UT signee Erika Arriaran named 2005 State Farm/WBCA Player of Year
ATLANTA -- The Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) named University of Texas women's basketball signee Erika Arriaran o (Norco, Calif./Norco HS) the 2005 State Farm/WBCA National High School Player of the Year. The WBCA and State Farm present this award annually to the top players in each of the five WBCA collegiate divisions (NCAA Divisions I, II, III, NAIA, JC/CC) and high school at its National Convention.
Arriaran, a 5'10" guard, is averaging 18.2 points, 6.5 assists, and 9 rebounds this season for the Cougars. Her career highlights include over 1200 points, 600 rebounds and over 300 assists and steals - without playing her sophomore year. She has led Norco HS to the No. 21 national ranking in the USA Today high school rankings. The Full Court Press and the All-Star Girls Report recruiting services also ranked Arriaran the No. 1 ranked player for the class of 2005.
Arriaran is the second University of Texas women's basketball player in two years to collect the prestigious State Farm/WBCA National Player of the Year honors, following current 6-3 Longhorn sophomore Tiffany Jackson, who earned the award as a Duncanville (Tx.) High School senior in 2003.
"We are extremely pleased to present Erika with the State Farm/WBCA High School Player of the Year award," said WBCA CEO Beth Bass. "Erika is an outstanding athlete and a true representative of the sport. We look forward to seeing her play at the collegiate level."
Arriaran's list of accolades and accomplishments include: 2004 Street and Smith All-American, one of the 2004 USA Today Top Super 25 Girls Players, a 2004 Parade All-American Second Team and 2004 Naismith High School Player of the Year finalist. All California Division 2AA- 1st Team 2003 and 2004. This past summer, Arriaran won a gold medal playing for the 2004 USA Junior National Team as she helped the United State qualify for the 2005 FIBA Junior World Championships.
Arriaran will be formally honored on Saturday, April 2 during the "WBCA Night of All-Stars" at the University of Indianapolis' Nicoson Hall in Indianapolis, IN, where she will also be competing in the WBCA High School All-America Game, presented by Nike. The "WBCA Night of All-Stars" doubleheader event is part of the 2005 WBCA National Convention, held in conjunction with the NCAA Division I Women's Final Four.
Playing in that Nike/WBCA High School All-America Game will be another UT signee for next year - 6-1 Earnesia Williams of Sapulpa, Oklahoma and Sapulpa High School. Both Arriaran and Williams were named 2005 WBCA First Team All-Americans. A third Texas signee for next year - forward Crystal Boyd of Little Rock, Arkansas and Parkview High School, was named Honorable Mention for the High School All-America Game.
"State Farm is proud to partner with the WBCA and recognize these gifted student-athletes for their dedication and tremendous achievements they have accomplished," said Pam El, Vice President of Marketing at State Farm.
State Farm ® insures more cars than any other insurer in North America and is the leading U.S. home insurer. State Farm's 17,000 agents and 72,000 employees serve nearly 73 million auto, fire, life and health policies in the United States and Canada. State Farm also offers financial services products through State Farm Bank ®. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company is the parent of the State Farm family of companies. State Farm is ranked No. 21 on the Fortune 500 list of largest companies.
Founded in 1981, the Women's Basketball Coaches Association promotes women's basketball by unifying coaches at all levels to develop a reputable identity for the sport and to foster and promote the development of the game in all of its aspects as an amateur sport for women and girls. For more information about the WBCA, please visit WBCA.org.