High School Basketball

This Tri-Cities basketball player was a freshman star. Now she's going global

Tri-Cities Prep's Talia von Oelhoffen (center) is part of an adidas Girls USA Select Team that will play in Italy over the next 10 days.
Tri-Cities Prep's Talia von Oelhoffen (center) is part of an adidas Girls USA Select Team that will play in Italy over the next 10 days. Tri-City Herald

Talia von Oelhoffen has been making a name for herself on the basketball court since she was in grade school.

Now, the incoming sophomore at Tri-Cities Prep is taking her game to the international stage.

Von Oelhoffen and the adidas Girls USA Select Team will play in Treviso, Italy, against top European teams over the next week.

Von Oelhoffen, who left Tuesday, attended a camp last June in Portland and found out a few months ago that she made the team.

"I just didn't say anything until a few days ago," she said.

A 6-foot guard, von Oelhoffen is one of three Washington girls on a roster that includes players from Missouri, California, Texas, Wisconsin, Kansas, Oklahoma and Colorado.

Jacinta Buckely is a 6-foot forward from Spokane (Lewis and Clark), while Keeli Burton is a 6-3 forward from Eastlake High School in Sammamish.

Talia Von O.jpg
Talia von Oelhoffen

"I'm really good friends with both of them," von Oelhoffen said. "They were on my AAU team (Northwest Blazers). Keeli has been my best friend since fourth grade."

Fifty players were invited to the tryout camp in Portland and about 40 showed, according to von Oelhoffen. Just 12 made the roster, of which von Oelhoffen is the youngest player.

"Most are going to be seniors," she said. "There are a couple juniors, and I'm a sophomore."

Von Oelhoffen, who averaged 27.9 points, 11 rebounds, 4.2 assists and 4.2 steals for Prep, led the Jaguars to the EWAC regular-season title and their first 2B state tournament, where they finished 1-2.

She also carries a 4.0 GPA.

"It's hard to balance, but it's worth it," von Oelhoffen said.

While in Italy, the adidas team will play the U-20 Italian national team, and others.

"This is my first time leaving the United States," von Oelhoffen said. "We will be there for nine or 10 days, but will only play during three of them. We will get to tour Venice, Rome and other places."

Her mom, former Kamiakin standout Tondi (Redden) von Oelhoffen, and her grandparents are making the trip with her.

Once she returns, she will head to Los Angeles for a tryout camp for next year's team.

She's also been able to shoehorn club volleyball into her busy schedule.

"We had our first summer league match (Monday) night," von Oelhoffen said. "We won a set against Richland's varsity team. We were talking about how bad we would get beat, and we actually won one."

Annie Fowler: 582-1574; @tchicequeen