It’s not just the men’s basketball team at Gonzaga that lands international recruits. The women’s side looks beyond US borders as well with five athletes on Lisa Fortier’s squad hailing from overseas. One of those is freshman guard Esther Little, who made the trip across the Atlantic from Ipswich, England to Spokane, and will look to build on the promise she showed at youth and senior levels in Europe.
Little, a 6’2” wing, was tasked with doing a little of everything for her teams in England, averaging 15.5 ppg, 19.5 rpg, and 6.8 apg last season for Ipswich Basketball Academy based at Copleston just under two hours northeast of London.
Her game features a versatile skillset that has allowed her to play all five positions on the floor and will make her a tremendous asset for Lisa Fortier. Little’s game is punctuated by her length on the wing and prowess on the glass that can earn her a spot on the floor earlier in her career if she continues to defend and rebound with the same effectiveness that she did for Ipswich and for her national team. It’s that ability to impact the game in multiple ways that has earned Little over 50 competitive appearances for her national team across various age levels over the last few years, and made her a coveted NCAA recruit.
Little will not have to produce at that level right away for Gonzaga, but her development will be interesting to watch during her first year in the program as she adjusts to NCAA competition while building chemistry with an entirely new group of teammates and coaches. And of course there is the off-court adjustment to navigate as well with Little having to adjust to the distance from her family.
Fortunately, Gonzaga is well-equipped to help make those adjustments as smooth as possible with the community in place. If Little is able to comfortably make that transition sooner rather than later, she can be a dynamic athlete for Gonzaga in the years ahead.