Jayhawk tennis lands top-15 recruit
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Kansas tennis head coach Todd Chapman announced the National Letter of Intent signing of Malkia Ngounoue, a “Blue Chip” prospect rated No. 12-overall among the 2018 recruiting class according to TennisRecruiting.net.
Ngounoue, whose name is pronounced MAL-kiya en-GOON-uh-way, hails from Washington D.C., and has been ranked as high as No. 1 in the United States TennisAssociation (USTA) rankings in the 10-and-under, 12-and-under, 14-and-under and 16-and-under age groups. She has also been ranked as high as No. 5 in the 18-and-under age group. The International Tennis Federation (ITF) ranked Ngounoue as high as No. 192 in the junior world rankings.
“We are so excited and fortunate to welcome a person and player of Malkia’s level to our KU tennis family,” said Chapman. “Malkia has been one of the top players in the United States for many years and someone who we have followed for quite some time. Malkia is a very impressive player on the court and I believe even more impressive as a person off of it.”
In 2017, Ngounoue won the doubles championship at the Corpus Christi ITF, was a singles semifinals and doubles finalist at the International Grass Court Championships and advanced to the Round of 16 at the Pan American ITF and the Round of 32 at the Orange Bowl International Championships.
“I chose Kansas because (the coaches) focus more on developing the player rather than winning,” said Ngounoue. “I am excited about the programs Kansas offers (such as the Minority Student Council and Leadership program) because they will help me begin to make my mark on the world. I am also very excited to join the tennis program because of how much they emphasize having an all-around game and coming to the net. I believe the University of Kansas will not only shape me into a better tennis player, but also a better human being.”
Competing in 2015, she was a two-time, singles champion at the ITF Championships in Togo, West Africa, the singles champion of the Circuit ITF des 18 ans et moins de l’Afrique de l’Ouest et du Centre and the doubles champion of the Easter Bowl Championship.
“What struck me most in my evaluation of Malkia during the recruiting process was the way she carries herself on and off the court,” said Chapman. “I really liked how she competed and how she also interacted with her peers. Malkia is very introspective and someone who is wise beyond her age. We can’t wait to get Malkia on campus and start the process of her development so she has the opportunity to see all of her dreams professionally both on and off the court come to fruition.”
“Malkia embodies so much of what it means to be a great leader,” said Kansas assistant coach Caroline Lilley. “I am humbled by her decision to become a Jayhawk and join the Kansas family. As her development journey continues, I am excited to help her strive for greatness in all areas of her life. Her character, intellect and ability will all serve to differentiate her during her collegiate career and beyond.”
Ngounoue is the second KU signee, in addition to Julia Deming, who will join the Jayhawks in the fall for the start of the 2018-19 season.
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