GREENVILLE, N.C. - Courtney Melvin and Ja'Nesha Ebron have signed national letters-of-intent to play for and attend East Carolina University beginning in the fall of 2011, according to an announcement by head coach Heather Macy Wednesday.
"These ladies are the first two pieces of our signing class and I am excited they chose to become Pirates," Macy said. "They both have experience playing in state championship games and are competitors who believe in our vision."
Melvin (Elizabethtown, N.C.) is the 31st-best post recruit in the nation as ranked by ESPN HoopGurlz. She has led East Bladen High School to the North Carolina 1A and 2A state championship games the last two seasons and has been named the MVP for the East Team on both occasions. The Eagles moved up to the 2A ranks prior to the 2009-10 school year.
"Courtney brings an instant post presence to our team," Macy stated. "She knows how to win and was a major factor in East Bladen reaching the state championship game the past two seasons."
Current ECU assistant coach Ann Hancock holds East Bladen's scoring record with 2,276 points, but Melvin owns 1,729 entering her senior season and she is poised to set a new Eagle standard. The current senior also boasts a school-record 1,003 career rebounds.
"Courtney is a player who we have built our basketball team around," East Bladen varsity head coach Patty Evers said. "She is a big reason as to why we have been to the state title game the past two seasons. I am proud to see her have the opportunity to play at the college level and am glad that she will be working with Coach Hancock, one of East Bladen's own."
During her junior season (2009-10), Melvin averaged 24 points and 12 rebounds. In the state title game and regional championship, she combined to register 48 points and 27 rebounds. Additionally, in the Waccamaw Conference Tournament championship contest, she put in 33 points and grabbed 18 rebounds to lead the Eagles over North Brunswick. Melvin earned a breadth of postseason accolades due to her solid play, including 2010 Associated Press All-State Team honors, a North Carolina Basketball Coaches Association (NCBCA) Region 4 nod, First-Team selection to the Eastern Regional All-Tournament Team, Waccamaw Conference Player-of-the-Year, First-Team All-Waccamaw and Star News and Fayetteville Observer Player-of-the-Year.
Following a sophomore season in which Melvin averaged 19.6 points and 10.7 rebounds per game, she was named to the 1A All-State Team and was recognized as the Southeastern Conference Player-of-the-Year. In addition, Melvin picked up North Carolina Eastern Regional and Star News All-Region recognition.
Melvin began her prep career by putting in 14.4 points and 10.3 rebounds per contest. As a rookie, she was voted East Bladen Basketball MVP. Melvin also earned the first of her three Eastern Regional All-Tournament Team selections while garnering a spot on the Fayetteville Observer and Star News All-Region Teams.
In addition to her basketball prowess, Melvin is a standout volleyball and track athlete. She has collected the East Bladen track MVP award three times and was named to the All-Waccamaw First Team in volleyball her junior and senior campaigns.
Joining Melvin in the Pirate class of 2015 is Ebron, ranked as the 61st-best point guard prospect by ESPN HoopGurlz. Like her future teammate, Ebron (Winterville, N.C.) helped her South Central High School squad to the North Carolina 3A state title game eight months ago where the Falcons dropped a seven-point decision to Gastonia Forestview. She was credited with 16 points in the contest, the Falcons' only loss of the season (29-1).
"Ja'Nesha understands basketball and is a great student of the game," Macy said. "She brings a winner's mentality to our program and will make an impact in the coming seasons."
Ebron passed the 1,000-point mark for her career last season in a game against Wilson Fike as she has 1,050 points to her credit. The current senior averaged 14 points, 5.5 rebounds and 3.9 assists in her 30 appearances last year and was named South Central's MVP.
"We are thrilled that Ja'Nesha will be a part of the East Carolina program," South Central Varsity Head Coach Mary Bryan Carlyle remarked. "ECU has everything to offer her academically and I believe she will fit Coach Macy's playing style and vision perfectly."
Ebron gathered a plethora of accolades at the end of her junior season. She was named to the 3A Eastern Regional All-Tournament Team and the NCBCA District 3 First Team as well as racking up All-Coastal Conference and all-county honors. Ebron was a repeat selection to the all-conference team in 2009 while collecting all-county recognition again in 2008 and 2009. The NCBCA also awarded her in 2009 with a spot on the District 3 Third Team.
Ebron also helped South Central volleyball team to the North Carolina 3A regional championship game this season.