Milner signs NOL with Fayetteville State
By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on May 3, 2006 2:14 PM
PIKEVILLE -- Quaneisha Milner dribbled downcourt, dished off to October Harris and watched her easily convert an uncontested layup.
They pointed at each other, hustled back downcourt and waited for the next possession. The chemistry between the two playmakers never dwindled during the weekend tryout at Fayetteville State University.
Milner was hooked.
"I knew I wanted to be there," said the out-spoken senior from Charles B. Aycock.
But Milner's decision wasn't final. She returned home and talked countless hours with her grandmother, Lola Grandberry. A secret fan of FSU, Grandberry beamed with pride when Milner expressed her feelings about the weekend and the school's overall atmosphere.
Grandberry gladly gave Milner her approval.
"I didn't know she even knew about the team," laughed Milner. "I didn't want to go too far away because she has been sick with cancer, but has had all her chemotherapy and stuff. She's a major influence in my life and if it hadn't been for her, I wouldn't have stuck with basketball this long."
Milner officially signed the national letter of intent late last week.
The flashy point guard, who was born in Brooklyn (N.Y.), averaged 16 points, six rebounds and five assists this past season for the Golden Falcons. Aycock finished second to Class 3-A state champion Wilson Beddingfield in Eastern Carolina Conference play and posted a 16-10 record overall.
Wake Forest, Campbell, St. John's and Miami (Fla.) had some interest, and ironically, Fayetteville State stayed on the back burner. Broncos head coach Eric Tucker, who also signed Harris and Jacobia Lucas from Beddingfield, remembered seeing Milner play in the midseason.
Milner solidified his thoughts about her contributions during that weekend tryout.
"She caught everybody's attention," said Tucker. "She's a little undersized, but that doesn't seem to bother her. Her game has flash and substance, and that equals a thrilling performer.
"I think she's a heckuva player."
Tucker, according to his current roster, is expected to return 13 players next season including 10 freshmen and sophomores combined. The Broncos concluded the year 13-15 and ended up third in the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association Western Division.
"We didn't have a good year this year, but I hope to rectify that by bringing in some quality players," said Tucker. "I'm trying to go out and find the best talent we can get."
C.B. Aycock head coach Luke Vail said Milner will be difficult to replace. He feels Milner and FSU is a good fit and thinks Tucker is building a solid foundation around the 5-foot-6 point guard along with Harris and Lucas.
"FSU did a good day's work coming down this way and recruiting," said Vail. "Each year watching her play and then coaching her, Quaneisha improved in certain areas of her game each year.
"I feel like she'll be at a school where she can make an immediate impact and I'm excited about her getting a chance to play as a freshman."
Milner plans to major in business management and minor in finance.
"To be an athlete and go to college, you get the best of both worlds," said Milner. "I've always wanted to do something with my life. I love playing basketball and that's my heart, but I want to get an education."
And show a little flash along the way.
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