Melanie George and Parris Wilkinson, two incoming freshmen students who will play for the Newman Women’s Basketball Team, recently made the final 12 roster for the England U18 National Team that is to play in the European Championships held in Bucharest, Romania, starting July 30.
George, a 6’0” post player, attended Oakland’s Academy in England where she was coached by Lee Ryan, who is also the National Team coach for this year U18 Division B European Championships.
Newman Head Women’s Basketball Coach Darin Spence and Assistant Women’s Basketball Coach Mik Love said George will add depth to the center position for the Newman women’s team. They said they hope George is able to come in as a freshman and help the team.
“She’s a 6’0” post player that is very physical and has the potential to play a lot of minutes for us this year,” said Spence.
Spence said Wilkinson had been on the reserve travel squad, but just made the final roster of 12 Wednesday, July 29, and is in Romania with the team for the European Championships.
“Parris is a point guard, who we expect to step in and contribute for us,” he said.
Newman coaches are glad to see that the players they are recruiting are the type of players being recognized by and playing for their country.
“It’s nice to see our recruits play for her country. It shows that we are bringing in the right pieces that will help us try to be successful,” said Love.
With international players coming to play at Newman, the university has a chance to gain more recognition as a place in the United States where players from around the world can play.
The Newman women’s team is coming off a 10-16 season (7-11 in conference) and hopes it can regroup and take the next steps in order to improve for next season.
“It’s reassuring that you are recruiting the right players and in a lot of cases the better players when they are playing for their country,” said Love.