Gainesville, FL - Viktorija Dimaite (Lithuania) and Carlie Needles
(Highlands Ranch, Co.) both have signed a National Letter of Intent to
continue their respective academic and athletic basketball careers at
the University of Florida, Gator head coach Amanda Butler announced
“I’m really excited about the different ways in which they can
impact our program,” Butler said. “I’m excited about the type of
people that they are and what they bring to our team. They are
all-around winners and are definitely championship caliber people.”
Dimaite (pronounced Victoria Dee-uh-MON-tae) is a 6-foot-4 center
originally from Lithuania and led The Rock School in Gainesville, Fla.,
to the 2010 Class 1A girl’s basketball state championship over
Hollywood Christian, 51-48. In the championship game, Dimaite scored 15 points to cap off a 30-2 season for the Lady Lions. During her junior
season, Dimaite averaged 14.5 points and 9.3 rebounds for head coach
Fabian Chapov. Dimaite was a member of the Lithuanian Under-16 team
national team that competed in the 2008 European Championships and on the Under-18 team in the 2009 European Championships.
“Viktorija’s impact will be more long range because she’ll need
some time to get physically stronger to be able compete with other
Southeastern Conference post players. She’s very aware of that and
excited about the challenge and the impact she can have in helping us
win a championship,” Butler shared. “She’s been on our radar for
awhile, so she’s very familiar with our program and our team, and has
had a chance to get to know us in informal settings.
“With Viktorija being in our backyard, we were able to watch her play
and workout, which is something I really appreciate - being able to see
a young lady in practice and see how hard she competes, how hard a
player works when they’re not wearing a uniform and just wearing their
practice gear. I was really impressed with Viktorija and the potential
we see in her,” Butler continued. “She does posses that unique
European style about her and with her size she is mobile and can get to
the basket very effectively. You look at Viktorija and know right away
that she’ll help you on the defensive end, with her size and length
and being able to alter shots.”
Needles is a 5-foot-7 point guard and attends ThunderRidge High School, the same program that produced former Duke All-American Abby Waner, as well as Emily Waner, who also played at Duke, and Emily Fox, who stared at Minnesota and was a third-round WNBA selection in 2009 . Needles enters her final prep season with 1,102 career points and 373 assists, both ranking fourth on the school’s all-time chart behind the afore mentioned Grizzlies alum, in addition to 220 steals that ranks sixth in the schools record book. Needles, who set the school-record with 18 assists in one game, averaged 14.1 points, 4.2 assists, 2.9 steals and 1.5 rebounds as a junior for the Grizzlies last season and has been a starter since her freshman year at ThunderRidge, where she is coached by Bill Bradley.
Needles was selected for and played in the 2010 The Show high school
all-star game on April 3, 2010, which included the top prep talent in
the state of Colorado. Held at the Pepsi Center, home of the NBA’s
Denver Nuggets, Needles led the White Team to victory, as she converted the game-winning free throws, hit the 5-of-6 from beyond the arc and earned MVP honors. She has been a three-time All-State honorable mention awardee and was named First Team all-league each of the last two years.
Needles played for one of Colorado’s top club teams, the Hoopsters,
during the summer and more recently suits-up for Cal Storm Team Taurasi, which is sponsored by four-time WNBA All-Star and two-time U.S. Olympian Diana Taurasi.
“Carlie is a true point guard and a coach’s dream in terms of her
mentality and the way she plays the game,” Butler gleamed. “She’s
scrappy, she’s a winner and will absolutely do whatever to ensure
victory for her team. When we went to see her play, probably in the
first two minutes of the game she stuck her nose in there and took a
charge and I knew she was someone I wanted to have here and she was my kind of point guard. We knew all that was left was to have her come to campus on an official visit to just be sure that her feelings were
right, and they were.
“I knew from a personality standpoint that she was someone that I
wanted to coach every day,” Butler shared. We watched her compete at a high level and she showed us that she can help us win championships.”
Ebonie Crawford (Decatur, Ga.) is the only senior on Florida’s
2010-11 roster, which has 12 scholarship members.
Florida Women’s Basketball 2010-11 Signing Class
Viktorija Dimaite (Victoria Dee-uh-MON-tae), 6-4, Center, Lithuania /
The Rock School (Gainesville, Fla.)
Carlie Needles, 5-7, Guard, Highlands Ranch, Co. / ThunderRidge High