PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — This time last year, West Linn High School alum Aaronette Vonleh was in the transfer portal, looking for a new home after playing her freshman season for Arizona and averaging 4.1 minutes per game for the Wildcats.

A year later and Vonleh has not only found a home in Colorado, but a place where she has thrived.

Vonleh started for the University of Colorado Boulder this season and was named the Pac-12’s Co-Most Improved Player.

“It’s just really fun and exciting,” said Vonleh, whose team is playing Iowa in the Sweet 16 in Seattle this weekend. “When you transfer, you don’t really know what to expect or what’s going to happen, but luckily for me, it’s been more than I expected. More than I dreamed of. I’m just happy to have the opportunity.”

On top of her awards, Vonleh averaged 12.1 points per game this season and shot 58.8% from the field, which ranks 16th among individual DI players nationally.

“I just feel blessed,” said Vonleh, who is the younger sister of former Blazer Noah Vonleh. “Not a lot of people have the opportunity to play DI basketball. Let alone, be such an impact to a team, so I’m glad that I’ve been put in this position.”

How has this growth been possible? Both her head coach and she picked the same word.

“Gaining more confidence, not being afraid to speak up and say what I need to say,” said Vonleh. “Just being more comfortable where I’m at and who I’m around.”

“To see her grow into just a confident young woman who can do anything has been truly awesome,” said Colorado Head Coach JR Payne, who remembers Aaronette barely saying anything during a recruiting pitch via Zoom when Vonleh was in high school.

As for Payne’s thoughts on Aaronette’s play on the court?

“I always say, ‘I think her best basketball is still ahead of her.’”

Vonleh and Colorado will take on Iowa and Caitlin Clark on Friday at 4:30 at Climate Pledge Arena in Seattle.