RECRUITING: Nation's best has OU women among top 3

Norko, Calif. point guard Erika Arriaran talks about her game and interest in Oklahoma.


Meet the No. 1 prep female basketball player in the country. Erika Arriaran is regarded by everybody as the top female hoops player in the country, and everybody in the country has tried to get into the recruiting hunt for this talented guard.

Arriaran has been a starter since her freshman year, and last year she averaged close to 17 points per game. But don't tell her she is the best player in the country.
"I honestly think it is kind of dumb," said Arriaran. "There is no way for people to compare me to other players across the country or me to a post player. I think rankings are so ridiculous, but I guess it is a compliment. I just take them with a grain of salt."

Arriaran is the point guard at Norko High and she has the basketball in her hands most of the time, something she feels will continue on the collegiate level.

"I think that will depend on what team I actually will play for," said Norko. "If that teams needs me more at the point then I will be the point guard, but if they need me at wing then I wouldn't mind moving over to wing. I think I am a point guard first and that is my best position."

For this summer Arriaran didn't play AAU ball, but she did play for the Junior Olympic Team where she was one of the better players on a great team.

"We blew out everybody. There really wasn't any competition over there (Puerto Rico)," said Arriaran. "I did OK I guess. I think everybody did OK knowing that the closest game that we had we still won by 67 points."

Arriaran can do some magical things with a ball in her hands.

"I am a typical point guard," said Arriaran. "I just look up the floor and I try to create things. I try to control the floor and I try to score some to keep the defense honest, but for the most part I try to control the game and keep our offense going."

Arriaran has been offered by just about every team in the country, but she has her choices down to three schools.

"I have my decision down to Texas, Oklahoma and Vanderbilt," said Arriaran. "My freshman year I was able to go to the Texas camp and I got to know the Texas girls and talk to the Texas coaches. The same thing happened that next year when I got to visit Oklahoma, and then I went to Texas again and my dad got to see them. "Next month, we are going to OU and my dad will get a chance to see them. I have been considering them (Oklahoma and Texas) a long time, but Vanderbilt just came out of nowhere recently. We haven't spent very much time with them, but we like what we have seen thus far, and they have great academics and academics are very important to us." "My mom really gets into this college stuff. My freshman year, when I wasn't really interested in recruiting, it was my mom who told me that I should take a hard look at OU and Texas, " Arriaran continued. "When I went to Texas I really liked it and then I thought I should go check Oklahoma out. It was a spur of the moment type of deal, and I just love it at Oklahoma. I have a great relationship with Coach (Sherri) Coale and just have a great time with her every time I am around her and her family."

Arriaran will take an unofficial to Vanderbilt (8-29) and then she will visit OU (9-18) and Texas (9-10).

"I am looking for a good education (broadcast communication)at a school where I can fit in. That is why I am taking all these trips, because I want to see what kind of atmosphere each school has. I also want to go to a school that is winning, because I want to win a championship while I am there. I don't want to go to a program that has already won. I want to got to a program that is on the verge of making it and I want to help that program get over the hump.

The style of coaching will be important as well. I constantly watch Oklahoma and Texas and the best thing that both do is push the ball. Those two schools match-up pretty well with each other and I like their styles."

Arriaran right now has no idea where she is going to go to school.

"I get asked this question a lot and I can honestly say that I have no idea where I am going," said Arriaran. "I wish I did know, because I don't want to keep dragging this thing along. As soon as I know I am gong to put this thing to rest."

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