Natalie Romeo was an AAU teammate of high-school All-American Sabrina Ionescu, who is expected to choose between UW and Oregon in June.
Natalie Romeo, who set a Nebraska record with 104 three-pointers as a sophomore last season, plans to transfer to the Washington women’s basketball team, she told The Seattle Times.
There’s a chance her former AAU teammate, prep All-American Sabrina Ionescu, might soon be following her to Seattle.
A 5-foot-7 guard from Martinez, Calif., Romeo made visits to UW, Oregon State and Arizona State over the past few weeks. She called Huskies coach Mike Neighbors on Sunday night and informed him of her decision to transfer to UW.
“He seemed very happy,” Romeo said. “I just felt the most comfort at Washington. I really loved everything about it.”
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Romeo leaves Nebraska after the abrupt resignation last month of Huskers coach Connie Yori over allegations that the coach mistreated players. Romeo has denied those claims.
“It was pretty difficult there,” she said. “I just think it’s the best thing for me to move on.”
The Huskies, coming off their first-ever berth to the Final Four, plan to file a waiver with the NCAA to seek immediate eligibility for Romeo, she said.
Romeo (pronounced ROW-MEE-Oh) was named to the all-Big Ten second team in each of the past two years. As a sophomore this past season, she averaged 16.0 points and shot .424 on three-point attempts. She also averaged 3.0 assists and had a team-high 44 steals while helping Nebraska reach the WNIT.
Romeo said Neighbors’ uptempo offensive style was particularly enticing for her. She said she’s comfortable playing either point guard or shooting guard, and, if her NCAA waiver is granted, she would team with UW All-American Kelsey Plum to form one of the Pac-12’s most dynamic backcourts next season.
In high school, Romeo played for the Oakland-based Cal Stars AAU team, coached by Kelly Sopak, who also coaches Ionescu (pictured in red jersey below). Ionescu, ranked by ESPN as the nation’s No. 4 overall recruit in the Class of 2016, announced earlier this month that she would choose between UW and Oregon.
Ionescu would be the highest-ranked recruit to ever join the UW women’s team. Romeo said she doesn’t have a sense one way or the other which way Ionescu is leaning.
“That would be super exciting to play with her again,” Romeo said. “I would love it.”
Sopak, in an email to The Times, said Ionescu will likely wait until June to announce her decision.
Correcting an earlier version of this story, Romeo will have two seasons of eligibility remaining at UW.