Williams Selected to USA Basketball World University Games Team
May 21, 2001
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - University of Oregon women's basketball player Shaquala Williams earned a spot on the USA Basketball World University Games Team after four days of trials that ended Monday.
Williams (Portland, Ore./Reynolds HS) landed on the 12-member team among a pool of 33 top collegiate players. She is the first player in Oregon history chosen to represent the U.S. team. Former Oregon stars Alison Lang (1981, 1979) and Bev Smith (1979) played for Canada in the World University Games.
'I think for next season, because I missed this last season, it's going to give me some of those games back and some of those practices back,' Williams said. '(It also will) give me the opportunity to practice against people every day who are as good or better than me. That's definitely going to push me a lot.'
Williams, who missed last season after suffering a torn anterior cruciate ligament in her left knee, was the 2000 Pac-10 Player of the Year after averaging 17.7 points and 4.4 assists per game as a sophomore. USA Basketball selected Williams as an alternate on the World University Games roster following her freshman and sophomore years.
'I just kind of took all the things that I learned from those two cuts and being out this year,' Williams said. 'I tried to apply them to playing this year so I'm just really happy and relieved.'
'It's tremendous credit to Shaquala and her work ethic that 7 1/2 months off of ACL surgery, she was able to go out and compete against some of the best players in the nation,' Oregon interim coach Dan Muscatell said. 'It's a great moment for Oregon women's basketball.'
Williams is one of two Pac-10 players chosen, the other being Stanford's Cori Enghusen.
'We've got a very athletic team. We won't be the biggest team but we'll be very athletic and we will be a team that can slash well,' USA and Virginia coach Debbie Ryan said. 'We've got some good shooters on this team that can spread the floor a little bit for our size inside. We do have some size inside so hopefully we can spread the floorand get the ball to them.'
Ryan will be assisted by Iowa coach Lisa Bluder and East Carolina coach Dee Stokes.
Also selected to the 2001 USA squad were: Chantelle Anderson (Vanderbilt/Vancouver, Wash.), Cori Enghusen (Stanford/Bothell, Wash.), Chrissy Floyd (Clemson/Laurens, S.C.), Caton Hill (Oklahoma/Ada, Okla.), Kara Lawson (Tennessee/Alexandria, Va.), Ashley McElhiney (Vanderbilt/Gleason, Tenn.), Carisse Moody (North Carolina State/Rocky Mount, N.C.), Jenny Roulier (Colorado/Englewood, Colo.), Ayana Walker (Louisiana Tech/Houston, Texas), and Shereka Wright (Purdue/Copperas Cove, Texas).
The three who will vie for the 12th and final spot are: Tamara Moore (Wisconsin), Loree Payne (Washington), and Lindsey Yamasaki (Stanford), while the four alternates, who will be called on if a team member is unable to participate, are: Danielle Crockrom (Baylor), Shelia Lambert (Baylor), Mandy Nightingale (Colorado) and Aiysha Smith (Tyler JC).
The World University Games, held every two years and organized by the International University Sports Federation, is a multi-sport competition open to men and women between the ages of 17 and 28 who are, or have been within the past year, a student at a college or university. This summer the World University Games will be held Aug. 22-Sept. 1 in Beijing, China.
The 2001 World University Games women's basketball competition, currently featuring squads from 20 countries, has been divided into four preliminary round pools. The United States has been placed in Pool B and will face Canada, Ireland, Japan and South Africa in the preliminary round.