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Arriaran one of 20 to play in All-America game

2/18/2005

ATLANTA -- Texas recruit Erika Arriaran of Norco, Calif., has been named the 2005 State Farm/WBCA National High School Player of the Year.

Arriaran, a 5-foot-10 guard who is one of 20 players who will compete in April's WBCA High School All-America Game, is averaging 18.2 points, 6.5 assists and nine rebounds this season for the Norco Cougars. She has tallied more than 1,200 points, 600 rebounds and 300 assists and steals in a three-year prep career (she sat out her sophomore season), and has led Norco to the No. 21 national ranking.

Arriaran, the No. 1-ranked player for the class of 2005 by both the All-Star Girls Report and Full Court Press, is the second Longhorn in as many years to win the award. Texas sophomore Tiffany Jackson won the award -- given annually to the top players in each of the five WBCA collegiate divisions and high school -- in 2003.

"Erika is an outstanding athlete and a true representative of the sport," WBCA CEO Beth Bass said. "We look forward to seeing her play at the collegiate level."

Arriaran's list of accolades and accomplishments include: 2004 Street and Smith All-American, one of the 2004 USA Today Top Super 25 Girls Players, a second-team 2004 Parade All-American and 2004 Naismith High School Player of the Year finalist. This past summer, Arriaran won a gold medal playing for the 2004 USA Junior National Team as she helped the United States qualify for the 2005 FIBA Junior World Championships.

Arriaran will be formally honored on April 2 during the "WBCA Night of All-Stars" at the University of Indianapolis' Nicoson Hall. The doubleheader event -- the WBCA All-Star Challenge features 20 of the top senior collegiate players in the nation -- is part of the 24th annual WBCA National Convention, held in conjunction with the NCAA Division I Women's Final Four.

Another Texas signee, 6-0 forward Earnesia Williams of Sapulpa, Okla., will also play in the game. Both Arriaran and Williams were named 2005 WBCA First Team All-Americans. A third Texas signee for next year -- 6-0 guard Crystal Boyd of Little Rock, Ark., was named Honorable Mention for the High School All-America Game.

Duke, Georgia, Maryland, North Carolina and Oklahoma also each have two signees who will compete in the game.

A look at the honorees: