Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis

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Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis
Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis.jpg
College Connecticut
Conference American Athletic Conference
Sport Basketball
Position Guard
Jersey # 23
Class Junior (2013)
Nickname KML
Career 2011–present
Height 6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)
Weight 180 lb (82 kg)
Nationality American
Born (1993-11-03) November 3, 1993 (age 20)
Pomona, California
High school Mater Dei
2009 Parade All-America first team
2009 USA Today All-USA third team
2009 Gatorade California Player of the Year
2010 ESPN National Player of the Year
2010 USA Today All-USA first team
2011 State Farm/WBCA High School Player of the Year
2011 Naismith High School Player of the Year
2011 Gatorade National Player of the Year
2011 ESPN National Player of the Year

Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis is an American basketball player at the University of Connecticut. Prior to enrolling at UConn she played for Mater Dei High School in Santa Ana, California. She played on the USA Basketball U16 National Team, where she helped the team win the FIBA Americas U16 Championship Gold Medal. Mosqueda-Lewis was named the 2011 State Farm/WBCA High School Player of the Year by the Women's Basketball Coaches Association.

Early Years[edit]

Mosqueda-Lewis started playing basketball in the third grade. At first, she didn't like it, but she kept working at it.[1] At the age of nine, she was not selected to a recreation league all-star basketball team. She wasn't happy, and her stepfather, Khairi Ali, asked her, "Do you want to kick butt?". Mosqueda-Lewis responded, "Yes, I want to kick butt.". Ali set up a training regimen, originally for six months with an option to renew. It has paid off, as she played for the Tennessee Flight, a national club team, and qualified for the USA National U16 team, a team for under 16 year-olds.[2]

Mosqueda-Lewis was named captain of her team, and helped lead them to the semifinals of the state tournament in 2009. She averaged over 24 points a game en route to a 31–0 regular season record. While still a sophomore, she was named the Gatorade player of the year for California, and named to the Parade All American list for the country.[3]

Mosqueda-Lewis has led her team in scoring since her freshman year. As a junior, she was named the number one player in the country by ESPN's Hoopgurlz, while leading her team to a number one ranking among high schools in the country.[4]

Mosqueda-Lewis and her Mater Dei high school team was invited to the 2011 Hoophall Classic, held in Springfield, Massachusetts. This was not her first experience with the event, as the team participated in 2009. She scored 17 points to help lead her team to an 85–45 victory over Murry Bergtraum from New York City. The event often showcases top high school teams from the region and around the country.[5] Mosqueda-Lewis committed to Connecticut in the spring of her sophomore year. She had also considered California, Kentucky, UCLA, Stanford, Tennessee, and Duke.

Mater Dei faced Brea Olinda in the finals of the 2011 Southern California regional finals. Brea Olinda, with a 29–0 record and Mater Dei, at 28–1 were not only ranked number one and two, respectively, in the county, but also in the state and in the nation. Brea Olinda scored the first four points of the game, but Mater Dei responded with 16 consecutive points. The game was closer at halftime 32–25. Mater Dei extended the margin to a 14-point lead in the third quarter, but Brea Olinda cut the lead to five with 1:24 left in the game. However, Mater Dei hit free throws, and held on to win, behind a team leading sixteen points from Mosqueda-Lewis.[6][7][8]

Mosqueda-Lewis is known for her three point shooting accuracy[9]—she hit a school record nine three-point shots in a game between Mater Dei and Fairfax on March 8, 2011.[10][11][12] She made 337 three-pointers at Mater Dei, more than anyone else in her high school history. Mosqueda-Lewis also holds the school record for points, with 2,744 and rebounds (876).[13]

Mosqueda-Lewis has been named the National Player of the year by both the Women's Basketball Coaches Association and the Atlanta Tipoff Club, which selects the winner of the Naismith Award for the National High School Basketball Players of the Year.[14][15]

On March 17, 2011, Mosqueda-Lewis was attending school as usual, and heard an announcement that there would be an assembly to honor the girls and boys basketball team. While she awaited the start of the assembly, Lisa Leslie, Olympic and professional basketball star from California, greeted her and presented her with the news she was the recipient of the 2010-11 Gatorade National Girls Basketball Player of the Year. Leslie, who was the last basketball player from California to win the award, presented the award to her in a televised ceremony.[16]

ESPN's Hoopgurlz named Mosqueda-Lewis their national player of the year, the first time the honor has been awarded to the same player in consecutive seasons. The announcement of the award compared her to Maya Moore, noting that both players won a championship at the Nike Tournament of Champions, both won a Nike National title, both were ranked the number one prospect in their class, but Mosqueda-Lewis led her team to consecutive number one ranking among high school teams, a feat not accomplished by Moore.[17]

Mosqueda-Lewis is also an active volunteer. She served on her high school student council and has volunteered with programs such as the Blind Children’s Learning Center, Orange County Head Start, Urban Compass Christmas Outreach and coached at an after school program, the Upward Christian Basketball Program.[13]

USA Basketball[edit]

2009 U16 Mexico City[edit]

Mosqueda-Lewis was selected to be a member of the first ever U16 team for USA Basketball. The team competed in the First FIBA Americas U16 Championship For Women held in Mexico City, Mexico in August 2009. She was the teams leader scorer, averaging 14 points per game, and the second leading rebounder, averaging 4.6 rebounds per game. She helped the team to a 5–0 record and the Gold medal at the competition. The win secured an automatic bid to the 2010 FIBA U17 World Championship.[18]

2010 U17 France[edit]

Mosqueda-Lewis continued with the team as it became the U17 team. The team competed in the 2010 FIBA U17 World Championship for Women, held in Rodez & Toulouse, France during July 2010. Mosqueda-Lewis helped the team win the gold medal and an 8–0 record. She was the third leading scorer, averaging 11.6 points per game. She hit 19 three-point shots in 39 attempts. Her 19 three point goals were almost half the team total of 40. Her tournament three point shooting average was .487, and included a 5–6 outing against Canada.[19]

2011 U19 World Championships - Chile[edit]

Mosqueda-Lewis was selected to be a member of the USA Basketball U19 squad, competing for the U19 World Championships in Chile. She scored 7.9 points per game, and 4.9 rebounds per game to help lead the USA team to a Gold Medal. Mosqueda-Lewis played in all nine games, and was named as a starter in two of the games. In the Gold Medal game against Spain, she was the leading scorer with 15 points (tied with Elizabeth Williams and Stephanie Dolson).[20]

2013 World University Games - Russia[edit]

Mosqueda-Lewis, along with teammate Bria Hartley were two of the twelve players selected to be on the team representing the USA at the World University Games held in Kazan, Russia in July 2013. The team, coached by Sherri Coale, won the opening four games easily, scoring in triple digits in each game, and winning by 30 or more points in each case. After winning the quarterfinal game against Sweden, they faced Australia in the semifinal. The USA team opened up as much as a 17 point in the fourth quarter of the game but the Australian team fought back and took a one point lead in the final minute. Crystal Bradford scored a basket with 134 seconds left ant he game to secure a 79–78 victory. The gold medal opponent was Russia, but the USA team never trailed, and won 90–71 to win the gold medal and the World University games Championship. Mosqueda-Lewis was the second leading scorer for the team, averaging 13.0 points per game. She was the leading rebounder for the team, averaging 6.8 per game.[21][22]


Mosqueda-Lewis made the decision to choose Connecticut relatively early in the recruiting process.[23] Although she was ranked as the top player in the country, Auriemma tried a low key recruiting approach. According to Mosqueda-Lewis, the message was, ""If you want to go there, fine. If you don't, don't". He told her "You're a California girl. You're not going to make it. I think you might be a little soft" knowing she would remember that one of the best players in the game Diana Taurasi also hailed from California. She took a trip, with her father, to visit the UConn campus when she was fifteen. She met the coaches and players, and decided this was where she wanted to attend. She was ready to make the decision on the spot, but her father insisted on including her mother in the decision. They got on the phone, and minutes later, she decided she would attend UConn.[24] Mosqueda-Lewis had enough self-confidence to ask for player number 23, worn most recently by Maya Moore, a star and UConn and an eventual #1 pick in the 2011 WNBA Draft.[25]

In her first collegiate game, she did not live up to her reputation as a deep shooting threat, missing all seven three-pointers she attempted.[26] But, she followed that up with 25 points in her second game, and another 25 points against the number three ranked team in the country Stanford. It wasn't just scoring, her defense, and other contributions such as eight rebounds inspired her coach to quip, "She looks like the best player on the floor."[27]

Mosqueda-Lewis helped her team win the 2013 National Championship, and was named to the 2013 NCAA Final Four All-Tournament team.[28]

University of Connecticut statistics[edit]

Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis Statistics at University of Connecticut
2011-12 38 203 470 0.432 93 242 0.384 70 84 0.833 206 5.4 64 56 20 47 1073 569 15.0
2012-13 38 242 458 0.480 118 240 0.492 68 76 0.895 240 6.32 89 58 12 57 1147 670 17.6
2013-14 28 139 299 0.465 66 160 0.413 30 33 0.909 152 5.75 72 38 5 20 817 374 13.4
Totals 104 584 1227 0.476 277 642 0.431 168 193 0.870 598 5.75 225 152 37 124 3036 1613 15.5

Awards and honors[edit]

State Farm WBCA High School Player of the year Award
  • 2009—Gatorade California girls basketball player of the year[29]
  • 2009—Parade All America High School Girls Basketball Team[30]
  • 2009—USA Today All-USA third team[1]
  • 2010—ESPN Hoopgurlz National Player of the Year[4]
  • 2010—OC Register Girls Player of the Year[31]
  • 2010—Parade All America High School Girls Basketball Team[30]
  • 2010—USA Today All-USA first team[1]
  • 2011—State Farm/WBCA High School Player of the Year[14]
  • 2011—Naismith High School Player of the Year[15]
  • 2011—Gatorade National Girls Basketball Player of the Year[16]
  • 2011—ESPN Hoopgurlz National Player of the Year[17]
  • 2011—Parade All America High School Girls Basketball Team[32]
  • 2012—Big East's Sixth Man of the Year
  • 2012—Big East's Freshman of the Year
  • 2012—Big East Tournament's Most Outstanding Player
  • 2013—All-NCAA Tournament Team
  • 2013—NCAA Tournament All-Bridgeport Regional Team
  • 2013—NCAA Final Four All-Tournament team.[28]
  • 2014—AP All-American Honorable Mention [33]
  • 2014—Lincoln Regional Most Outstanding Player [34]


  1. ^ a b c "All-USA girls' basketball team: Ogwumike is player of the year". USA Today. 2010-04-28. Retrieved 5 March 2011. 
  2. ^ Nelson, Glenn (June 17, 2009). "Unusual practice habits paying off". ESPN. Retrieved 5 March 2011. 
  3. ^ "Where Will They Be?". Sports Illustrated. 
  4. ^ a b Schnell, Lindsay (April 5, 2010). "Mosqueda-Lewis is Player of Year". ESPN. 
  5. ^ Payne, Terrence (January 14, 2011). "UConn recruit, Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis returns to HoopHall Classic". MassLive.com. Retrieved 5 March 2011. 
  6. ^ Nelson, Glenn (March 5, 2011). "http://sports.espn.go.com/ncaa/recruiting/basketball/womens/news/story?id=6184175". ESPN. Retrieved 5 March 2011. 
  7. ^ Arias, Carlos (March 5, 2011). "Mater Dei reigns supreme over Brea Olinda". OCVARSITY.COM. Retrieved 5 March 2011. 
  8. ^ Galluzzo, Steve (March 4, 2011). "Mater Dei wins third consecutive Southern Section title". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 5 March 2011. 
  9. ^ "Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis". ESPN. Retrieved 9 March 2011. 
  10. ^ Fuller, Jim (March 9, 2011). "Mosqueda-Lewis hits 9 3's in playoff game". New Haven Register. Retrieved 9 March 2011. 
  11. ^ Calhoun, Damian (March 9, 2011). "Mosqueda-Lewis powers Mater Dei past Fairfax". OCVarsity.com. Retrieved 9 March 2011. 
  12. ^ "Mater Dei vs. Fairfax (Box score)". OCVarsity.com. Retrieved 9 March 2011. 
  13. ^ a b Hallisey, Nic (July 15, 2011). "Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis: Making A Difference On And Off The Court". USABasketball. 
  14. ^ a b "Past WBCA Players of the Year". Women's Basketball Coaches Association. Retrieved 3 Jul 2014. 
  15. ^ a b "Rivers and Mosqueda-Lewis Selected as 2011 Naismith National High School Basketball Players of the Year". Naismithawards.com. March 10, 2011. Retrieved 12 March 2011. 
  16. ^ a b Haylock, Rahshaun (March 17, 2011). "The Next Lisa Leslie". FoxSports.com. Retrieved 19 March 2011. 
  17. ^ a b Nelson, Glenn (7 April 2011). "Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis named HoopGurlz player of the year". ESPN. Retrieved 11 April 2011. 
  18. ^ "First FIBA Americas U16 Championship For Women - 2009". USA Basketball. Retrieved 24 September 2014. 
  19. ^ "2010 FIBA U17 World Championship for Women". USA Basketball. Retrieved 5 March 2011. 
  20. ^ "USA U19 Women Sprint To 69-46 Victory Over Spain, Earn 2011 FIBA U19 World Championship". Puerto Montt, Chile: USA Basketball. July 31, 2011. 
  21. ^ "TWENTY-SEVENTH WORLD UNIVERSITY GAMES -- 2013". USA Basketball. Retrieved 27 Apr 2014. 
  22. ^ Elliott, Rich (May 19, 2013). "Hartley, Mosqueda-Lewis Named To U.S. World University Games Team". CTPost (Hearst Communications Inc.). Retrieved 22 May 2013. 
  23. ^ ALTAVILLA, JOHN (October 24, 2011). "Chris Dailey On Recruiting: Every Year Has Different Challenges For UConn". Hartford Courant. Retrieved 23 November 2011. 
  24. ^ Storm, Hannah (21 November 2011). "Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis is on the ball". ESPNW. Retrieved 23 November 2011. 
  25. ^ WHICKER, MARK (February 7, 2011). "Mater Dei's Mosqueda-Lewis a real hot shot". Orange County Register. Retrieved 23 November 2011. 
  26. ^ "Bria Hartley, Tiffany Hayes lead UConn to rout of Holy Cross in opener". ESPN. Retrieved 14 November 2011. 
  27. ^ LONGMAN, JERÉ (November 22, 2011). "http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/23/sports/ncaabasketball/uconn-women-use-sharp-defense-to-defeat-stanford.html?_r=1". New York Times. Retrieved 23 November 2011. 
  28. ^ a b Elliott, Rich (April 10, 2013). "2013 Final Four All-Tournament Team". CTPost (Hearst Communications Inc.). Retrieved 17 Apr 2013. 
  29. ^ Austin Knoblauch; Melissa Rohlin (March 12, 2009). "Girls basketball: Mater Dei's Mosqueda-Lewis honored by Gatorade". LATimes. 
  30. ^ a b Michael, O'Shea (March 28, 2010). "Meet PARADE's All-America High School Girls Basketball Team". Parade. Retrieved 5 March 2011. 
  31. ^ Arias, Carlos (2010-03-22). "Mater Dei's Mosqueda-Lewis is girls basketball player of the year". OCVarsity.com. Retrieved 5 March 2011. 
  32. ^ McLaughlin, Brian (15 May 2011). "They've Got Game". Parade. 
  33. ^ "Five Women's Hoops Players Garner AP All-American Recognition". UConnHuskies.com. April 1, 2014. Retrieved 2 Apr 2014. 
  34. ^ "Defending champ UConn surges past Texas A&M to reach Final Four". ESPN. March 31, 2014. Retrieved 2 Apr 2014.