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Jan. 13, 2006

by Cathy Bongiovi-Stewart

Growing up in Philadelphia, a hotbed for producing women’s basketball greats like Debbie Ryan, Dawn Staley, and Sharneé Zoll, freshman Enongé Stovall was introduced to playing basketball as a youngster.

“My mom was on the internet, and she found the Philadelphia Belles’ clinic,” said Stovall, whose first name is pronounced EE-nong-gay and is Swahili for beautiful wish. “She took me down to the clinics and then summer camps. I joined the team.”

Point guard Sharneé Zoll was a member of the Belles and may have helped make Stovall’s decision to come to Virginia a little easier.

“I followed Virginia since eighth grade, because they were the first to start showing interest,”. Stovall shared. “Sharneé and I played for the same AAU organization- the Philadelphia Belles. She was a year older than me. I used to watch her play. She is a very good player.

“When it came down to deciding to come to Virginia, I knew I would know some people here. It made my decision easier, plus it’s a really good school for me to further my education, and it has great coaching.”

The 5-11 wing was rated the 40th best player in the country by Blue Star Index and 46th by All-Star Girls’ Report as a prep. An honorable mention All-American selection by Street & Smith’s, Stovall was also a first-team All-Southeastern Pennsylvania Girls’ Basketball Team by the Philadelphia Inquirer.

“Enongé is a very athletic guard,” head coach Debbie Ryan said. “She will probably be one of the best defensive athletic guards in the country. She adds a lot of our program.”

Also a two-time first-team all-state honoree and two-time All-Catholic League MVP from Archbishop Carroll High School, Stovall averaged 11 points, 1.7 blocks, and 3.5 steals a game as a junior. In her first year at UVa, the guard has played in 12 games as a reserve, adding 2.0 ppg and 2.5 rpg.

Along with her Philadelphia roots, Stovall was influenced by her father and older brother, who both played football. Her father Maurice, Sr., played at Cheyney, while brother Maurice, Jr., recently completed his senior season at Notre Dame where he was a wide receiver.

“My brother and I both played sports while we were growing up,” Stovall said. “We were both athletic. My parents always tried to keep us active.”

Keeping active at the University of Virginia has not been a problem for Stovall, who shares that her biggest adjustment to collegiate life has been focusing in the classroom.

“I was not used to things coming easily, but I could get away with a lot of things (in high school) and doing just enough to get by,” she revealed. “I can’t do that here. You have to work for everything you get.”

While she hasn’t declared a major yet, Stovall would like to follow in the footsteps of alumna Katie Couric.

“I want to go into communications,” Stovall said. “I want to be a television commentator.”

With her hard work on and off the court, Stovall is happy to be a Cavalier.

“I picked UVa, because I wanted a good education as well as a good team to play on,” she added. “It’s a good conference- the ACC is the best conference. I just liked the atmosphere and the surroundings.”

Enongé’s Favorites
Food: Fruit salad
Ice cream: Butter Pecan
Color: Light blue
WNBA Team: L.A. Sparks
Actor: Omar Epps
Actress: Angela Bassett
Movie: The Color Purple
Book: The Coldest Winter Ever
Children’s Book: The Cat in the Hat
Cartoon: Rugrats

My pregame rituals are …
maintaining some quiet time, so I can focus.

I love to cook …
turkey, bacon & eggs with cheese, and pancakes.

My dream profession is …
forensic pathologist.

My advice to a young athlete is …
stay focused and keep your eyes on the prize.

My self-expectations this season are …
to maintain a 3.0 GPA and practice hard.

One thing I always pack on road trips is …
a pillow.

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