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12 AWC Matadors sign to four year schools

12 Arizona Western College standouts sign to move on to four year schools.

YUMA, Ariz. (KYMA, KECY) - 12 Arizona Western College student athletes signed their letters of intent to move to four year universities on Wednesday.

AJ Marmolejos will be continuing his basketball career at Lamar University. Marmolejos was the ACCAC conference player of the year, a second team All-American, and surpassed 1,000 career points for the Matadors this season.

"This one was especially for me because it was harder to to to get here when I was in high school," Marmolejos said. "I'm so excited to go to the next level. I want to win a championship. So I'm, I working really hard."

"AJ has just been a great young man," AWC head coach Kyle Isaacs said. "Nothing was ever given to AJ. everything that he has gotten has been earned. AJ is one of the fastest players that I've ever coached with the basketball. And that'll be a huge, asset for him. the Division I level."

Alynna Palacios is staying in Arizona and will be continuing her basketball career at Park University in Gilbert. 

This season Palacios averaged 6.8 points and 7.9 rebounds per game for the Lady Matadors. 

I've been here the last two years and its a growing process finally moving onto the next step. 

"I definitely gained more confidence not only on the court but off the court," Palacios said. "I really feel like I've established myself as a person."

Awc womens soccer had arguably their best season in school history and 9 lady matadors inked thier committments to 4 year schools.

All-American forwards Ashly Martinez signed with Florida International.

Cianna Thomas signed with Western Colorado.

Abigail Nkrumah signed with Fort Lewis.

Yuna Aoki signed with NC State.

Rina Ogimoto signed with Pacific University.

Wendy Jimenez signed with Oklahoma Wesleyan.

And San Luis native Tiany Melendrez signed with the University of Mobile.

"It's a feeling that I can't really explain it just because I feel like I made my parents happy, my family happy as well," Melendrez said. "A lot of my friends from school, they were very supportive."

AWC men's soccer once again made it to the national semifinals and three of their standouts also signed Wednesday.

Vakasin Lukovic is heading to North Georgia.

Rezhis Koxhaj is headed to McKendree University.

And asaki nakamura is heading to Christian Brothers University.

All three of these young men have grown immensely during their time in Yuma. 

"It is a special moment for every soccer player," Lukovic said. "I think every every young boy dreams of this moment. I came came here as a kid and I'm leaving as a grown man."

"[My time here] was very special," Koxhaj said. "A lot of things happened to me. I met a lot of people. I met a lot of new friends."

"When I came here I didn't speak any English," Nakamura said. "But everyone came together and hung out with me. [Now] I can speak good English."

Article Topic Follows: College Sports

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Chas Messman

Chas Messman joined KYMA in July 2023 as News 11’s Sports Director. If you have any sports story ideas, send them to


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