Former Husky Kristen O'Neill To Play Professional Hoops in Madrid
June 29, 2006
SEATTLE -- Former Washington Husky Kristen O'Neill has signed a professional basketball contract to play with a team in Madrid, Spain, for the 2006-07 season.
O'Neill, a 2006 UW graduate and Edmonds, Wash., native, will play for the USP CEU Adecco Estudiantes Club that competes in Division I Liga Femenina in Spain.
'I'm so excited for the opportunity to live my dream of competing as a professional athlete,' O'Neill said. 'Playing at UW has prepared me for the next level and I'm looking forward to the overseas experience.
O'Neill, a 6-1 guard/forward, finished her career at Washington averaging 7.3 points, 3.9 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 1.6 steals. She is tied for fifth all-time in Husky history with 136 three-pointers made, is fifth in three-pointers attempted (416) and 10th in steals (195). A three-year team captain, O'Neill helped lead the Huskies to two NCAA Tournament appearances and one WNIT trip during her tenure.
As a senior last year, O'Neill led the Huskies in steals (1.67), three-pointers made (35), and three-pointers attempted (124), while ranking second in blocked shots (15) and third in scoring (8.3). She finished the season ranked eighth in the Pac-10 in steals.
Also a standout student, O'Neill was a three-time Pac-10 All-Academic honoree, receiving second-team recognition as a senior and honorable mention honors as a junior and sophomore. She was named to the 2002 Pac-10 All-Freshman team, finishing that season second in the conference with a 43.6 three-point field goal percentage.
A product of Meadowdale High School, O'Neill was named the 2001 Gatorade Player of the Year for Washington and selected a third-team All-American by Parade Magazine and Street and Smith's during her prep career.
O'Neill joins several former Huskies to play in the professional women's basketball ranks whether in the United States or overseas. Most recently, 2004 UW grads Andrea Lalum and Giuliana Mendiola played professionally in Athens, Greece for one season following their UW careers, while 2003 grad Alicia Heathcote played a two-year stint in Germany.
Other notable athletes that have played in Spain include former Seattle Storm center Simone Edwards, Chamique Holdsclaw (L.A. Sparks), Kelly Schumacher (NY Liberty) and Northwest native Kate Starbird.