Women's Basketball Completes Recruiting Class With Local Signee

May 15, 2002

EUGENE, Ore. - The University of Oregon women's basketball team completed its 2002-03 recruiting class Wednesday by signing 5-foot-8 guard Kayla Steen to a national letter of intent.

Steen, a native of Hillsboro, Ore., played the last two years at Clackamas Community College after graduating from St. Mary's Academy in Portland.

'Kayla brings qualities that we lose in our graduating players this year,' Oregon coach Bev Smith said. 'She will be able to play a little bit of a combo guard for us. Her strengths are the ability to do the right thing for the team, whether it's hitting a three-pointer, getting after a rebound or dishing off an assist.'

As a sophomore, Steen lit up the NWAAC (Northwest Athletic Association of Community Colleges), a conference comprised of 36 teams in Oregon and Washington, helping Clackamas to a 26-6 record. She averaged 22.8 points 7.2 rebounds and 7.1 assists per game, which ranked first in the NWAAC, and earned MVP honors in the Southern Division for the second consecutive year. Steen also was first with an 87 percent mark from the free-throw line and second from 3-point territory, hitting on 49 percent (89-of-183).

Because Steen transferred from a non-NCAA institution, she will be eligible to play for the Ducks in 2002-03 as a junior, bringing immediate guard help to a squad that already features seniors Alissa Edwards, Kourtney Shreve, All-American Shaquala Williams as well as sophomores Brandi Davis and Amy Taylor.

'Kayla will be able to contribute right away to our program, and she's got two years of being a strong leader at the JC level,' Smith said. 'Plus, she's a great student and has great character.'

An NWAAC All-Academic pick last year, Steen's 637 points ranked fifth out of the 36 NWAAC teams. As a freshman, the All-Region selection led the league with six assists per game to go with averages of 17 points and six rebounds.

Steen, a four-year letterwinner at St. Mary's Academy, was a first-team all-league selection as a junior and senior. She also set a state record for 3-pointers in a game with 10.

Steen joins 6-foot-3 post player Carolyn Ganes (Saskatoon, Saskatchewan), 5-foot-8 point guard Corrie Mizusawa (Lafayette, Calif.), a transfer from Saint Mary's, 5-foot-10 guard Chelsea Wagner (Springfield, Ore.), a transfer from Hawai`i, and 6-foot-2 forward Yadili Okwumabua (Winnipeg, Manitoba) in Oregon's 2002-03 recruiting class.

Oregon finished 22-13 last season and advanced to its ninth straight postseason tournament, capturing the WNIT championship with a 54-52 win over Houston.

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