SCHIMMEL REACTS TO MAKING USA TEAM
Sporting a "Team USA" t-shirt, University of Louisville senior-to-be Shoni Schimmel met with the media about her selection to the U.S. national team for the World University Games later this summer.
Schimmel was one of three U of L players trying out for the team – Bria Smith and Sara Hammond didn't make the cut – and said making the 12-player roster was "such an honor" for her and the school.
"It's a great honor for me to make the team," she said. "It's exciting for me. It's a great thing for me still being kind of young, making a team like this."
U of L coach Jeff Walz agreed, noting Schimmel would get to find out a lot about her game when playing the international competition.
"It's going to give her a chance to see where she stacks up on a world stage, and that's something that's going to benefit her for her senior year and her aspirations of playing professionally," Walz said.
Schimmel will play on the U.S. team that will practice for a week in Colorado Springs, Colo., and then head to Kazan, Russia, for the World University Games to be played July 8-15.
During the tryouts, Schimmel said she wasn't sure if she would make the team or not. But she said she played "pretty good," the entire weekend, noting one game she hit five three-pointers in a row.
"I feel like I passed the ball really well and a few games where I shot the ball well," Schimmel said. "I was just out there playing basketball and having fun. If I made the team, I made the team. I just wanted to have fun."
Schimmel, who had trouble getting into playing shape last season, said the extra time spent on the team this summer is also going to help her next season.
"It's actually going to keep me in shape," Schimmel said with a laugh. "It's actually going to keep me doing stuff. It will keep me going."
Schimmel said she was anxious when the team was being picked. The coaches named the team in alphabetical order, with Schimmel being late in the process.
"I was the second-to-last called," she said. "It was a kind of an on-edge thing. But it was a lot of fun and I am excited."
Schimmel said she was also excited , being Native American that so many of her family, friends and folks on the reservation where she grew up were excited for her. She said her father had "a whole lot" of text messages.
"It's a great honor for me to be Native American and not only go out and represent the USA but my culture," she said. "It's awesome to have such a great bunch of people behind you and watching your every move and cheering for you.
"It's pretty awesome."
WALZ LOOKING FOR NEW ASSISTANT
For the third straight season, U of L coach Jeff Walz will have to replace an assistant coach after Cameron Newbauer took the head coaching job at Belmont. He was at U of L for one season and announced earlier this week.
Walz said he was going to "take his time" and make sure he makes the right hire with his new assistant coach.
"I don't have to rush," Walz said.
Stephanie Norman has been with Walz all six years at U of L, while Samantha Williams is back on staff and heading into her third season.
Michelle Clark-Heard left after the 2012 season for Western Kentucky, while Bethann Shapiro Ord left after the 2011 season for Weber State.
When asked if he was becoming like U of L men's coach Rick Pitino in turning assistant coaches into head coach, Walz joked that "he's going to have to catch up to me." Pitino has more than 20 former assistants or players as head coaches.
NEW PLAYERS SET TO REPORT
Walz said newcomers Emmonnie Henderson and Janelle Cannon are set to arrive in Louisville in the next week or so.
The two are expected to enroll in school on June 3.
The other newcomer, Starr Breedlove, is not expected on campus until late July because of her class schedule at a prep school this school year.
"We're excited to get all of them on campus," Walz said.
SCHIMMEL JUST KEEP SIGNING
Schimmel was asked about the last month and what it's been like since the Cardinals made it to the NCAA national title game.
"It's been crazy," she said with a smile. "But it seems like forever ago."
And just how many autographs has she signed?
"You would be surprised," she said with a big smile. "A lot."