AUBURN – The Auburn women's basketball team has signed junior college point guard Najat Ouardad (pronounced Nah-JET War-DAD) to a National Letter of Intent, head coach Nell Fortner announced Thursday. Ouardad, a native of Orleans, France, played the last two seasons at Pensacola State College.
"We are so excited about signing Najat," said Fortner. "She is a fiery, enthusiastic and very experienced point guard coming from a great junior college program in Pensacola State College. She led her team to an undefeated regular season and a year-long No. 1 ranking at the junior college level with their only loss coming in the semifinal game of the national championship tournament."
Ouardad led the Pirates to a third-place finish at the 2011 NJCAA National Basketball Championship, compiling a 36-1 record along the way. Pensacola State also notched a perfect 12-0 record in the Panhandle Conference, winning the league title, along with the Florida State and Region 8 titles.
"Pensacola State College is one of the best junior college programs in the country and we know that she will be able to help Auburn when she gets here," said Fortner. "We are so fortunate to have the opportunity to have her here at Auburn."
During her two years at Pensacola State College, Ouardad was a two-time All-Panhandle Conference selection. As a sophomore, she averaged 6.4 points, 2.6 rebounds, 5.1 assists and 2.5 steals per game. She averaged 6.6 points, 2.0 rebounds, 6.5 assists and 2.5 steals per game as a freshman.
Pensacola State College finished second in the Panhandle Conference during her freshman year. The Pirates were the only team to beat eventual national champion Gulf Coast Community College.
"Najat Ouardad has been the sparkplug that has led the Pensacola State Lady Pirates to unprecedented success over the past two years," said Pensacola State College head coach Chanda Rigby. "Under her leadership at the point guard position, the Lady Pirates remained undefeated on their home court for both years that Najat played in the nation's toughest junior college league, the Panhandle Conference."
While in France, Ouardad played for the French National Team at the 2006 FIBA U16 European Championship. She averaged 5.6 points, 3.2 rebounds, 2.9 assists and 4.3 steals per game during the European Championship. Her best game came against Belarus when she tallied 17 points, 12 steals and four assists.
Ouardad moved to the United States for her sophomore year of high school, prepping at Forsyth Country Day in Lewisville, N.C. While there, she helped lead the team to back-to-back state championship appearances.
She transferred to Oak Ridge Military Academy in Oak Ridge, N.C., for her senior year. While at Oak Ridge, Ouardad averaged 42 points per game.
Ouardad will complete Auburn's recruiting class for the 2011-12 season, joining incoming freshman Hasina Muhammad (Memphis, Tenn.).