Esther Little kicked off her collegiate athletics career with Gonzaga in 2021, after playing years of high-level competitive basketball on the English National Team and at the Ipswich Basketball Academy. Now a in her Junior campaign with Zags basketball, Little is coming off her best season yet after improving in almost every statistical category during a 2022-2023 season that saw her shooting efficiency, rebounds, and minutes played totals increase exponentially.
Little's journey from Ipswich to Gonzaga is a testament to her dedication, skill, and passion for the game. As she continues to make strides on the collegiate stage, her future in the world of basketball looks very promising.
Before making waves at Gonzaga, Destiny Burton spent two years developing her game at Panola College, culminating in a 21-8 overall record in her last season with the team. In her inaugural 2022-2023 season donning the Gonzaga uniform, Destiny Burton quickly made her mark as a dynamic force on the court, playing in 28 total games, getting two starts for Zags WBB.
As she continues to leave her mark on the collegiate basketball scene, her presence in the front court adds great depth to the Gonzaga Women's Basketball program.
Payton Muma's basketball journey began at Highlands Ranch where she played a pivotal role in leading the Falcons to a 21-6 overall record. Her standout performances propelled the team to the Final Four of the state tournament for the second consecutive season. Recognized for her exceptional skills, Muma was selected All-State in 2020. After redshirting during her first year with Zags WBB, Muma proved to be a pivotal part of the roster in the 2022-2023 season through her scoring efficiency, versatility, and rebounding prowess.
Claire O'Connor, a dynamic 6'0" guard from Bellevue, Washington, brings an impressive blend of athleticism, leadership, and academic prowess to the Gonzaga Women's Basketball team. She was a standout at Lakeside High School, averaging 25 points, 10 rebounds, four assists, and two blocks per game, earning accolades such as Metro League MVP, First Team All-Metro League, First Team All-State, and Under Armour Future 60. Beyond the hardwood, Claire O'Connor is a dedicated student. Maintaining a 4.0 GPA heading into her senior year of high school, she exemplifies the student-athlete ideal.
Entering her third year with the team, Maud Huijbens has been a steadying force for Zags WBB. Despite battling an injury throughout the 2022-2023 season, Huijbens played a career-high 198 minutes, averaged 16.5 minutes per game in the 2022-2023 season, raked in 41 total rebounds, and maintained an impressive free throw percentage of 77.8 percent, a 15 percent increase from her freshman season. A great rebounder. Prior to joining Gonzaga, Huijbens started her collegiate journey at Syracuse. Before that, she was recognized as the No. 12-ranked post player in the class of 2020. Hailing from Hilversum, Netherlands, Huijbens was a long-time member of the Netherlands National Team.. Her international exposure extended to participating in Basketball Without Borders, an event organized by FIBA and the NBA.
After redshirting her freshman season with Zags WBB, Calli Stokes emerged as a key contributor in the 2022-2023 season. Participating in 29 total games, her offensive contributions were incredibly impactful as she scored a total of 112 points during the season. Stokes also made her presence felt on the boards, finishing fifth in total rebounds for Gonzaga with 111 rebounds. Adding to her all-around game, she also tallied 23 assists and 15 steals. Before coming to Gonzaga, Stokes established herself as one of the top guard/forward recruits in Southern California, ranking 76th among all women's basketball recruits in her state. In high school, Stokes was a State Champion in 2018 and earned First-Team All-State honors in 2018, 2019, and 2021. Stokes was recognized as the Daily Breeze Player of the Year in 2021 and was a consistent presence on the Bay League's 1st team from 2018 through 2021. In 2021, she was honored as the Bay League's Most Valuable Player.
Kayleigh Truong has been a pivotal force for Zags WBB for the last four years, growing her impact as an all-around player and leader, despite battling an injury in her senior year. Her collegiate career has been marked by a variety of accolades, including 2022 ALL-WCC first team, 2021 ALL-WCC honorable mention, and 2020 ALL-WCC freshman team. One half of the “Truong Twins,” her sister Kaylynne also plays for Gonzaga. A product of Jersey Village High School in Houston, Texas, Truong played a pivotal role in leading the Falcons to a District 17-6A championship during her senior season. Her consistent excellence earned her multiple All-District honors and recognition as a McDonald’s All-American nominee.
From Melbourne, Australia, Eliza Hollingsworth started in all 27 games during her redshirt junior year in 2022-2023 and displayed remarkable improvement, averaging career-highs of 5.1 rebounds and 8.6 points per game. Before joining Zags WBB, Hollingsworth played competitive basketball at the highest levels of her age group in Australia, and also proudly represented her country on both the U16 and U17 national teams. She played a crucial role in securing a gold medal at the Asian Championships in Bengaluru, India, and led the team to a bronze medal finish at the Under 17s World Championships in Minsk, Belarus, in 2018.
Naya Ojukwu is a promising and versatile player, making her mark as a true freshman for the Gonzaga Women's Basketball team. After playing in only four games in her freshman year at Utah, Ojukwu obtained a hardship waiver from the NCAA to join Gonzaga as a true freshman, poised to contribute significantly to the team's success. In high school, Ojukwu was named the 2020-21 Idaho Gatorade Player of the Year and MaxPreps Idaho Player of the Year. She was a force on the court, earning 2021 State Tournament MVP honors and securing three-time Class 5A All-State honors. Leading Mountain View High School to back-to-back Idaho Class 5A State Titles, Ojukwu showcased her scoring prowess, averaging an impressive 24.2 points and 10 rebounds per game during her junior year.
In a standout senior season at Gonzaga, Kaylynne Truong made history by earning 2023 AP All-American Honorable Mention, 2023 WCC Player of the Year, and a spot on the 2023 All-WCC First Team. Demonstrating exceptional leadership, she led the team in minutes played, assists, and set a record for the most three-pointers made in a single season. Truong's basketball prowess is complemented by academic excellence, earning her a spot on the All-Academic WCC Team and the CSC Academic All-District Team. As the other half of the “Truong Twins” with a remarkable high school career and a commitment to personal growth, Truong leaves an indelible mark on the Gonzaga Women's Basketball legacy.
Yvonne Ejim has garnered numerous accolades since joining Zags WBB, including being a 2023 Becky Hammon Player of the Year Finalist and earning a spot on the 2023 All-WCC First Team (among many others). During her junior season, she led the team in scoring, setting career highs in rebounds, steals, and blocks. Beyond her on-court achievements, Ejim is recognized for academic excellence, earning a place on the CSC Academic All-District Team and the All-Academic WCC Team. Her journey at Gonzaga reflects a commitment to excellence in both athletics and academics, making her a prominent figure in women's collegiate basketball.
Brynna Maxwell, a senior for Gonzaga Women's Basketball, earned a spot on the 2023 All-WCC First Team and the CSC Academic All-District Team last year. Making an immediate impact in her first season with Zags WBB, Maxwell set a new program record with a 93.4 percent free-throw shooting percentage and ranking third on the team in multiple statistical categories. With an impressive high school career marked by accolades such as the 3A State Player of the Year, Maxwell brings a dynamic combination of athletic prowess and academic excellence to the Zags family.
Hopkins comes from Lourdes High School in Rochester, Minn. Going into her final year at Lourdes, Hopkins averaged 14 points and seven rebounds per game. She led her team to a 21-9 finish and reached the Class AA State Tournament.
Bree Salenbien, a highly touted recruit for Gonzaga Women's Basketball, faced a setback with a redshirt during her sophomore season but had an impactful freshman year, earning recognition as the WCC Freshman of the Week in January 2022. Despite a leg injury cutting her season short, Salenbien showcased her scoring prowess and versatility in 29 games, accumulating 75 points and 40 rebounds.From Michigan, she helped her high school team win consecutive Division IV state championships. Zags WBB is excited to have her back on the court this season.