools to be a great player at App State. She brings us great size and athleticism on the interior. Her commitment to player development is why she chose us and why we want her in our program. She defends and rebounds at a high level while being a capable scorer inside.”

Jazlyn Harris | 5-7 | G | Charlotte, N.C. | Quality Education Academy
Charlotte native Jazlyn Harris will join the Mountaineers as a guard while pursuing a degree in exercise science. During her high school career, Harris was named 2022 NCHSAA State Championship Most Outstanding Player. She was also named 2023 Pepsi Carolina Classic Champion and All-Star Team selection. Harris enjoys shopping and playing video games. She also has a twin, can juggle, and was a member of the inaugural women’s flag football team at her high school.

Why Harris Chose App State: “Coach Sharp has believed in me for a long time and I know she will help mold me into a better basketball player and a young woman. There is no wrong time to make the right decision.”

Sharp on Harris: “Jazz is someone I have had the chance to recruit and build a relationship with for a long time. She has a really high ceiling as a player and we are looking forward to her developing quickly in our program. She excels in the open floor and has a knack for knifing through defenses and finding ways to score or create for others.”

Emily Hege | 5-7 | G | Lexington, N.C. | North Davidson HS | Wingate
Joining the Mountaineers as a junior transfer from Wingate is Emily Hege. Hege helped the Bulldogs to an appearance in the DII NCAA Tournament and earned a DII All-American Honor Mention, as well as First-Team All-Southeast Region, First-Team All-SAC, Academic All-District honors for the 2023-24 campaign. She also recorded a career-high 32 points in a single game, which was the most at Wingate since 2007. As a freshman, she was named SAC Freshman of the Year and garnered Second-Team All-SAC honors. She also led a highly decorated high school career and competed for the Lady Phoenix club team. Hege intends on studying exercise science. She also has ties to App State, as her father, Brian Hege, played basketball and baseball for the Mountaineers from 1992-96. Hege enjoys being outside, spending time with family, kayaking, and golfing.

Why Hege Chose App State: “I chose App State because I believe this program can do remarkable things under Coach Sharp, and I am excited for the future of this program. The team was very welcoming and I know that I’ll be surrounded by a great group of people. It’s special to me since my dad played here, so I’m ready to come in and work hard to help the team be as successful as possible. I’m thankful for the doors that God has opened and for the opportunity to make an impact here.”

Sharp on Hege: “Emily was an important commitment for us and I am excited she chose to be a Mountaineer. She is a proven scorer and knows how to compete and impact the game. Her awards and accomplishments tell a lot about her as a basketball player but the work ethic and drive behind the scenes is what makes her really good. App State is in her blood and she will represent our program with great pride.”

Mara Neira | 5-8 | G | Galicia, Spain | IES Primeiro de Marzo | Eastern Wyoming College & Presbyterian
Neira joins the Mountaineers as a senior transfer guard from Presbyterian. Under Coach Sharp’s direction at Presbyterian, Neira helped the Blue Hose to a Big South Tournament title as well as the program’s first win at the NCAA Tournament. Neira, who boasted a team-high 3-point percentage (.313) and averaged 11.2 points per game as well as 4.4 rebounds per contest, was a 2024 All-Big South Tournament Team selection. Prior to her time at Presbyterian, the Galicia, Spain native competed at Eastern Wyoming College. While at EWC, Neira was a two-time All-Region selection and collected EWC All-Tournament, Big South All-Tournament, and Holiday Hoops Classic All-Tournament Team honors. Neira intends on studying psychology and enjoys traveling, is fluent in three languages and used to play badminton. She also enjoys going to the beach and spending time with family and friends.

Why Neira Chose App State: “After winning a championship with this coaching staff, I couldn’t say no to App State and Coach Sharp. The campus environment and the amazing athletic facilities made this an easy decision. ”

Sharp on Neira: “I am really thankful for the opportunity to continue coaching Mara. Her growth and development over the last two years is nothing but impressive. She is a winner and understands how to compete at a high level. She is a three level scorer and takes pride on both ends of the floor.”

Hekla Nökkvadóttir | 5-10 | G | Grindavík, Iceland | Fjölbrautaskóli Suðurnesja
Nökkvadóttir, who hails from Grindavík, Iceland, will join the Mountaineers as a guard and intends on studying psychology. While in Iceland, Nökkvadóttir played for the U15, U16, U18, and U20 Icelandic national teams. She was also named 2021 Grindavík Woman Athlete of the Year. Nökkavadóttir also has a cousin who plays basketball at Penn State and a cousin who plays professional basketball in Spain. She loves to travel with family and friends and enjoys cooking.

Why Nökkvadóttir Chose App State: “I chose App State because of the coaching staff and the education. I believe I can grow both as a player and a person at App State.”

Sharp on Nökkvadóttir: “Hekla has competed at a high level on her Icelandic National Team. She was an impact player for them and will do the same here at App. She will bring us great size and length on the perimeter with the addition of the ability to score at three levels. She has a tremendous work ethic and high basketball IQ.”