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Veronika Humeniuk, Andrews Osborne Academy 6'0 sophomore from the Ukrainian National Basketball team scores 32 against Gilmour Academy!

Willoughby, Ohio—Andrews Osborne Academy (AOA) has implemented a philosophy to be more diverse in their international population with an emphasis on youth athletes who aspire to earn a United States college scholarship. Basketball is an international sport and the school is modeling their boys and girls program after other nationally competitive prep programs.

To bolster their vision, AOA hired Boys Varsity Head Coach, James Valle, from Trinity Baptist in Miami, Florida. James serves as Athletic Director as well. His first season was last year. This year he hired seasoned Girls Varsity Head Coach, Jay Valadez. Both the boys and girls varsity teams are off to a great start this season.

Michael Krasnyansky, CEO of the Cleveland Ballet and former member of the Ukrainian Basketball Program, joined the effort December of 2015. The relationships he built while playing in Europe have begun to bare fruit.

In the first year of recruiting Andrews Osborne Academy has had the following high school student athletes (all basketball) move onto campus: Spain – 4, Serbia – 3, Rwanda – 1, Ukraine – 2, and Canada – 4.

Coach Bob, Veronika Humeniuk, James Valle
left to right: Coach Bob, Veronika Humeniuk, James Valle (Click for full image)

Freshman Veronika (Nika) Humeniuk was the first international woman under the new philosophy to enroll at Andrews Osborne Academy in January, 2016. Veronika is a 6'0 wing who plays on the Ukrainian National Basketball team. Nika announced her presence as a force in Ohio girls prep basketball when she recently scored 32 points against state ranked power Gilmour Academy

Nika shares her experience being recruited in Odessa, Ukraine and moving to America. “Mr. Krasnyansky came to a practice and recruited me. I had one month to learn enough English to Skype with AOA Director of International Admissions, Mary Jo Elber. I moved to America February of 2016 and was very homesick but now I've adjusted and love it here. My goal is to get a Division 1 college scholarship.”

AOA has formed a partnership with the DG Warriors AAU basketball program. “During the 2016 AAU season it was obvious Nika's potential was unlimited but she was dealing with so much change in her life,” says DG Director, Bob Fruchter. “This year she's at home at AOA and her talent is flourishing in the classroom and on the court,” adds Coach Valadez.

James Valle can be contacted at jvalle@andrewsosborne.com or 305-586-5039.