Alexyz Vaioletama lost her junior year for her choice to play USA Basketball

Interesting ESPN piece done at last week’s West Coast Premier tournament. Mater Dei forward Alexyz Vaioletama explains that her choice to play for the winning U16 team last year caused her to have to sit out this year with stress fractures in her legs. I don’t know if anyone knew that was the reason until now:

None of this compares to the largest struggle of her post-USA experience. Once home, Vaioletama had to tell Mater Dei coach Kevin Kiernan and her Monarch teammates that she was going to miss the 2009-10 season with them. With her, Adams and Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis having played for USA Basketball, Mater Dei was a consensus preseason No. 1 pick in national high-school rankings.

The first Monarch whom Vaioletama encountered was Christine Collins Kiernan, the team’s top assistant. She took care of the notification Vaioletama dreaded most — informing her husband, Kevin, the head coach. Still, telling her teammates was very hard.

“Tears hard,” Vaioletama said.

It’ll be nice to see her back. I’m not a Mater Dei fan, but I’m definitely a Vaioletama fan.