In hopes of capitalizing on recent success in FIBA tournament play, the burgeoning women’s basketball program in Armenia may be able to add a pair of college ballers from the diaspora currently enjoying some success in the U.S. in the college ranks.
Kate Kevorken is playing her senior year with the University of Nevada, producing nicely for the Wolfpack after cracking the starting lineup in her second season with the program. The two guard bagged her first Western Athletic Conference player of the week award on December 19 thanks to a 25-point (including the game-winner), 11-rebound show against Oregon. Ten days later, “The Encyclopedia” broke her personal scoring mark with 27 points in a losing effort to Mississippi State.
Eastward, freshman Sarah Halejian’s game grows seemingly day to day with the Yale Bulldogs. Halejian went for her career-high 14 points in a 92-41 blowout win over St. Francis, sharing Ivy League Player of the Week honors for her efforts; she yesterday matched that scoring mark with another 14 in Yale’s 80-47 home win over Baruch.
Yale coach Chris Gobrecht has noted Halejian’s abilities as a “gifted offensive player,” stating that she’s “becoming a very strong defender as well” – and remember, folks, Yale awards no athletic scholarships, thus Halejian must be backing up her play with academic performance. The Bulldogs themselves currently occupy third place on the Ivy League table at 10-4.
As for this summer, Basketball Federation of Armenia president Hrachya Rostomyan is hopeful that Halejian and Kevorken can be infused into a team moving up on the European radar; Team Armenia placed second in the 2010 FIBA European Championship Women Division C tournament behind MVP Christina Kepenekian and all-tourney Amanda Jackson.
Said Rostomyan: “We look forward to Halejian and Kevorken possibly joining the women’s national basketball team in 2012. After our silver-medal performance [in 2010 …] the potential impact of players like Sarah and Kate would be invaluable to Armenia.”