Mackenzie Engram, a rising senior at Hillgrove High School, announced her commitment to the Lady Bulldogs just three days ago. Engram was being recruited by LSU, Auburn, Wake Forest, Michigan State, Tennessee, UCLA and Texas, among others. Since announcing her decision, the 6-foot-2 center has received scores of congratulations via Twitter.
“It makes me feel good,” Engram said. “It makes me see they are proud of me and actually happy for me.”
Pachiyaanna Roberts, a former standout at McEachern High School and the 2011-2012 player of the year, announced last month that she will be transferring to Georgia after spending her freshman year at Syracuse. Roberts is already on campus in Athens. Although she will be able to practice this year with the Lady Bulldogs, she will not be able to play until the 2013-14 season.
At Syracuse Roberts averaged 3.6 points and 1.8 rebounds per game, coming off the bench in 16 games.
Roberts said the decision to transfer was about staying closer to home.
“When I went to Syracuse it was expensive to get plane tickets there and back,” said Roberts. “It’s more convenient for me and my family to be here at Georgia.”
Still, she has mixed feelings about sitting out a year.
“It will be hard, but I think it will be worth it because it gives me time to work out with the team and get used to everything,” said Roberts. “Then I will be able to play.”
While Engram said Roberts’ transfer didn’t factor into her college decision, she said she is looking forward to playing with Roberts when she gets there. The two are familiar with each other as Roberts was a part of the McEachern team that defeated Engram and Hillgrove for the 2011-12 Class AAAAAA state title.
“I think it will be a lot of fun,” Engram said. “Hopefully we can get the point where we dominate and there can be this cool article about us coming from Powder Springs. It’s a good opportunity. I’m excited.”
Roberts also said it will be nice to play with Engram instead of against her.
“I was kind of happy when I heard (Engram was going to Georgia),” said Roberts. “I saw all her congratulations. We’re used to playing against each other, so playing together and both of us being kind of good, will be very good for us.”
Before Engram’s prep says are over she hopes to earn some of the same accolades that Roberts earned.
“I want to win state this year and get player of the year again,” said Engram. “I’d like to get Miss Georgia (Basketball), hopefully.”
Roberts did each of those during her final prep season when she averaged 17.9 points, 10.5 rebounds, 3.8 steals, 2.4 assists and 1.7 blocks per game as McEachern won the Class AAAAAA state title.
Engram said announcing her decision has taken a lot of pressure off as her senior season approaches.
“I sure am stressed a lot,” she said.
If Engram matches the numbers she posted during her junior year, it would be a successful year by all accounts. She averaged 19 points, 10 rebounds, 3.6 steals and 2.1 blocks per game. She set a school record with 33 points in a game.