Athlete of the Week: Shir Levy

Freshman forward out of Nessa Ziona, Israel, started in every game due to strong defensive performance

Freshman+forward+Shir+Levy+passes+the+ball+to+her+teammate+in+the+game+against+Utah+State+on+Nov.+6+in+Beasley+Stadium.
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Athlete of the Week: Shir Levy

Freshman forward Shir Levy passes the ball to her teammate in the game against Utah State on Nov. 6 in Beasley Stadium.

Freshman forward Shir Levy passes the ball to her teammate in the game against Utah State on Nov. 6 in Beasley Stadium.

BENJAMIN MICHAELIS | DAILY EVERGREEN FILE

Freshman forward Shir Levy passes the ball to her teammate in the game against Utah State on Nov. 6 in Beasley Stadium.

BENJAMIN MICHAELIS | DAILY EVERGREEN FILE

BENJAMIN MICHAELIS | DAILY EVERGREEN FILE

Freshman forward Shir Levy passes the ball to her teammate in the game against Utah State on Nov. 6 in Beasley Stadium.

SHAWN P. O'CONNOR, Evergreen reporter

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Normally, the Evergreen Athlete of the Week is a player coming off a huge statistical game, a player who just set a record, or a player who made a game-winning play. This week is a little different.

Shir Levy, freshman forward on WSU women’s basketball team, might not pop off the stat sheet, but her defensive presence has kept her in the starting lineup.

Levy is a mainstay in the Cougar starting lineup, starting every game so far this season. Despite averaging only 3.4 points, 2.2 rebounds and 1.1 assists per game, Levy is an active defender capable of defending all the way to the three-point line.

As a below-average shooter from the floor, Levy has been lethal from beyond the arc and from the free-throw, shooting 40.7 percent and 100 percent respectively in limited opportunities.

Before making the trek to Pullman, Levy was a star in the European Championships with her native Israel team. As a member of the U-18 national team, she helped guide Israel to a third-place finish at the European Championships in the B Division, earning her country a promotion to the top division in European women’s basketball. Levy also competed in international play with Israel’s U-20 squad.

Levy also competed on Israel’s 3-on-3 team, placing third in the 2015 European Championships. This international experience greatly influenced her decision to play for WSU, Shir told WSU Athletic Communications in a June interview.

“Since I am familiar with European basketball, I looked for a place with international players,” Levy said. “That’s why WSU fits me the best.”

Before starting her college basketball career at WSU, Levy completed two years of service in the Israeli army. Military service is required for all Israeli citizens upon turning 18, with a few exceptions for religious, medical and ethnic considerations. At WSU, Levy plans on graduating with a degree in psychology.

Shir Levy has found a spot in the WSU starting lineup. Despite inconsistencies in her offensive game, her defensive game is more than strong enough to keep her there.

Levy’s international experience, along with her freshman standing, makes her a very intriguing piece for the future of the WSU women’s basketball program. Through her defensive prowess Shir Levy earns her spot as the Evergreen Athlete of the Week.