UCLA Signs Five Standouts In Women's Basketball
June 21, 2002
UCLA head women's basketball coach Kathy Olivier signed five student-athletes to national letters-of-intent. The list includes guard Anitra 'Nikki' Blue of West (Bakersfield, CA) High School, forward Emma Tautolo of Moreno Valley, CA High School, guard-forward Lisa Willis from Narbonne High in Harbor City, CA, guard Ortal Oren from Kiriat-Sharet High School in Israel and forward Julia Pitts from North HS in Torrance. Each will enter UCLA in the fall of 2002 as a freshman and become a member of the 2002-2003 Bruin team.
Blue, a 5-8 guard, is regarded by several publications as the No. 1 combo guard in the country. All-Star Girls Report listed her as the No. 6 player in the nation, and she is a Street & Smith's third-team All-American. In 2000-01, she was named Cal-Hi Sports Junior Player of the Year in the state and broke the all-time Central Section scoring record with 913 points while averaging 34 points and six assists per game.
Tautolo, a 6-2 forward-center, is an all-league athlete in basketball and volleyball. As a junior, she averaged 14 points and 10 rebounds per game. Her father, John, was a defensive lineman on the UCLA football team from 1977-80.
Willis, a 5-9 guard-forward, was a starter on Narbonne HS's California State title teams in 2000 and 2001. She was named a third-team All-State performer by Cal-Hi Sports after averaging 10 points, seven rebounds and three steals in 2000-01. An honorable mention USA Today and Street & Smith's All-American, she is ranked as the 38th-best prospect in the nation by All-Star Girls Report.
Oren, a 5-9 guard-forward and a member of the Israeli Junior National Team, averaged 25 points, 10 rebounds and five assists in 2000-01 while leading her team to the Israeli Championship.
Pitts, a 6-2 forward, was a three-sport standout at North Torrance High. She was an all-CIF selection in both basketball and volleyball (middle blocker), as well as a standout in track (400 meters). She averaged 17 points and 12 rebounds as a junior.
'We are very excited to add a group which brings with it as much talent and promise as any we have ever had here at UCLA,' said Olivier. 'We competed with many of the other top programs across the country and came out on top. Each of these players will be able to make their mark individually and as a unit.'