Texas forward Vicki Hall developed her basketball skills around boys, but not because she competed with them. In fact, she was usually shunned by members of the opposite sex. When Hall was three, her older brother, David, wouldn't share his army men with her. So she took his basketball and locked herself in the bathroom. "She just sat on her potty and dribbled the ball," says Vicki's mother, Lillian.
In fifth grade Vicki was given a spot on the eighth-grade girls' team because she so dominated elementary school boys that they complained to administrators. Not much has changed in 10 years: The competition should continue to be frustrated by Hall, who will make the Lady Longhorns—along with defending national champion Stanford, Auburn and North Carolina State—the most formidable threats to Virginia.
Senior point guard Sonja Henning was overshadowed last season by her Stanford teammate Jennifer Azzi, the 1989-90 Wade Trophy winner who has since graduated. But Henning, not Azzi, led the Cardinal in scoring in its 88-81 win over Auburn in the NCAA title game, with 21 points. Also returning is 6'3" forward/center Trisha Stevens, Stanford's leading scorer and fourth-leading rebounder (5.9) in 1989-90.
At Auburn, Joe Ciampi will probably be more of a psychologist than coach this season. The Lady Tigers have reached the national title game for three straight years, but they have never won it. Senior guard Carolyn Jones, who averaged 20.1 points and 5.7 rebounds last season, could lead them to a fourth final.
" Andrea Stinson is without a doubt the closest thing there is to a female Michael Jordan," said Providence coach Bob Foley after she poured in 50 points to lift N.C. State over the Lady Friars last season. Such comparisons are nothing new to Stinson, a 5'10" guard. She patterns her game after Jordan's, wears a wristband high on her forearm a la Jordan, has taught at his summer camp and is often referred to as Miss Jordan by members of the Wolfpack men's team.