When UConn signee Christyn Williams was erupting for 42 points to lead Central Arkansas Christian to the 4A championship, there were plenty of references to 2008 when three different players had 45-point games in the state tournament.
One of those shooting stars is none other than Shekinna Stricklen of the Connecticut Sun. At the Sun's media day festivities, Stricklen took a trip down memory lane of her senior season at Morrilton High School. Stricklen tied the Arkansas record for points in a state title game with 45 in the 2008 5A final against Camden Fairview but it was Camden Fairview emerging with the 70-63 victory and a second straight title.
"I wanted it so bad, I had lost to the same team my junior year and we had to play the same team my senior year and I just remember I gave it all I had, I really wanted to win," Stricklen said.
Williams' high school career had a better ending as she led Central Arkansas to the 68-57 win over Riverview.
Stricklen doesn't recall ever meeting Williams but still she feels plenty of pride hearing of Williams' exploits.
"She is very explosive, good ball handler, good shooter, good IQ, a very good player and I am so happy she is from Arkansas," Stricklen said. "We really don't get too many Arkansas players and I am really excited for her
"I've been keeping up with her and pretty sure I will reach out to her soon but I am excited. She is coming to a great team, a great coach in Geno and he is going to take her game to another level. She will be here in the league soon."
PLENTY OF PRAISE FOR COLLIERUConn's Napheesa Collier was the only active college player to take part in the recent U.S. national team camp. Morgan Tuck, her former UConn teammate, also took part in the camp held in Seattle and loved what she saw from Collier.
"She was the only college player there and she did really well and held her own," Tuck said. "I think the biggest thing is she was really open to learn, she tries to learn from everybody especially somebody who is still in college, you have Sue and Diana who have been out of college for a long time so I think she just really enjoyed the experience and she looked really good.
"How active she is, she is getting a ton of rebounds and even if she was a little nervous, which you always are the first day, she was active the whole time and that is what helps her be so effective that even if she is not scoring, she is active."
Tuck opened up enough eyes when she was at the camp that when Elena Delle Donne wasn't able to play in an international friendly against China, Tuck was asked to suit up.
One of the six former Huskies to play in the game, Tuck tied for the team lead with six rebounds in the 83-46 victory.
"It was my first time playing in a game at the national level and it kind of made it even sweeter because I originally didn't make the roster but then they asked me to hang around and it was a great experience, hopefully I get more of those chances in the future."