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“You can’t worry about that,” he said. “We lost one of my future stars to a torn ACL when she got hurt during pregame introductions while getting a chest-bump a few years ago.”

Gonzaga will open up against Hofstra on Nov. 11. Like the Zags, Hofstra has its own star _ Shante Evans _ on the U.S. Pan Am roster.

Hofstra coach Krista Kilburn-Steveskey wouldn’t let Evans miss this great chance.

“It’s a wonderful opportunity for all these kids to make this team to get in that USA family,” Kilburn-Steveskey said. “You can get yourself on the map.”

After Kilburn-Steveskey got the call from Callan that Evans had made the team, she reached her star player at home. The Hofstra coach made sure Evans’ mom and dad were listening when she delivered the good news. She heard screams of joy.

“This is the biggest moment of my career,” Evans said. “I’m honored to be representing my country when I step onto that court.”

Despite being the youngest member of the team, Stewart already has the most international experience in the group, helping the U.S. earn a gold medal in July as a member of the FIBA U-19 world championship team.

“I think for the most part I feel prepared because most of my coaches have been college coaches on some level, but I think it’s going to be different because the players will be much older than the college players I played with this past summer,” Stewart said. “The coaching staff, they’ve been coaching for a long time and have a lot of experience.”


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