BEVO BEAT

Atkins makes U18 national team

Posted May 27th, 2014

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Before she takes her first shot for the University of Texas women’s basketball team, Ariel Atkins will take on the Americas.

The 5-foot-11 guard, the 2014 Morgan Wootten National Player of the Year, has been selected for the USA Basketball Women’s U18 team.

The Duncanville senior will compete in the FIBA Americas U18 tournament, which will feature eight national teams from North, South and Central America and the Caribbean. All games will be play Aug. 6-10 at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs.

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“I am incredibly happy and proud for Ariel,” Texas coach Karen Aston said Tuesday. “It has been a dream of hers … as it is most young women who play our sport. She will take an enormous amount of pride and ownership in representing her country and the University of Texas in a positive light.”

Atkins will graduate from on June 5. Coached by Dawn Staley of the University of South Carolina, the 12-member team includes two other Texas players: Manvel senior forward Brianna Turner, who has signed with Notre Dame, and Brenham junior center Teaira McCowan.

Atkins led Duncanville to a pair of University Interscholastic League state tournament titles and a 105-game winning streak. The streak was snapped by Turner’s Manvel team at this year’s state tournament.

Atkins averaged 17.9 points, 5.8 rebounds, 4.8 steals and 3.9 assists as a senior.

The USA team will be tested  by seven opponents in Colorado Springs: Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, El Salvador, Mexico and Puerto Rico.

Among the former U18 stars who went on to become college All-Americans are Alana Beard (Duke, 2000), Tamika Catchings (Tennessee, 1996), Skylar Diggins (Notre Dame, 2008), Rebecca Lobo (Connecticut, 1992), Maya Moore (UConn, 2006), Chiney Ogwumike (Stanford, 2010), Nneka Ogwumike (Stanford, 2008), Candace Parker (Tennessee, 2004) and Diana Taurasi (2000).

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