Women’s basketball: Gray named to U.S. squad

Cal junior forward Reshanda Gray was named to the USA Women’s World University Games roster and will participate in the event at Kazan, Russia, July 8-15.

Gray averaged 8.3 points and 5.2 rebounds as a sophomore last season. She will train with the USA team from June 25 through July 1 in Colorado Springs.

Cal senior Gennifer Brandon also took part in the team tryouts, which ended Sunday. Brandon was not chosen to the 12-player roster 

Here’s a Q&A with Gray, courtesy of USA Basketball:

What was your initial reaction when they called your name?
“I was nervous. I was having butterflies. I was locked arms with my teammate Gennifer [Brandon], and I was just telling her, ‘Make the team or not, this is just a learning experience for us to get better.’ We’re just very thankful and blessed to be here. I’m one of the top 33 college players in the country, just being able to be here and try. I just want to cry right now. I’m so emotional because we worked so hard, and I just give props to my teammate Genn. She definitely pushed me, and I just give props to everybody back home for sending good vibes and good luck wishes.”

Would you say this is one of the biggest honors of your basketball career?
“You know, I would say it’s top three, one of the big honors of my basketball career.” 

You played on the 2010 USA FIBA Americas U18 Championship Team. Do you feel the same excitement now that you did back then?
“I’m more excited because the competition here was just over the top, and it was definitely challenging. I’m so happy that I pushed myself, and the people here were so nice and helpful. They were just welcoming.”

Did you feel pretty confident after the three days that you would hear your name called?
“I just did me. I just did whatever I did to get me here in the first place. So yeah, I just left everything out on the floor. Make the team or not, I’m still going to leave with a big smile on my face.”

What are you hoping to bring most to this team?
“I’m just hoping to bring whatever the coaches need me to do. If they need me to make waters, I’ll make waters. If they need me to go in there and play defense, whatever, I’m here. I’m here with the S on my chest.”

Have you ever been to Russia?
“No. I’ve never left the country, so I’m a little nervous. But I’m definitely excited.

You going to take a lot of pictures? “
Yes! Of course I will. I hope the Internet still works. I hope I get Wi-Fi.
What are your plans until you come back to start training camp in five weeks?
For a few days, I’m going to go home and visit my family. Then, I’m going to head back to school where I start summer school and summer workouts with lovely Hank, my strength and conditioning coach, and (California assistant coach) Katy Steding who also was a part of the USA team. So, I’m looking forward to it.

Jeff Faraudo