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Former Cal Poly women’s basketball center Molly Schlemer tipped off her tour of China with the NetScouts Basketball USA All-Stars Sunday, with hopes of using the two-week experience to elevate her game to the next level.
Schlemer scored 10 points and grabbed seven rebounds in USA’s 98-45 opening win over the New Zealand All-Stars in Shenzhen, China. Schlemer’s point total tied for third-best among her nine teammates.
“I’m really excited to open new doors and see where basketball can lead me,” Schlemer said before departing on her trip. “I’m looking forward to the experience, just being in China and also preparing me for wherever I go next year, playing professionally overseas somewhere.”
The Cal Poly standout was one of only 12 women’s college basketball players to be chosen for the all-star team, and Schlemer said there will be professional scouts at every game.
“It’s pretty rare to get chosen,” Schlemer said. “They’re all coming from big schools like Oregon, Arizona State, Illinois, etc.”
Schlemer averaged 16.9 points and 10.1 rebounds per game during her final season as a Mustang, and tied for 31st in the country in double-doubles with 15, but she was not selected in this year’s WNBA Draft.
“I didn’t play that well at the combine, so I wasn’t really surprised,” Schlemer said. “Only 32 girls out of the whole country get picked up, and half of them come from the final four teams. Coming from a mid-major program I wasn’t expecting anything.”
Not being selected makes this tour a key moment in the center’s career. Before joining the team, coaches from the USA All-Stars team told Schlemer that in the past, players have signed big contracts while still on the trip.
“I could be depressed about (not getting drafted), but I’m looking forward to this opportunity because I’m not staying home and sitting around, I’m going to play basketball to open up new opportunities,” Schlemer said.
Former Cal Poly forward and two-time Big West Conference Player of the Year Kristina Santiago played on the NetScouts Basketball USA All-Stars Tour of China and is now playing professionally in the Israeli Basketball Premier League. She also won MVP of the Bulgarian Women’s Basketball League in 2013.
According to Schlemer, “If you do really well, your future’s looking pretty bright.”