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Newton's Pharr signs with Ospreys
Newton senior Tori Pharr signed her National Letter of Intent Wednesday morning with the University of North Florida, committing to play basketball for the Ospreys. Pharr was joined by her father, Reginald, mother, Shirley, and sister, Renisha, along with her coaches and teammates at the ceremony. - photo by Matt Smith

Newton senior Tori Pharr made her college decision official Wednesday morning, signing her National Letter of Intent with the North Florida Ospreys women’s basketball team.

Pharr chose the Ospreys over offers from Lincoln Memorial University, and Western Carolina. Pharr also was considering Middle Tennessee State, the University of Alabama-Birmingham and Agnes Scott College.

Pharr, who wants to study to be an accountant, said that North Florida offered her a great educational opportunity alongside the chance to play.

“They have a great business program,” the four-year varsity player said. “They’re going to challenge me academically.”

The 6-foot-1 power forward helped the Lady Rams reach the Sweet 16 last season, and has higher hopes for Newton this year.

“I hope we make it to the finals,” she said. “We want to make it to the finals, so we’re going to persevere and make it there.”

Newton coach Tiffani Johnson said that Pharr has shown the desire to get better on the court during her time with the Lady Rams program.

“I’m excited for her,” Johnson said. “With her size and her smarts, she’s going to do well. She has a great combination of basketball smarts and academic smarts and she’s going to excel at the collegiate level. She’s matured as a player from her freshman year to now. You can see her desire to get better this season and to work toward her goals. Her heart for the game, more than anything, has grown during her time here.”

Pharr, the daughter of Shirley and Reginald Pharr, joins an Ospreys team that went 12-19 a season ago with a 7-11 record in Atlantic Sun conference play.

Pharr thanked her family and her friends for their support.

“Number one, I want to thank God,” she said. “My parents and my friends have also helped keep me together through everything. My coaches especially helped me during this time and I owe a lot to them.”

The Lady Rams return to action tonight at home against Salem in non-region play.