May 24, 2013
LOS ANGELES - UCLA Head Coach Cori Close announced today the signing of Paulina Hersler to attend UCLA in the fall of 2013.
Hersler, a 6-foot-2-inch, power forward out of Södertälje, Sweden, completes the Bruins' 2013 recruiting class. She will give the Bruins some much-needed depth in the frontcourt as UCLA graduated three post players this season.
Hersler joins the early signing class, which consisted of two highly-rated high school standouts - Savanna Trapp (Esko, Minn./Esko HS) and Dominique Williams (Phoenix, Ariz./St. Mary's HS) - as well as Luiana Livulo (Lisbon, Portugal/Northwest Florida State College) from the late signing period.
"I think Paulina Hersler fits into our style of play perfectly," Close said. "She can play up-tempo and is versatile on offense and is long and athletic on defense. She has a great basketball IQ and she is a prolific scorer. She shoots the ball incredibly well. She is just going to fit really well in our up-tempo spread court offense and takes great pride in getting stops on the defensive end."
Hersler attended high school at Igelstavikens Gymnasium and played club basketball for Telge Basket (2010-13). Telge Basket is the women´s team of Södertälje BBK, and has over the years reached a position as the leading basketball club in Sweden, winning 11 national championships. Prior to her stint with Telge, she played for the club team Malbas (2005-10). She has been part of two Swedish National Championship teams (2011 and 2012) and was named Rookie of the Year in the highest Swedish league known as Damligan.
Hersler has been a dominant force on the Swedish National Teams, playing for the Under 16 and Under 18 Teams for the last four years. In 2009 and 2010, she represented Sweden in the U16 European Championship and most recently played on the Swedish National Team that placed 10th in the 2012 U18 European Championship. She not only led her team, but led the entire U18 European Championship field in scoring at 20.9 points per game. For the 2012 Championship, she also ranked 7th in three-point field goal percentage (.412, 7-for-17), 8th in rebounding (7.9 rpg) and 10th in field goal percentage (.461, 59-for-128). She has twice been named to the all-star team and once named MVP in the Nordic Championships while leading Sweden to the U16 and U18 Nordic Championship titles. Additionally, she was twice named to the all-star teams in two Scandinavian tournaments. She registered career-highs of 33 points and 14 rebounds in a win over Lithuania at the 2010 U16 European Championship. Last year at the 2012 U18 European Championship, her best outing was a 32-point, 11-rebound effort in a win over Poland. She scored 20 or more points in five of the eight games of the 2012 U18 European Championship.
"She was a dominant player and the leading scorer in the European Championships," Close added. "She will bring a different scoring punch to our team and I think she will be an incredibly successful player in the Pac-12 Conference.
Hersler is excited about her new opportunity to play basketball at UCLA and in the Pac-12 Conference.
"It's an honor to be a part of the UCLA Bruins and their storied athletic program," Hersler said. "UCLA provides one of the best combinations of academics and athletics in the world. The opportunities that UCLA and Los Angeles provides are second to none. I'm looking forward to experiencing all that UCLA and Los Angeles has to offer. The medical staff and athletic performance staff were very impressive on my visit and I'm excited to be working with them to maximize my physical abilities."