The massive college signings keep coming on the women’s side as Gems wing Gemma Potter joins national teammate Isobel Anstey in committing to UCLA.
"I’m so excited to announce my commitment to Gonzaga University. A huge thanks to my family, GP and coaches for your ongoing support over the years. I can’t wait for this next chapter to begin and to join the Zag family in 2020."
Gemma Potter via Twitter
Potter’s commitment follows just hours after UC Capitals teammate Lily Scanlon committed to Gonzaga as the list of elite Australian commitments grows at a rapid rate. Potter becomes the ninth member of the Gems’ silver medal winning side from this year’s Under 19 World Cup to finalise their decision to play in college, with Agnes Emma-Nnopu also having taken official visits in recent weeks.
Standing at 6’0 tall with a penchant for knocking down the three-ball, Potter exhibited this in the extreme in February, taking out the NBA Basketball Without Borders three-point contest. Perhaps more importantly though, Potter exhibited this on numerous occasions during the Under 19 World Cup. None were more memorable than her performance against Mali in the quarter-finals.
In an unexpectedly close game, Potter buried 4 of 6 attempts from beyond the arc on her way to a game-high 18 points. Australia would pull away in the final quarter to secure a 63-51 victory, eventually securing a silver medal. That performance put a stamp on a remarkable improvement on the world stage from Potter in a 12-month span, shooting 47% from deep for the tournament after hitting just 22% at the Under 17 World Cup in 2018. That shooting helped Potter to average 8.8 points alongside 3 rebounds per game despite playing just 17 minutes per contest.
Potter has also had remarkable success for Victoria Metro in recent seasons, finishing among the top scorers and rebounders for the team in a pair of gold medal winning teams. However the Victorian wing is more than a shooter and rebounder. Her length gives Potter the ability to disrupt opponents, whilst her ability to finish close to the basket may be overshadowed slightly by her shooting, but is nonetheless a valuable tool.
Whilst there are certainly differences between Potter’s game and that UCLA’s current Australian wing, Chantel Horvat, there may yet be scope for the Bruins’ newest Australian to become somewhat of a protégé as Horvat reaches her senior year in 2020/21.
Potter also comes to UCLA at a time of promise for the Bruins, who lose just two players to graduation after this season but four after 2020/21. Whilst securing a starting berth as a freshman is never easy, the opportunities will come for Potter in her sophomore year at the absolute latest, in a program that at this stage rarely rebuilds, but instead reloads. Interestingly, UCLA’s class at this stage consists of three international players, with German youth national team forward joining Potter and Anstey. However the Bruins remain in the hunt for a pair of American five-star recruits.
Like Gonzaga commit and national squad teammate Lily Scanlon, Potter has signed for the WNBL’s UC Capitals for the 2019/20 season. With the Capitals set to be among the title favourites this season, the experience Potter gains from this season is set to prove invaluable prior to her move to Westwood. Not only will Potter train against world-class players every day, but in a squad featuring no less than six players who played at the NCAA Division I level, there is ample opportunity to gain insight into life as a student-athlete before even making the jump.