Finnish goalkeeper Elina Aarnasilo wins UCLA women’s basketball show –
The Bruins have shifted their focus to overseas recruiting over the past week, sending out another offer to a prospect in the Nordic region.
UCLA women’s basketball sent a scholarship offer to class of 2024 Finnish guard Elina Aarnisalo on Wednesday, the Scandinavian College Athletics Agency announced on Twitter. The 17-year-old spent August appearing on the FIBA circuit, playing for her native country Finland.
Virginia is the only other collegiate program to have publicly offered Aarnisalo, and they did so on Aug. 4.
Aarnisalo joins class of 2024 Sweedish guard/forward Tilda Trygger in receiving an offer from the Bruins. The Swede received her offer on Aug. 25 and is also represented by the Scandinavian College Athletics Agency.
International recruiting has recently become a large focus for UCLA and coach Cori Close. German forwards Emily Bessoir and Lina Sontag, Australian forward Izzy Anstey and Canadian forward Brynn Masikewich are all currently on the Bruins’ roster.
Aarnisalo plays for HBA-Marksy, which competes in the Finland Korisliiga.
Across 32 games of action with HBA-Marksy, the 5-foot-9 guard averaged 15.1 points, 4.5 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 1.9 steals in 30.8 minutes per game.
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In the FIBA European U18 Championships, Aarnisalo increased her scoring totals, leading her team with 17.9 points, 4.9 rebounds, 4.0 assists and 2.0 steals per game. Finland finished with a 4-3 record across seven games.
Aarnisalo played for the U16 Finnish squad in the year prior and led her country’s roster with 23.4 points and 4.0 assists per game.
Driving to the basket seems to be the Finnish guard’s forte, considering her 3-point shooting efficiency leaves plenty of room for improvement. The Helsinki native shot 20.0% from beyond the arc in August’s FIBA competition and she knocked down just 26.4% of shots from 3-point range in HBA-Marksy competition.
UCLA has already offered class of 2024 recruits Morgan Cheli, Kendall Dudley, Britt Prince and Taliyah Parker this year, with all four of those high school juniors playing in America.
PHOTO COURTESY OF SCANDINAVIAN COLLEGE ATHLETICS AGENCY/TWITTER
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