Fast Break

SEATTLE, Wash. – Three of the top girls basketball players in the state have signed national letters of intent to attend the University of Washington next fall, fifth-year coach June Daugherty announced Wednesday. Kristen O’Neill, Kayla Burt and Kirsten Brockman, a nationally recognized group that bears impressive prep credentials, will play for the Huskies beginning in the fall of 2001.

“It is with a great deal of pride that we welcome this exceptional recruiting class to the Husky Basketball program,” said Daugherty. “Our goal of continuing to attract the most talented in-state prospects and convincing them to remain at home and represent Washington has been achieved in a big way. These young women make up an outstanding class that will represent the Husky program in the finest fashion, both on the court and off.”

Headlining the trio of future Huskies is O’Neill (Edmonds, Wash./Meadowdale HS), a high school all-American who has been ranked among the top 12 recruits in the nation. She joins her older sister, Kellie, who is currently a sophomore on the Washington basketball team. Together, they will form the second set of sisters to play for the Huskies, along with current freshmen Giuliana and Gioconda Mendiola.

O’Neill, a 6-foot-1 guard who led Meadowdale High to the state title last season as a junior, is a Street &Smith’s third team all-America and listed as the No. 12 player in the nation entering her senior season. An Associated Press First Team selection last year, she has helped lead her team to a record of 72-12 over the last three years. O’Neill averaged 18 points, eight rebounds, six assists and five steals as a junior and played along with Burt for the Yakima Elite All-Stars during the summer.

“Kristen brings size to the program,” added Daugherty. “She is a 6-1 guard who can play the one, two or three spots. Her biggest asset is her versatility and her tremendous defense. Kristen is someone who sees the floor well, gets her teammates involved and also has the ability to score a lot of points. She is a definite threat from three point range as well as a good penetrate and dish player. She does all the little things it takes to win.”

Burt (Arlington, Wash./Arlington HS), a 5-foot-11 adidas all-America guard from Arlington High, earned honorable mention all-America honors from Street &Smith’s and USA Today. She is ranked No. 42 on HoopPlanet.com’s list of top 100 recruits this season and is No. 94 among the top 750 seniors ranked by All-Star Girls Report. She led the Western 3A Conference in scoring last season has taken her team to the state tournament three straight years while the Arlington team has compiled a record of 61-20 in that span. Burt was the Everett Herald Player of the Year as a junior and earned Seattle Times first team all-state honors.

“Kayla can score big points,” Daugherty emphasized. “She is a scoring threat from anywhere on the floor and someone who has consistently been able to lead her team through the offense while putting up big numbers. Kayla also takes great pride in her defensive play. She has great vision on the floor, is a dangerous shooter, pure scorer, feisty, high intensity and a good defender. “

Brockman (Snohomish, Wash./Snohomish HS), a 6-foot-0 forward from Snohomish High School, has also earned Street &Smith’s honorable mention all-America honors. She led the Panthers to a third place finish at the state 4A tournament last year while averaging 16 points and eight rebounds per game. Brockman played two summers for the Seattle Magic elite summer team.

“Kirsten is one of the best athletic, big, post players to ever come out of the state of Washington,” Daugherty says. “Physically, she is very, very strong and mobile. She will give us a substantial presence inside because of her physical strength. Kirsten is a tough, hard-nosed rebounder.”

The Washington women’s basketball team opens its 2000-2001 season on the road at Indiana, Nov. 17. The Huskies play an exhibition game against the Bay Area Pro-Am team at 2 p.m., Sun., Nov. 12 at Mountlake Terrace High School.

Guard 6-1 Lynnwood, Wash. (Meadowdale HS)

Led Meadowdale High to the state championship as a junior in March, 2000

Street and Smith’s Third Team All-American … No. 12 high school player in the nation … top recruit out of the state of Washington.

Ranked No. 38 among top 750 seniors in the class of 2001 by All-Star Girls Report

Ranked No. 19 on HoopPlanet.com’s list of top 100 recruits this season

Selected Washington over Stanford, Notre Dame, Oregon and Arizona State.

Junior (1999-00): Led Meadowdale High to the state title … defeated No. 10 Blanchet, 40-33, in the championship game … scored a three pointer with 2:01 remaining in the game, to put her team ahead, and then scored the final six points to seal the victory … named to all-state first team, the Associated Press First Team, first team all-area squad after the team finished with a record of 19-9 … averaged 18 points, eight rebounds, six assists and five steals.

Sophomore (1998-99): Played on the Meadowdale team that compiled a record of 27-1 and were state runners-up … earned second team all-Wesco honors and was honored as Best Defender … averaged 15 points, six rebounds, five assists and four steals per game … earned second team honors at the state tournament.

Freshman (1997-98): Helped lead team to a 26-2 record and earned second team all-Wesco honors … team won the NW District and finished sixth at the state tournament … averaged 10 points, four rebounds and four assists per game.

Kristen O’Neill … daughter of Tina and Rich O’Neill … born April 12, 1983 in Seattle … older sister, Kellie, is a sophomore on the UW women’s basketball team … also has two younger brothers, Richard (15) and Roger (10) … father is a Seattle police sergeant and mother is a homemaker … carries a 3.7 grade point average and is enrolled in honors classes and a member of honor society … plays for coach Karen Blair at Meadowdale High School.

“Kristen is a tremendous defender who brings a great deal of versatility to the game. She can flat out play defense, defend anybody. Kristin is a great defender, great playmaker, and has an awesome overall floor game.”

“Kristen has been a tremendous asset to our program, in the true definition of student-athlete. On the court, she is a tremendous leader, a fierce competitor and a great all-around player. It’s such a cliche to say she is someone who makes her teammates better, but Kristen is one person who truly does that. She has great court vision. There is nothing eye-popping about her stats but it’s because she isn’t worried about scoring points.”

“Kristen O’Neill is an outstanding basketball player but an even better person. The University of Washington is getting a great kid. She is fun to be around, the type of person who gets along with everyone. She will be a real asset to the program. Kristen’s basketball skills speak for themselves. She is more than accomplished on the court. She is the type of person a coach wants in her program.

“Kristen is a versatile, big guard. She played point guard all summer and there is no question she was one of the best around. She will do whatever needs to be done on the court. She is one of the best I’ve seen at understanding the game, seeing open people, getting the ball to her teammates. She knows how to lead a team and we wanted the ball in her hands. Aside from her offensive skills, one of her greatest assets is her ability to defend. She plays great defense, whatever the situation. You could ask her to guard a 6-2 post or a 5-2 guard and either way, she does a great job.

“Washington is getting two really good guards in Kristen O’Neill and Kayla Burt. I think Husky fans have a lot to look forward to in the near future.”

5-11 Guard Arlington, Wash. (Arlington HS)

Street and Smith’s honorable mention all-America selection

USA Today honorable mention all-America selection

adidas all-American

Ranked No. 94 among top 750 seniors in the class of 2001 by All-Star Girls Report

Ranked No. 42 on HoopPlanet.com’s list of top 100 recruits this season

Selected Washington over Arizona, Arizona State, Oregon, Texas and Colorado State

Holds Arlington High single game records for points (37, two times), assists (11), steals (11) and three point field goals (7) … holds single season records for steals (116) and three point field goals (65) … holds school career records in points (1,556) and three point field goals (153).

Led Arlington Eagles to the Class 3A state tournament three straight years

Senior (2000-01): During summer, 2000 competed in the Arizona Elite Spring Classic and was named to all-tournament team, End of the Oregon Trail all-tournament team and Adidas Top 10 Camp All-Star Team.

Junior (1999-00): Led the Western 3A Conference in scoring … led Arlington High to a 22-4 record and Wesco and Northwest District titles … named to the Associated Press state first team … Everett Herald Player of the Year … Seattle Times first team all-state … averaged 21 points, 5.6 rebounds, 3 assists and 3 steals per game … high game was against Monroe when she scored 37 points, alogn with six rebounds, six steals and five assists … Seattle Times Star of the Month (Dec. ‘99) … Everett Herald all-area first team … Washington state 3A all-tournament team … Wesco 3A first team all-conference.

Sophomore (1998-99): Led team to an eighth place finish at the state tournament … averaged 20.3 points, 4.3 assists, 5.2 rebounds and 4.1 steals per game … Everett Herald all-area first team … Washington state 3A all-tournament team … Wesco 3A first team all-conference.

Freshman (1997-98): Averaged 15.5 points, 3.7 assists, 4 rebounds and 3.1 steals.

Kayla Burt … daughter of Teri and Ken Burt … born Nov. 3, 1982 in Soldotna, Alaska … left-handed … mother is a registered nurse and father is a general contractor … has one younger brother, Tyler (16) … four-year honor roll student with a 3.6 grade point average … plays point guard for coach Mike Buckholz at Arlington High School … four-time first-team all-league soccer honoree … also competed in softball and track and field.

“Kayla is one of those players who has no fear. She takes great pride in her defensive play, has great vision on floor, is a great playmaker. She sounds just like Kristen but it’s hard to avoid. Kayla is more of a long range threat as well as having a good medium range game. She can back up and just let it go.”

“Kayla is an outstanding player. She surprised a lot of people this summer, with how good she really was. Playing with people like Kristen O’Neill brought her game to a whole new level. She is going to be a great college player. Kayla is a scorer. She can put the ball in the basket. If you leave her open from three, she will make it. She is deceptively quick and can get by people. She is a great open court player and one of the best one-on-one players I’ve coached. Plus, her defense has come light years from where it was. She has the ability to be as good a defender as anybody.

6-0 Forward Snohomish, Wash. (Snohomish HS)

Street and Smith’s honorable mention all-America selection

Led Snohomish Panthers to a third place finish at the class 4A state tournament last year.

Selected Washington over Pepperdine, Santa Clara, Oregon and Colorado State

Junior (1999-00): Led team to a third place finish at the class 4A state tournament … averaged 16 points and 8 rebounds per game … was among the top 10 scorers in the state … selected to the all-state first team, all-area and all-Wesco first teams.

Sophomore (1998-99): Helped team to a 17-7 finish and the final game of the district tournament.

Freshman (1997-98): In her first year, helped team compile a record of 16-6 and advance to the district finals.

Kristen Brockman … daughter of Becky and Gordon Brockman … born Dec. 9, 1982 in Everett, Wash. … has one older brother, Adam (25) and two younger brothers, Paul (15) and Jonathan (13) … father is the principal and athletic director at Snohomish High School … he played basketball at Seattle Pacific … mother is an education specialist … also played volleyball and earned All-Wesco honors as a junior.

“Kirsten is one of the best athletic, big, post players to ever come out of the state of Washington. Physically, she is very, very strong and mobile. Kirsten is someone who is going to be a substantial presence inside because of her physical strength. She is a tough, hard-nosed rebounder.”

“Kirsten is probably the strongest rebounder I’ve ever coached. I’ve coached several outstanding players from Washington and she is by far one of the top rebounders among them. She is a real team leader, a vocal player who always has a positive attitude. She is very coach-able but also not afraid to ask questions. Kirsten plays the three or four. She can play on the perimeter but also inside. She is very strong posting up inside.”

“Kirsten is probably the most level-headed player I’ve ever coached. She is a tremendous jumper around the basket. She has good leaping ability. Kirsten is a hard worker and every year she has played, she has elevated her level of basketball.

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