UK Hoops Recruit Named WBCA Nike All-American

Feb. 9, 2010

Lexington, KY - Kentucky women's basketball signee Jennifer O'Neill, a 5-6 guard from Saint Michael Academy and Bronx, N.Y., was selected to the WBCA High School All-America Team, the association announced Tuesday.

O'Neill is one of 20 high school seniors dubbed as the top prep players selected to play in the 19th annual WBCA High School All-America Game presented by Nike . The players who have been chosen will be divided into two teams of 10 players. The college-style regulation game is scheduled to tip off at 5:30 p.m. EST on Saturday, April 3, at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas. This highly-anticipated event is part of the WBCA National Convention, which takes place at the site of the NCAA® Women's Final Four®.  This year's event will be the first to be played on the same court as the NCAA Women's Final Four.  The game is free to the public, however tickets for seating in a reserved section are available at www.wbca.org .

O'Neill , a consensus national top-30 player, becomes Kentucky's first incoming freshman to earn All-America honors under third-year coach Matthew Mitchell. She is ranked as the nation's 10 th best point guard, according to ESPN HoopGurlz, was tabbed a fourth-team All-American by PARADE magazine and was a fifth-team All-America choice by Street & Smith's magazine last season. She currently averages 22.0 points, 6.0 assists and 4.0 steals per game in leading St. Michael Academy to a 16-4 overall record. O'Neill has eclipsed the 30-point mark four times this season, including a career-high 44-point performance vs. Mt. Vernon.

“I've been really impressed with Jennifer's work ethic,” Mitchell said. “She made a commitment to getting even better between her junior and senior seasons and I think she embodies everything we are about here at Kentucky and that is honesty, hard work and discipline. I think she has a chance to be a difference-maker on this team. She is a fantastic player and I'm really proud of all she has accomplished up to this point.”

O'Neill joins a joins an impressive recruiting class that includes LaQuinta Jefferson (La Vergne, Tenn.), and Kastine Evans (Salem, Conn.) both ranked in the top 70 overall by ESPN HoopGurlz. Jefferson is ranked No. 64 overall and is listed as the No. 16 guard in the class while Evans ranks No. 67 overall and is the No. 18 shooting guard. Also set to suit up for the Blue and White next season is Sarah Beth Barnette , a 6-foot-2 forward from Lexington Christian Academy in Lexington, Ky., and Maegan Conwright , a 5-8 guard from Mansfield Timberview High School in Arlington, Texas. Barnette is considered one of the lead candidates for Kentucky's Miss Basketball honor and Conwright is listed as the 36th-best guard in the nation by ESPN HoopGurlz . This exceptional group of athletes was given a Top-10 national ranking by two recruiting services. The class was ranked No. 5 by Blue Star Basketball and No. 10 by ESPN HoopGurlz. It marks the highest-ranking class for the Wildcats since 2006.