The Umatilla Thrilla is going global.
After leading the Louisville Cardinals on a superb, unprecedented run to the national title game in the 2013 NCAA women's basketball tournament, Shoni Schimmel, Umatilla, is joining Team USA. Schimmel was selected May 19 to join the U.S. squad that will compete at this summer's World University Games. That the star point guard was chosen is no surprise to anyone who follows college basketball, but the Thrilla demurred.
"I was definitely shocked," Schimmel said. "It’s definitely a great honor to play for the USA Basketball team. It’s just an honor, and I’m just excited to be here."
The World University Games will be held July 8-15 in Kazan, Russia. Organized by the International University Sports Federation and held every other year, the WUGs is a multi-sport competition open to men and women who are between the ages of 17 and 24. The U.S. women’s team is comprised of U.S. citizens who are currently enrolled in college and have remaining eligibility. And they're all superstars, with seven previous gold medalists returning to the team that will head overseas. Schimmel, who will be a senior at Louisville next season, is one of five first-time Team USA players.
When asked what she'll contribute to the U.S. team, which has a 95-15 record all-time at the WUGs, Schimmel said:
"I think one of the best things I do is passing, so just to be able to get that person that open look, and get them to knock down that shot, and make those passes that they’re not really going to expect. They’ll catch them and just go from there. But definitely, passing, but I can still shoot, defend and whatever it is. Whatever it may be, I’ll do whatever it takes."
Watch out, world.