By Lindsey Frazier
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Tuesday, April 19, 2005
The Arizona women's basketball team announced yesterday the signing of Malia O'Neal to a National Letter of Intent.
A 5-foot-5 guard out of Seattle, O'Neal is a two-time Washington Gatorade and Seattle Times Player of the Year.
"We're very, very excited to sign Malia," said Arizona head coach Joan Bonvicini. "I think she's going to be a great point guard in our system. She is going to have a huge impact on the game. She's a winner and she's a very unselfish. She has a great understanding for the game."
O'Neal led Garfield High School to the Class 4A state title this year with a 63-58 victory over Snohomish. The championship was the Bulldogs' first since 1987.
"She's played at a very high level in high school and played on a championship team," Bonvicini added. "She played against some of the best players and teams in the country. I think her ability to play at that level (will help her at Arizona). She's a hoop junkie. She's a real player that has a great understanding of the game and that studied it even at a young age."
O'Neal averaged 17.4 points per game on 52 percent shooting her senior year. She also contributed 8.2 assists and 6.2 steals. In 2004, her team was the state runner-up.