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Cougs shine bright

From staff reports

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WSU athletes past and present elevate their games and receive national recognition. 

Klay Thompson:

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Former Cougar Klay Thompson made a home in the NBA with the Golden State Warriors, and now he joins a 28-player pool selected for the 2014-16 USA Men’s National Team. 

The collection of players includes 14 veterans who competed on the 2012 Olympic team and/or the 2010 USA World Championship team. The other 14 players have prior experience with USA basketball, but have never played with the Senior National Team. 

Thompson has averaged 19 points per game for the Warriors this season and shoots about 44 percent from the field. The Warriors currently stand in second place in the Pacific Division behind the Los Angeles Clippers. Thompson is the third-leading scorer on a Golden State team that is also in the middle of the playoff race in the Western Conference.

Deone Bucannon:

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Football season is still not over for one of the former Cougar seniors. Safety Deone Bucannon continued playing Saturday at the Senior Bowl and made an impact with his famously devastating tackles. 

At 6 feet 1 inch and 216 pounds, Bucannon raised himself to the top of the player list in terms of physicality. However, his hits are not the only thing that will market him to NFL teams. Although the Philadelphia Eagles spoke with Bucannon after Senior Bowl practices, Bucannon said he needs to prove more than just his ability to hit opponents hard. 

“(I need to prove that) I can actually cover, that I can actually stay with the slot receivers and tight ends, and that my hips aren’t as tight as what people may think because I’m a big safety,” Bucannon told phillymag.com. “Those are the things I’m working on… fluidity in my hips, being able to turn and run with the slot receivers.”

In Bucannon’s four year career with the Cougars, the safety totaled 384 tackles, seven forced fumbles, and 15 interceptions. 

Camryn Irwin:

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After spending the last four years playing volleyball under the lights of Bohler Gym, former Washington State setter Camryn Irwin is playing in a new environment.

On Jan. 3-5 of 2014, the 2013 Cougar women’s captain played in her first professional setting with team Smack BIP USA in the Mimmo Fusco Tournament in Latina (Rome), Italy.

After competing in the Mimmo Fusco Tournament, Irwin decided to join the 14th annual January European Exposure Tour, which started in Milan, Italy.

The former Cougar setter was chosen on the second day of the tour to play for an Austrian team called ASKO Steg-Linz.

“Playing professionally overseas is similar to playing at WSU in that we have the opportunity to compete against some of the best players in the country on any given night,” Irwin said. “It’s fantastic.”

Irwin totaled 3,390 assists during her career at WSU, which ranks her as fourth-best on WSU’s all-time career list according to wsucougars.com.

“Adapting to life in Austria comes not only with the food, culture, and language barrier, but also a difference in the way the game is played here,” Irwin said. “However, those are all things that I am learning making this experience so worthwhile.”

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Cougs shine bright