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Local Basketball Player Commits to Play at University of North Carolina

A Germantown resident has committed to play basketball at the University of North Carolina after graduation from high school this coming spring, the university announced.

Malu Tshitenge, a six-foot, four-inch tall, senior forward currently attending St. John’s College High School in Washington, D.C, will continue her basketball career playing for the Tarheels and Head Coach Sylvia Hatchell next season.

"Malu is an athletic, long forward that will be really successful in our fast break,” said Hatchell. “She runs the floor well and is an elite rebounder and great shot blocker. Malu will impact the game on both ends of the floor. We are thrilled she is coming to Carolina."

"North Carolina is the perfect fit for me,” said Tshitenge. “With its prestigious academic programs and having the opportunity to play for one of the all-time great coaches, what more could I ask for?"

Tshitenge helped lead the St. John’s Cadets to a 32-2 record as junior last season, as they went on to win the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference title and third straight District of Columbia Athletic Association Championship. After averaging a double-double as a junior with 13 points and 11 rebounds per game, Tshitenge was named to the Washington Post All-Met team.

“Malu was an instant program and culture changer the minute she stepped into our locker room her sophomore year,” said St. John's College High School Head Coach, Jonathan Scribner. “Her attitude, work ethic, leadership, and passion for the game was just infectious for everyone including the coaches. On the court, she has been an anchor on both sides of the floor, leading us to consecutive WCAC Conference Championships and top five national finishes. We're looking forward to an All-America year for her this coming season."

Tshitenge was also named to the Nike Tournament of Champions All-First Team. She also led her club team, the Fairfax Stars EYBL to the EYBL Platinum Bracket Championship and was the only team undefeated in the Nike EYBL Session 1 in Hampton, Va., last spring.

"It has been such a joy to coach Malu since 8th grade,” said Coach Tim Fudd of the Fairfax Stars EYBL. “She was always the kid we would watch from across the gym, knowing that she had a tremendous upside and just needed the right place and coaches to grow with. What we didn't know is that she had this unbelievable personality coupled with a tremendous work ethic. She was instant family, another daughter for me and sister for each of her teammates. Over the last five years, Malu has grown into one of the best players in her position. Her impact on the team has been immeasurable, but with her on our team we instantly became one of the best teams in the country. I'm definitely looking forward to watching her continue to grow her game and have an impactful career at UNC"

She is the daughter of Germantown residents Lea Tshitenge and Tshitenge Mutombo. She is also the niece of Dikembe Mutombo, an 18-year NBA veteran that was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2015.

Caption: Current St. John's College High School senior Malu Tshitenge, of Germantown, has committed to play basketball at the University of North Carolina next year.

Photos courtesy UNC.