Pair of Bruins Invited to USA Under-19 Women's Basketball Trials
May 7, 2009
Current UCLA freshman Atonye Nyingifa (Torrance, CA/Redondo Union HS) and incoming freshman guard/forward Markel Walker (Pittsburgh, PA/Schenley HS) have accepted invitations to attend the 2009 USA Basketball Women's U19 World Championship Team Trials May 14-17.
Nyingifa, who was selected to the 2008-09 Pac-10 Conference 1st-team All-Freshman squad, started the final 16 games of last season. She led the Bruins in rebounding in Pac-10 games with a 5.6 per game mark and closed the season with three-straight double digit rebounding games. She posted career-best numbers in the first game of the Pac-10 Tournament against Oregon State, recording 18 points and 10 rebounds, and went on to earn Pac-10 All-Tournament honors. On the season, she averaged 6.1 points and 4.9 boards while appearing in all 31 games.
Walker, a Parade, McDonald's and WBCA All-American, will enter UCLA this summer. She was rated as the No. 4 high school player in the country by ESPNU HoopGurlz and averaged 25.6 points per game as a senior. She earned a start in the McDonald's All-America game and totaled four points, six rebounds, two steals and a block in 15 minutes of action. She also competed in the WBCA High School All-Star game, scoring eight points with 11 rebounds. Walker is one of 12 high school athletes to be invited to the trials.
The Trials will select finalists from a group of 27 invitees and will be held May 14-17 at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs. Bruin sophomore Doreena Campbell will also be in Colorado Springs during this time for the World University Games Team Trials. The USA U19 team, the two-time defending FIBA U19 World Championship gold medalists, will look to capture a third-straight gold medal in competition, which will be held from July 23-August 2 in Bangkok, Thailand.
Maylana Martin is the lone Bruin to have previously participated in the U19 competition. She helped the USA to a gold medal in 1997 in what was then called the Junior World Championships.