Erica McCall, class of 2013, is a top player in the state of California. She is the younger sister of WNBA star DeWanna Bonner of the Phoenix Mercury. Erica has high goals to achieve as much as her sister or more.
The best thing about Erica McCall is the big smile that’s nearly always on her face. The positive attitude of the 6-3 forward is evident in every part of her game. She hustles after loose balls, sprints the floor, takes instruction well and is constantly encouraging her teammates.
“I just want to be the best I can be,” says McCall, who was named the All-Area MVP by the Bakersfield Californian.
Just how good is McCall? She has started all 94 games of her high school career and holds program records for points, rebounds and blocks. This past season as a junior at Ridgeview High School, McCall averaged 25.8 points, 16.7 rebounds and seven blocks per game as she led her team to the state playoffs and a 24-8 record. Over her career she has tallied 1,876 points, 1,391 rebounds, 672 blocks and 108 steals.
“Erica doesn’t have bad games; she’s very consistent,” says McCall’s AAU Coach Elbert Kinnebrew of Cal Sparks. “Her defense is amazing -- she’s a natural shot-blocker. She doesn’t pick up a lot of fouls. She blocks the ball after release-point which intimidates and changes basketball games.”
Part of her success is due to the strong basketball influences in her life. Her father Greg McCall is the head coach of the Cal State-Bakersfield women’s basketball program. And her older sister is DeWanna Bonner, the former Auburn All-American and current forward for the WNBA’s Phoenix Mercury. She's the only player in league history to win the WNBA's Sixth-Woman-of-the-Year Award on multiple occasions (three times for Bonner).
“My sister is a beast out there, and I want to be just like her,” says McCall with a glow of admiration. “What she has taught me is hustle hard -- that’s what’s going to separate me from everyone else, just hustle and defense.”
“My younger sister is a very good player,” says Bonner. “We kind of play a lot alike: She runs the floor, rebounds, blocks shots. She can shoot it. She’s going to be great player.”
McCall was named to the 2012 U17 World Championship Team (photo by Kelly Kline)
McCall’s success certainly hasn’t gone unnoticed. The best programs in the country are actively recruiting her, among them Connecticut and Stanford, where she has taken unofficial visits.
This spring she continued to prove she is one of the best players in the nation by making USA Basketball’s U17 World Championship Team. This will be her second time representing her country in international competition: She won gold last year at the FIBA World Championship as part of the U16 National Team.
“Reppin’ my country was a great honor,” says McCall of her USA Basketball experience. “Gold is an amazing feeling.”
McCall says she is currently working on improving her ball-handling skills and mid-range jumper. She is even extending her game out to the three-point line. She’s also working just as hard in the classroom, where the rising senior has a 4.0. GPA. She attributes her academic success to basketball.
“It just makes me a better person overall. Basketball isn’t all about the athletic ability; it really helps you mentally, and I love it because it pushes me.”
A statement made with a huge smile on her face.
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