Stanford incoming freshman Alanna Smith was selected as one of the 12 athletes to Australia's Under-19 Gems squad, which will represent its country this summer at the FIBA U19 World Championship for Women, Basketball Australia announced.
The competition, which runs from July 18-26 and takes place in the host city of Chekhov, Russia, will feature the best U19 teams from across the globe. The Australian Jayco Gems will face Group D opponents Serbia, Brazil and South Korea in the preliminary round of the tournament. The Gems qualified for this event following their title at the 2014 FIBA Oceania U18 Championship for Women in Suva, Fiji. The Australians finished third at the 2013 edition of the biennial event held in Lithuania.
Smith, who earned her spot on the team following a May training camp, will be one of two Cardinal playing across the globe in July. Two weeks ago, sophomore forward Erica McCall was one of 12 players named to the USA roster for the 2015 World University Games in Gwangju, South Korea from July 3-14.
Smith led all competitors in scoring at the aforementioned FIBA Oceania U18 Championship for Women, averaging 21.0 points on 65.2 percent shooting to go along with 7.2 rebounds. In the 98-65 title game victory over New Zealand on December 6, the 6-foot-3 forward scored 21 points on 10-of-19 shooting and nabbed four steals.
In February, Smith continued her strong play at the 2015 U20 Australian Junior Championships, propelling her Victoria team to an undefeated record and a dominant 75-41 win over Western Australia in the grand final. She posted averages of 19.8 points and 9.1 rebounds on 50 percent shooting en route to MVP honors and began the tournament with a 30-point, 10-rebound double-double against New South Wales on February 22.
Two Stanford incoming freshmen, Jordan Ewert and Ryan Smith, have been named first team All-Americans by the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA), Tuesday as it announced its ninth annual Boys' High School Senior All-America Teams.
Stanford was one of four teams nationally with two selections to the first team. Two-time defending national champion Loyola Chicago, Hawai'i and Long Beach State also had two first-team picks.
A 6-foot-4 outside hitter out of Deer Valley High School, Ewert has been an integral part of the success of the USA High Performance program. A member of the pipeline for three years, he guided his teams to gold medals in each of the past two summers. In 2013, Ewert was named the MVP of the USA HP Championships as he led his USA Select Red team to first place in the International Division. In 2014, he became a starter for the USA Boys Youth National Team and was named the best receiver at the NORCECA Continental Championships. That squad became only the third USA Youth team to win a gold in program history.
Ewert has also had tremendous success in junior club play. A longtime member of Pacific Rim Volleyball Club, he was named to the 17 & under all-tournament team at the U.S. Junior National Championships as his team captured gold.
A teammate of Ewert on the Pacific Rim squad, Smith is another versatile perimeter hitter with great experience from Buchanan High in Clovis. A native of Fort Worth, Texas, he moved to central California to gain greater growth in the sport. A 6-7 outside hitter/opposite, Smith was a one of the key players for his high school squad that won the Central Section last season, and was ranked third in the nation by MaxPreps.com.