Women’s basketball inks Amanda Zahui B. to 2012 recruiting class

Betsy Helfand

The Gophers women's basketball team announced Wednesday that it has signed Amanda Zahui B. to a National Letter of Intent to join the 2012 recruiting class. Zahui B. is a 6-foot-5-inch center from Stockholm, Sweden. She has played for the Sweden's national team for the past six years.

Head coach Pam Borton said in a release that Zahui B. will "bring a tremendous amount to our program" and described her as a "very skilled, versatile, and athletic player."

"She is a great rebounder and scorer around the rim and that is something that we need in our program," Borton said in the release. "She is a presence in the paint, and we are looking for Amanda to be a [dominant] force and make an immediate impact."

Zahui B.'s Swedish club team, Telge Basket, won its second consecutive Swedish League Championship on April 14. In 22 regular-season games, she averaged 15.4 points, 11.3 rebounds, and 1.3 blocks.

“I am really excited to join the team at Minnesota,” Zahui B. said in the release. “I really liked how everyone, from the coaching staff to the players, took care of me while I was there. It was really important to me to feel like I was going to be a part of a family and I feel really good about becoming a Gopher."

This is the second consecutive year that the Gophers' have signed a European recruit. Point guard Alex Ionescu, who appeared in 10 games last season as a freshman, hails from Bucharest, Romania.

When Borton took over the program in 2002, Kadidja Andersson, who is also from Sweden, played for the Gophers.

In February, Borton told the Minnesota Daily that Europe was an "untapped market" for recruits and added that they were currently recruiting "a handful of kids in Europe."

Zahui B. joins Mikayla Bailey (Maple Grove, Minn.), Jackie Johnson (Eden Prarie, Minn.),  and Shayne Mullany (Eden Prarie, Minn.) as the fourth member of the 2012 recruiting class. 

"The signing of Amanda elevates our 2012 recruiting class from a good one to a great one," Borton said in the release. "Obviously, for us to sign a blue-chip player like Amanda really puts an exclamation point on this year’s class.”