MANHATTAN – K-State women’s basketball will send a four-player contingent to the 2021 Red Bull USA Basketball 3X Nationals at the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Mass., on Saturday and Sunday.
The Wildcats qualified for the 2021 Red Bull USA Basketball 3X Nationals by winning the 2019 Red Bull USA Basketball 3X East Region title. During the 2019 regional, K-State won its pool and then cruised to wins in the semifinals and finals to capture the regional crown at Queens College in New York City.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 Red Bull USA Basketball 3X Nationals were cancelled and moved to 2021. Preliminary round games will be played in June 12. Teams will be seeded based on preliminary records and the knockout rounds will be held on June 13. Games will be played on the Hall of Fame’s Jerry Colangelo Court of Dreams, which is located in the heart of the Museum. The event is open to the public with purchase of an admission pass to the Hall of Fame.
In addition to the lure of a 3x3 national championship, the event also will serve as the final evaluation of athletes for selection to the U.S. Women’s 3x3 Olympic Team and will serve to identify athletes for other 2021 USA women’s 3x3 National Teams.
Fans will see the inclusion of 3x3 in Tokyo this summer. The exciting and fast-paced game officially was unveiled in international competition at the 2010 Youth Olympic Games and since has become a fan favorite. Played on a half court with a 10-minute clock and a 12-second shot clock, the first team to 21 points, or the team in the lead at the end of regulation, is the winner.
Participating teams will have earned their spots in the 2021 Red Bull USA Basketball 3X Nationals either through Red Bull USA Basketball 3X regional qualifying tournaments or via an official invitation from USA Basketball.
K-State’s representatives at the event will be junior Ayoka Lee, senior Rachel Ranke, senior Cymone Goodrich and junior Emilee Ebert.
Lee was a 2021 WBCA All-America honorable mention recipient and a preseason candidate for every national award including the Wade Trophy, Naismith Trophy, Wooden Award, and Lisa Leslie Award.
She completed the 2020-21 regular season with a career-high 19.1 points per game (478 points). Her scoring average this season was the highest by a Wildcat since Brittany Chambers set the school record at 21.0 points per game in 2012-13.
Lee became the first player in the 53-season history of K-State women’s basketball to register 450 or more points, 200 or more rebounds and 45 or more blocks in her first two seasons.
The product of Byron, Minn., also recorded a career-best field goal percentage of .621 and a career-best free throw percentage of .812. She led the Big 12 and ranks third in the nation in field goal percentage. She was the only player in NCAA Division I with a field goal percentage of .600 or better and a free throw percentage of .800 or better.
Lee recorded 10 double-doubles, including four straight to conclude the season. Among her 10 double-doubles, Lee registered a 37-point, 18-rebound effort against Oklahoma on January 31. Her 37 points set the school record for points in a Big 12 Conference game, are the fifth-most points scored in any game in school history and the most since Chambers set the school-record of 42 against Texas Southern on March 21, 2013.
In Big 12 play, Lee was even better as she ranked fifth for scoring average with 19.8 points per game and led the league in field goal percentage at .629. She was the only player in Big 12 play to card a field goal percentage of 60.0 percent or better.
On the boards in Big 12 action, Lee pulled in 8.56 per game and ranked sixth in the league. She ranked fourth in the Big 12 in offensive rebounds with 3.11 per game.
Ranke surpassed the 1,000-point mark for her career during the 2020-21 season and is the third player in school history with 1,000 or more points, 300 or more career rebounds, 200 or more career 3-point field goals made and 100 or more career steals.
During the 2020-21 season, the guard from Burnsville, Minn., averaged 9.0 points and 4.4 rebounds. With her 55 connections from beyond the arc, Ranke tallied her third career season with 55 or more 3-point field goals made in a season. She also established a new career-high with 63 assists (2.4 apg) and tied her career season-high with 38 steals.
Goodrich completed her third full season with the Wildcats in 2020-21 by registering career-highs in assists (68; 2.6 apg), assist to turnover (1.31), rebounds (54; 2.1 rpg), blocks (3) and free throws made (22).
Against Texas Tech on Feb. 24, the guard from Chicago, Ill., tallied a career-high nine assists. During the 2020-21 season, Goodrich carded four games with five or more assists which was a career high.
Ebert was the only Wildcat in the 2020-21 season to play in and start all 27 games. The guard from Frankfort tallied career season-highs in every statistical category and paced the Wildcats in assists (90; 3.3 apg) and assist to turnover ratio (1.61). She finished second on the team in blocks (25) and set the school record for blocks in a season by a guard.
For the 2021-22 season, the Wildcats will return eight letter winners led by Lee and Ranke. K-State will also add the services of five newcomers including: Rebekah Dallinger (Sydney, Australia), Brylee Glenn (Raymore, Mo.), Jaelyn Glenn (Raymore, Mo.) Malene Lind Pederson (Aabyhoj, Denmark) and Serena Sundell (Maryville, Mo.).
– kstatesports.com –