When you're a point guard with the court vision and feel for the game of senior point guard Courtney Vandersloot plus the opportunity to workout and learn from Gonzaga and NBA legend John Stockton, good things happen.
For the Kent, WA native, the individual accolades begin this season with a much-deserved selection to the 2010-11 John R. Wooden Award Preseason Top 30 List for women.
Senior point guard makes the preseason list for the second-straight season - Gonzaga University
The West Coast Conference Player of the Year for the past two seasons, Vandersloot ended her junior campaign as the nation’s assist leader at 9.4 per game, and fourth in steals at 3.6 and 12th in assist-to-turnover ratio at 2.2. The Kent, Wash., native was named Associated Press and State Farm Coaches' All-America Honorable Mention. She was a Nancy Lieberman Award Finalist, a Wade Trophy Award Finalist and the WCC Tournament Most Valuable Player.
After helping to lead Gonzaga to their first ever Sweet Sixteen - including a thrilling game against Texas A&M at Hec Ed Arena, among the best basketball games in Seattle of the year - Vandersloot will have a chance for even more local tournament exposure this season: Gonzaga will be hosting the first and second rounds of the tournament this year, while Washington State will host a regional.
Vandersloot is fun to watch if only because she's one of those rare point guards who seems to be in complete control of the game when she's on the floor and that ability makes her a strong early season WNBA draft prospect as well.
There have always been concerns that her rather slight 5'9" frame would prevent her from advancing to the next level, as she was not heavily recruited out of high school, being passed over by Pac-10 teams in the region. Some still believe that will prevent her from becoming a productive WNBA player. But coach Kelly Graves provides some perspective for Gonzaga basketball fans.