By Peter Tormey
SPOKANE, Wash. – Freshman Maiki (pronounced Mikey) Viela, a PARADE Magazine All-American from Lahaina, Hawaii, is among several women competing for playing time at guard this season for a Gonzaga University women’s basketball team reloading after its best season ever.
Viela, a 5-foot-7-inch point-guard from Lahainaluna High, is only the second player in Gonzaga women’s basketball history to earn the honor. Alumna Tiffanie Shives (2006-10) was a 2005 PARADE All-American.
@GONZAGA caught up with Viela after practice last week at McCarthey Athletic Center.
Viela describes her style of play as a “passer first and true point-guard. I like to dish out and set everyone else up as much as I can.”
Viela, who could have played basketball at virtually any school, said she knew she wanted to be a Zag the minute she set foot on campus last September for her first official recruiting trip.
She is considering a sports management major.
The Gonzaga women made their third consecutive trip to the NCAA Tournament last season, advancing to the Elite Eight for the first time. The Bulldogs return eight letter-winners, three starters and two returning redshirt players. Viela is among six newcomers.
Viela Trivia: Uncle Brian Ching was a standout soccer player at Gonzaga and has had a highly decorated pro career, currently as a member of the Houston Dynamo. Ching was the 2006 MLS Cup MVP and was a member of the U.S. National Team.