BALTIMORE – Junior guard Kelva Atkins has been named a First-Team Preseason All-Colonial Athletic Association selection. 

Announced during the league’s annual media day on Tuesday, Atkins was selected in a vote of the league’s nine head coaches. She was joined on the first team by James Madison senior Kirby Burkholder, who was tabbed CAA Preseason Player-of-the-Year, and sophomore Precious Hall, Towson senior Tanisha McTiller and Northeastern senior Jewel Tunstull.

I’m very proud and very happy for Kelva that she was named Preseason All-CAA,” said UNCW Head Coach Adell Harris. ““It’s a confidence builder for her knowing that the other coaches in the CAA are saying the same things about her that we have been telling her since last season. She has to play a big role in our success this season and hopefully this will provide a big boost to her confidence.”

Atkins shined in her first season with the Seahawks, playing all 31 games and making 17 starts during the 2012-13 campaign. She finished third on the team in scoring (10.4) and third in assists (2.6) while also contributing 4.1 rebounds and 1.4 steals per contest. She capped her season by earning All-Tournament Team accolades at the 2013 CAA Women’s Basketball Championships, averaging 18.5 points, 4.5 rebounds and 3.5 assists in leading the Seahawks to a 1-1 record at the event.

The Seahawks were tabbed to finish eighth in the preseason coaches poll, ahead of William & Mary. James Madison was selected to capture the 2014 CAA Women’s Basketball title followed by Drexel, Northeastern and Towson. Two-time defending league champion Delaware was tabbed fifth while Hofstra, College of Charleston, UNCW and William & Mary rounded out the poll.

“We’re picked to where we should be picked,” said Harris. “No one knows anything about UNCW women’s basketball at this point except for Kelva, so with so many new faces, we haven’t been able to show anyone anything yet.  Our kids will be motivated by being picked eighth. There is always a lot of balance in the league and there are a lot of things we don’t know about the CAA as a whole at this point in time, so it is shaping up to be another exciting season.”  

UNCW plays its lone exhibition contest Nov. 4 as it hosts UNC Pembroke in a 7 p.m. contest at Trask Coliseum before opening the regular season Nov. 9 at national power Notre Dame.