Posted: 10/30/2013 12:32 AM
Last edited 10/30/2013 12:33 AM by CardsNC2013
Posted: 10/30/2013 11:05 AM
Posted: 10/30/2013 10:50 PM
University of Minnesota women's basketball coach Pam Borton was met with an odd request before she landed a talented 6-foot-5 center from Sweden to play for her next season.
Amanda Zahui B., who signed a letter of intent Wednesday, May 9, asked to have part of her last name shortened to one letter because it would be easier to pronounce and would fit on the back of her jersey.
Zahui B., who averaged 15 points and eight rebounds for the Swedish national team in the Under-18 European Championships last year, played in the past under the name Amanda Zahui Bazoukou. Her mother is half Spanish and half French.
"I was like, 'OK, we'll give you whatever you want here,' " said Borton, who won a recruiting battle over Washington and Louisville, the two other schools to which Zahui B. made official visits last month.
Zahui B. had never been to the United States until she flew to Minneapolis to visit the Gophers three weeks ago.
"It reminds me a lot of Sweden," she said by phone Wednesday. "It's very beautiful there with the water and the bridges. When I walked around campus, I was blown away and couldn't believe that I could be going to school here. Minnesota has been building a relationship with my family, so I felt comfortable there with the coaches and the team."
Borton hopes Zahui B. will be a great complement to last season's leading scorer, Rachel Banham, the Big Ten freshman of the year in 2011-12. She said Banham and Zahui B. could be the next Lindsay Whalen and Janel McCarville, former All-Americans who helped lead the Gophers to the Final Four in 2004.
Posted: 10/31/2013 9:42 AM