May 22, 2005
Junior guard Lisa Willis has been selected as one of 16 finalists for the USA World University Games Team after five team trials sessions May 19-21 in Colorado Springs, Colo. The finalists were selected by the USA Basketball Women's Collegiate Committee, chaired by Sue Donohoe, NCAA vice-president for Division I women's basketball.
The 16 finalist spots for the USA World University Games Team were awarded to: Seimone Augustus (LSU / Baton Rouge, La.); Alison Bales (Duke / Dayton, Ohio); Monique Currie (Duke / Washington, D.C.); Jessica Davenport (Ohio State / Columbus, Ohio); Megan Duffy (Notre Dame / Dayton, Ohio); Candice Dupree (Temple / Tampa, Fla.); Sylvia Fowles (LSU / Miami, Fla.); Erin Grant (Texas Tech / Arlington, Texas); Brandie Hoskins (Ohio State / Dayton, Ohio); Ivory Latta (North Carolina / McConnells, S.C.); Shawntinice Polk (Arizona / Hanford, Calif.); Cappie Pondexter (Rutgers / Chicago, Ill.); Leah Rush (Oklahoma / Amarillo, Texas); Liz Shimek (Michigan State / Empire, Mich.); Brooke Smith (Stanford / San Anselmo, Calif.); and Lisa Willis (UCLA / Long Beach, Calif.).
Also named were 15 finalists for the USA U19 World Championship Team: Jolene Anderson (Wisconsin / Port Wing, Wis.); Nicky Anosike (Tennessee / Staten Island, N.Y.); Erika Arriaran (Norco High School / Norco, Calif.); Keshonda Carrier (LaGrange High School / Lake Charles, La.); Essence Carson (Rutgers / Paterson, N.J.); Quianna Chaney (LSU / Baton Rouge, La.); Marissa Coleman (St. Johns College High School / Cheltenham, Md.); Crystal Langhorne (Maryland / Willingboro, N.J.); Erlana Larkins (North Carolina / Riviera Beach, Fla.); Courtney Paris (Piedmont High School / Piedmont, Calif.); Abby Waner (ThunderRidge High School / Highlands Ranch, Colo.); Candice Wiggins (Stanford / Poway, Calif.); Earnesia Williams (Sapulpa High School / Sapulpa, Okla.); Christina Wirth (Seton Catholic High School / Mesa, Ariz.). and Sharnee' Zoll (Virginia / Philadelphia, Pa.).
The World University Games is open to women between the ages of 17 and 28 (born between Jan. 1, 1977 and Dec. 31, 1987), who are, or have been within the past year, a student at a college or university. The finalists for the 2005 USA World University Games Team will reconvene July 28 for training camp in Colorado Springs, where the final 12-person team will be determined. On Aug. 5, the squad will travel to Izmir, Turkey, and train there until the 2005 World University Games gets underway on Aug. 10. The women's basketball competition games will run Aug. 10-19 and feature 21 teams from across the world.
"I did feel like I gave it my all," said Willis. "I didn't really know what they wanted to see, so that was really complicated. I just told my parents I would come out here and do what I know how to do. If that's what they're looking for then hopefully I'll make it but if not then maybe I just didn't fit on the team. But I'm glad I made it."
Willis, who averaged 16.3 points and 6.9 rebounds per game last season, brings tremendous three-point shooting and aggressive defense to the mix. She led the Pac-10 in 2005 in three-point field goals made (70) and steals (102) and ranked in the Top 15 nationally in both categories. "I really take pride in my defense so I tried to shut down people and not allow them to score and take the open shots. That's what I do," she said about her Trials play. "I don't like to force too many shots but just take the shots that I get. I thought my touches would be a little limited so that's why defense was really important to me."