Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Liberty's Warley, Hofstra's Evans in Pan-Am Games

Liberty star Avery Warley (the one with her arms full of Lady Flames coach Carey Green) will be among the 12 women's basketball players representing the United States in the Pan American Games Oct. 21-25 in Guadalajara, Mexico. The squad also includes Shante Evans of Hofstra and the Colonial Athletic Association.

Training camp for the U.S. team runs Oct. 15-18 in Houston. The team will then depart for Mexico and have practices on Oct. 19 and 20 before the competition starts the following day.

The coaching staff includes Debbie Ryan, who stepped down at Virginia last March after 34 years. Ryan will be an assistant to U.S. head coach Ceal Barry.

A redshirt senior, the 6-3 Warley averaged 12.0 points and 11.0 rebounds a game, led the Big South in rebounding and field goal percentage (62.0) and ranked ninth in the nation in double-doubles (19). She was also named the Big South Defensive Player of the Year.

Evans, a 6-0 junior forward, earned honorable mention All-America honors last season after averaging 18.4 ppg and 11.0 rpg while recording 16 double-doubles.

In addition to Warley and Evans, the U.S. team will consist of Gonzaga's Katelan Redmon and Kayla Standish, Missouri's Christine Flores, Eastern Michigan's Tavelyn James, UC Santa Barbara's Emilie Johnson, N.C. State's Marissa Kastanek, Oral Roberts' Kevi Luper, Mississippi's Valencia McFarland, Rutgers' April Sykes and high school senior Breanna Stewart, the nation's number one recruit (according to ESPN) who has verbally committed to UConn. In July, Stewart named to the five-player All-FIBA U19 World Championship team after leading the gold medal-winning U.S. team in scoring (11.2 ppg) and rebounding (7.3 rpg).

Warley will be the third Liberty player to gain USA Basketball experience. Megan Frazee participated in the women's national team trials in 2007, and Katie Feenstra was on the 2007-08 women's national team roster and played for the silver medal-winning USA Select team in the FIBA world League Tournament in 2007.

Warley and Evans are part of a talented but eclectic roster that because of the timing - college practices can begin next week - could not have been easy to piece together. A USA Basketball spokesperson said the initial idea was to use pro players for the Pan-Am Games, but with the WNBA still running and overseas pro leagues about to begin, that plan was scratched.

According to Liberty ace spokesman Paul Carmany, Warley will miss about one-third of the Lady Flames' preseason practices, which officially begin Sunday. Her availability is expected to break down as follows - She'll be on hand for the first eight workouts, miss the next 10 and return for the final 12 practices heading into the Nov. 11 season opener at UNC Greensboro.

The Lady Flames will also be without 6-4 Kylee Beecher, who has opted to concentrate on her schoolwork. Fortunately, Liberty is well-stocked with freshman bigs, so with 6-5 Kateyln Adams, 6-5 Catherine Kearney and 6-4 Ashley Rininger on hand, there will be no shortage of bodies in the low box even when Warley's out of town.

"Avery has received a dream opportunity to play on the highest international stage," Carey Green said. "Every athlete aspires to represent their country in Olympic competition. Avery, as well as our university, team and coaching staff are elated for this challenging and exciting opportunity to represent the USA in the Pan Am Games. Who wouldn't want to fulfill the dream of earning a gold medal for the USA?"

1 comment:

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