Tuesday, May 12, 2020
AIKEN, S.C. - The University of South Carolina Aiken, in conjunction with head women's basketball coach Mark Miller, is pleased to announce the signing of Tashawni Cornfield, Vera Mäenpää and Chidinma Okafor.
The three will join Kirstyn Lunniss, Delaney Trushel and Emily Trushel as part of a six-person incoming class.
Cornfield is a 5-8 guard from Gowanda, N.Y. The Lakeshore H.S. standout netted a school-record 1,420 career points. She accounted for 1,560 markers in her career, including her senior year at Putnam Science Academy. Cornfield holds the Lakeshore H.S. record for points in a season (462) and made three-point field goals in a game with six. For her career, she added 718 rebounds, 445 steals and 182 assists. Cornfield played AAU with the Titans, Gauchos and RSBA.
"Tashawni is an explosive, athletic guard, who can play on both ends of the court," Miller said. "Her ability to affect the game with her toughness and competitive fire will have an immediate impact on our team."
Mäenpää is a 5-6 guard from Hyvinkää, Finland. She led her team to a pair of Nordic Championships in 2017 and 2018. Mäenpää helped the squad register three B Division titles while also capturing the 2019 A Division Championship. She guided her squad to a gold and two silver medals in U-19 and a bronze in U-16. She is a member of the Finnish National Team program and was selected to play on the U20 National Team in the FIBA Championship in August.
"Vera is a smart, tough point guard who has the ability to beat you off the bounce as well as shoot the three," Miller stated. "Her high basketball IQ gives us another guard that can lead our offense and make her teammates better."
Okafor is a 6-3 center from Santa Clarita, Calif. A two-time all-Foothill league honoree at Canyon H.S., Okafor picked up second-team all-San Fernando Valley her senior campaign. Voted the SCV Newcomer of the Year as a junior after totaling 13.1 points, 12.7 rebounds and 3.4 blocks, Okafor swatted a career-high 12 blocks that year against Chaminade. She posted a career-high 32 points against Hart as a senior while pulling down a career-best 22 boards her senior season against Village Christian. As a senior, Okafor averaged 16 points, 11 rebounds, four blocks and three steals a game.
"Chidinma is an athletic post who can run the floor and score on the block as well as on the perimeter," Miller said. "Her length on the defensive end of the floor will help anchor our defense."