Onyenwere Named AP Preseason All-American
Los Angeles, Calif. – Michaela Onyenwere has earned Associated Press (AP) Preseason All-America honors, the AP announced Thursday. It is the first-career preseason All-America accolade for the UCLA senior.
"I am honored to be selected as a preseason AP All American," said Onyenwere. "I am extremely grateful to be considered with some of the best women's basketball players in the country. Although this is an individual accolade, I know this would not be possible without my coaches, staff, and teammates."
Onyenwere becomes only the second Bruin to ever garner AP Preseason All-America recognition, with Maylana Martin accomplishing the feat ahead of the 1999-2000 season.
"Michaela is amazing," said The Michael Price Family UCLA Women's Head Basketball Coach Cori Close. "Competitive, consistent, athletic, still growing, and totally selfless. I believe she is an All-American and an obvious top 3 draft pick. But even better than that, she couldn't care less. She just wants to play her butt off and help our team win. How lucky am I to coach Michaela Onyenwere!"
This is already the second major preseason honor for the senior from Aurora, Colo., as she was named to the Cheryl Miller Award Top 20 Watch List earlier this week. The award is presented annually to the nation's top small forward. Onyenwere was a top-10 finalist for the award last season.
Onyenwere enters the 2020-21 on the heels of a junior campaign that saw her earn Third Team AP All-America honors, as she became the third Bruin (Jordin Canada – 2018, Martin 1999) to earn a spot on one the first three All-America rosters. She led the Bruins in scoring with a career-high 18.9 points per game, notching 13 games with at least 20 points. She also grabbed 8.5 rebounds per contest last season, including a dominant 15-rebound effort against the Trojans in the second round of the Pac-12 Tournament (Mar. 6). She averaged 20 points and 10.5 rebounds in the Bruins' conference tournament run and was later named to the Pac-12 All-Tournament team.
Onyenwere has already compiled 1,449 points and ranks 19th on UCLA's all-time scoring list. Should she reach 2,000-career points at the conclusion of the upcoming season, she would become just the fourth player (Denise Curry, Canada, Martin) in UCLA history to achieve the milestone and the sixth player (Curry, Canada, Martin, Raheema Stephens, Nirra Fields) to score at least 500 points in three consecutive seasons.
AP Preseason All-America Team
Aliyah Boston – South Carolina
Dana Evans – Louisville
Rhyne Howard – Kentucky
Aari McDonald – Arizona
Michaela Onyenwere – UCLA