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Mary Louis junior Nwajei heads to Bergtraum

TimesLedger Newspapers

Jasmine Nwajei becomes the second star guard in as many days to land at Murry Bergtraum.

The junior has left Mary Louis citing financial reasons and enrolled at the Lower Manhattan public school Feb. 8, according to her Positive Direction travel Coach JoAnn Arbitello, who is also the Mary Louis JV coach.

It comes a day after Truman super sophomore Joella Gibson enrolled at the home of the 13-time defending PSAL girls’ basketball champions. Both could be eligible to play from the start of next season.

Nwajei’s parents struggled financially after they opened a bagel shop in the fall, Arbitello said. The Lady Blazers already have a number of Positive Direction players on their roster, including Aries Adams, Kimberly Viafara and China Blissett. Mary Louis head man Joe Lewinger could not be reached late Feb. 8.

“[It] took more of a financial burden than expected,” Arbitello said of the store’s opening.

Nwajei, a sure-fire Division I player, was on her way to an all-city season before missing Mary Louis’ game against Molloy last Saturday. At the time, Lewinger said she was dealing with personal issues with her family. She was also absent as TMLA fell to Bishop Ford last week.

“She left last week from school and we were trying to see what would be best for her,” Arbitello said. “Those games were the least of her family’s concerns.”

Nwajei scored 25 points to help Mary Louis beat New Jersey power Teaneck at the Kennedy Challenge Jan. 29. Nwajei dropped in 21 points against Murry Bergtraum at the Francis Lewis Winter Ball Dec. 29. Mary Louis is currently 8-12 and sixth in CHSAA Brooklyn/Queens.

Bergtraum is looking at a possible No. 1 seed in the upcoming PSAL playoffs and is 15-5 after winning 11 straight league games.

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