GREENSBORO, N.C. – UNCG women’s basketball head coach Trina Patterson announced two signings for the upcoming season. Patterson and the Spartans will welcome transfers Kianna Funderburk and Rhianna Council to the UNCG basketball family.
Funderburk transfers to UNCG from Vermont where she played in 24 of 30 games as a true freshman last season. Council joins UNCG from St. Bonaventure where she earned two letters and played in 54 games over the last two seasons. Council played her prep career at Northern High in Durham. These two players join Jacksonville, North Carolina native Areon Laurent to make up the incoming class. Laurent earned four letters for the Cardinals and was the Player of the Year by the Jacksonville Daily News. Funderburk and Council will redshirt because of NCAA Division I transfer rules.
“I believe that we were able to fulfill a need with this incoming class.” Patterson said, “We were able to add athleticism and size to fit in well with our system. These three players are versatile as they are able to make plays for their teammates as well as for themselves.”
Funderburk was a three-year letterwinner from Myers Park High in Charlotte during her prep career under head coach Barbara Nelson. She was twice a Southwestern 4A All-Conference selection and led the Mustangs to a State championship during the 2014-15 season. She was named a team captain and was selected to the Title IX All-Tournament team. She played in the North Carolina East-West All-Star game as a senior.
During her freshman season at Vermont, Funderburk averaged over eight minutes a game, scored 1.5 points per contest and grabbed 17 steals in limited action.
“Kianna plays with composure and has a great understanding of how to create her own shot.” Patterson said, “Her size gives her advantages as she plays the point and combo guard position.”
Council played the last two seasons with the St. Bonaventure Bonnies. She averaged 2.8 points and 2.2 rebounds as a sophomore. She scored a career-high 12 points against Davidson last January. As a freshman she averaged 2.2 points and 1.4 rebounds per game.
She competed for Northern High under head coach Pam Adams of the PAC 6 during her prep career. She averaged 25.1 points and 9.8 rebounds per game and was named the 2016 Piedmont Athletic Conference Player of the Year. She was one of 140 players nationwide to be selected to the FIBA U17 World Championship team and was a First Team All-Conference selection all four seasons. She earned her team’s extra effort award and was the team’s Most Valuable Player and participated in the Raleigh vs. Durham All Star game to cap her prep career.
“Rhianna can score the ball.” Patterson said, “Likewise, she plays well without the ball. She has played very well in high-level games. I love the energy that she brings.”
Laurent averaged 16.6 points and 6.6 rebounds per game as a senior. She was a 44-percent shooter from the floor and led her team with 58 3-pointers.
“The sky is the limit for Areon.” Patterson said, “She is super competitive, highly skilled and athletic. I believe that she will quickly adjust to the college game as a freshman because of her work ethic and basketball IQ.”