The UVU women’s basketball team will have a new starting point guard this season. It could be New Zealand native, Georgia Agnew whose path to UVU is much different than any other player on the team.
Agnew could also be competing against junior guard Ashley Klemz, who backed up Cydne Gray last season.
Agnew’s brief stint at Salem Hills was the first time she spent time in the United States. It was her experience with the Sky Hawks head coach that brought her here.
“I did half of my senior season in high school at Salem Hills,” Agnew said. “I went to one of the camps that UVU was at and it was lucky because it was a last minute thing. Then I ended up tearing my ACL before the state championships and I was really lucky that they we’re able to see me at that camp.”
Mike Conner, who was the head coach at Salem Hills high school during the time that Agnew spent there, played professional basketball in a New Zealand league following his college days. That connection gave Agnew an opportunity to take her talents to America.
Once she decided to pursue basketball more seriously, she knew she needed to leave New Zealand if she wanted to take her game, and career, to the next level. Agnew called Conner and decided to enroll at Salem Hills in an attempt to gain a college scholarship. Her decision to come to America paid off.
With Agnew on the team, Salem Hills had its most successful year in program history in 2011, even though Agnew was unable to finish the season after suffering an ACL tear. Unfortunately, that’s not the only major injury that Agnew had before coming to UVU. She also tore ligaments in her ankle.
The Wolverines offered a scholarship before her injury and they honored that scholarship throughout her rehabilitation. Clearly that loyalty is paying off as coaches and players have noticed her desire to be the best player possible.
“Her work ethic is second to none,” head coach Cathy Nixon said. “I don’t think anyone in this program would disagree that she is the hardest working and most dedicated player we have ever had in our program.”
That dedication to improving has led her to begin changing her shooting motion. Most players won’t mess with that during fall camp and the season, but she recognizes a need to improve.
“I probably shouldn’t be changing my shot right now but I need to be better,” said Agnew. “I may struggle with it (her shot) this season but it’s going to be better in the future.”
For not being American, she has found a love for American things. If she’s not watching her favorite movies, Titanic and the Count of Monte Cristo, then she may be reading a Dan Brown book.
“I’ve read Da Vinci Code like five times,” Agnew said. “I also really liked Angels and Demons.”
After a long day of attending class, lifting weights, surviving a long three hour practice and spending some time doing homework, she manages to find a little time to herself.
“In my down time I’ll watch TV series,” Agnew said. “I love Vampire Dairies. I also just started watching the Biggest Loser. The first episode just came on and I was all on that.”
It takes a special type of player to compete for a starting job as a redshirt freshman. Agnew is that type of player and her skills should blend in perfectly with the new offensive system the Wolverines are implementing. It will be interesting to see how Agnew stacks up in D-I play as UVU opens up the season on Nov 8 versus the University of Nevada. That could be the first official start for the New Zealand native.
Matthew Baiamonte is a senior at UVU, studying journalism with a sports emphasis. He is originally from Pleasant Grove, Utah. Sports are his passion, especially the Los Angeles Lakers. He plans on becoming a national sports broadcaster when he finished up his degree. Follow him on twitter @baiamontematt, you won’t regret it.