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May 17, 2006

CHARLOTTESVILLE – University of Virginia men’s head basketball coach Dave Leitao has announced the signing of two players to national letters of intent with Virginia. The players are 6-9 forward/center Ryan Pettinella of Pittsford, N.Y., and 6-9 forward/center Jerome Meyinsse (May-in-say) of Baton Rouge, La.

Pettinella attended the University of Pennsylvania and played two years of basketball for the Quakers before attending Monroe Community College (N.Y.) during the 2005-06 academic year. He did not play basketball this past season and has two years of eligibility remaining. Pettinella averaged 4.8 points and 3.0 rebounds a game in 29 games as a sophomore at Pennsylvania during the 2004-05 season. Pennsylvania won the Ivy League Championship that season and participated in the NCAA Tournament. As a freshman during the 2003-04 season, he averaged 2.8 points and 1.7 rebounds a game in 19 games.

Meyinsse averaged 18.5 points, 11 rebounds and five blocks a game as a senior at McKinley High School during the 2005-06 season. He earned second-team Class 4A All-State honors and has been selected to play with the East team in the Louisiana High School Coaches Association All-Star game on July 20. He led McKinley to the Class 4A District 7 Championship, was the District 7 Most Valuable Player and earned All-District honors.

Pettinella and Meyinsse join two players who signed with Virginia during the early signing period in November on the Cavaliers’ roster for the 2006-07 season. Those players are 6-6 forward/guard Will Harris of Corona, N.Y., and 6-9 forward Jamil (Ja-meel) Tucker of Gary, Ind.

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