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Girls basketball player of the week: Plano East’s Idara Udo



PLANO, TX – What she did: Udo scored 17 points while adding 12 rebounds and six blocks in Plano East’s 64-44 win over Irving MacArthur in a Class 6A area playoff Saturday at Hillcrest.

Who she is: A 6-0 sophomore power forward. According to Plano East coach Jessica Vinson, Udo has received recruiting interest from Louisiana Tech, Cincinnati and Tarleton State.

The stats: Udo is averaging 10.0 points, 6.0 rebounds, 3.0 deflections and 2.0 blocks per game. She has helped Plano East compile a 19-3 record, including a 17-game winning streak heading into a Region I quarterfinal against Arlington Martin, which is scheduled for 7 p.m. Wednesday at Skyline. Plano East won its first district title since 2008 and is ranked No. 6 in The Dallas Morning News’ Class 6A area poll.

She said it: “The best part of my game against MacArthur was rebounding because each rebound gave my team a chance to score. … I enjoy playing defense the most about playing basketball. I want my blocks to turn into a chance to score. … I think we’re playing well right now because of our chemistry. We’re really tight with each other, and we have each other’s backs.”

Coach said it: “Idara is like a piece of clay, and we have been able to mold her. What has made her better this year is her mentality. She has fallen in love with basketball. She has always been a good defender, but now she is better on offense by being more physical and muscling her way to baskets. She has great feet. All she needs is confidence to make it to the next level.” — Vinson

Did you know? Udo plans on going to college and majoring in nursing, in part because her mother Itoro Inim is a nurse. Udo said she wants to be an emergency-room nurse because that’s where she will have the most impact in helping people. … Udo’s mother and father, Efi Udo, are originally from Nigeria. … Udo’s favorite hobbies include braiding hair and cooking, especially pasta and baked chicken. … Udo’s favorite meal is pho — a Vietnamese soup — with brisket, meatballs, tripe, tendon, noodles, bean sprouts, onions, basil and cilantro (very spicy, please). … Udo’s favorite basketball player is Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic. She said she likes his versatility, especially in being able to shoot 3-pointers and drive hard to the basket.