While some players were waiting for their turn to get tested at Velocity, they passed the time shooting some baskets. Above Heather O'Reilly shows her free-throw form. A little known fact about the WNT is that many of them were high school basketball players of some acclaim. Almost all of them were point guards, which seems to transfer well to the soccer field, but Abby Wambach did much of her work in the post. A sample of some of the WNT hoopsters:
Nicole Barnhart didn't play girls soccer at Boyertown HS (she played for the boys team all four years), but the 5-10 goalkeeper did play girl's basketball.
Lauren Cheney played three years of varsity hoops for Ben Davis HS in Indianapolis. She was listed as one of the Top-100 girls players in the state of Indiana as a sophomore and junior before turning her focus full-time to soccer.
Stephanie Cox played four years of HS hoops, three on varsity at Oak Grove HS in Sacramento, where she was once named Defensive Player of the Year. Her husband Brian coaches basketball at his old high school.
O'Reilly played three years of varsity point guard for East Brunswick HS in N.J., but she admits she wasn't much of a shooter. Defense, steals and pushing the ball upcourt at high speed were her strengths.
Carli Lloyd played high school hoops at Delran HS until her junior year.
Leslie Osborne played her freshman and sophomore years at Catholic Memorial, earning All-Conference honors as a soph. Her boyfriend Kyle, a former Santa Clara Univ. star point guard, plays professionally in Germany.
Megan Rapinoe did not play high school soccer, but she did play three years of high school hoops.
Lindsay Tarpley played four years of varsity point guard for Portage Central, earning All-Conference and team MVP honors all four years. She held the Portage record for most steals and assists in a game, season and career.
Wambach once thought she would play college basketball (her sister Beth played basketball at Harvard) not soccer, and there are folks in her hometown of Rochester, N.Y. who still speak of her dominance on the hardwood. She played four years of varsity, earning All-Greater Rochester honors twice.
Cat Whitehill played three years of hoops for Briarwood Christian School, leading her team to the state final four twice while being named All-State as a senior.
The creme de la creme is of course U.S. captain Christie Rampone. A high school hoops star in Point Pleasant, N.J., she scored an amazing 2,190 career points in high school basketball and was named New Jersey Female Athlete of the Year by the New Jersey Nets as a senior. She played both the point guard and shooting guard positions for Monmouth University and had single game bests of 22 points, 13 assists and 10 steals in different games. She held the school record for steals in a season (79) as well as in a game and a career. She also hit a last-second shot from near mid-court to beat Hofstra one year.
Needless to say, the WNT could put together a nice little pick-up basketball team. This would be the WNT Blog's starting lineup:
Point - Rampone
Shooting guard - Whitehill
Small forward - Osborne
Power forward - Cheney
Center - Wambach
And you'd have quite a guard rotation with Tarpley, Cox and O'Reilly coming off the bench.