USA Draws Group A For 2010 FIBA U17 World Championship For Women
Feb. 12, 2010 - Colorado Springs, Colo.
FIBA today conducted the draw for the inaugural FIBA U17 World Championship for Women in Toulouse, France, and the United States will compete in Preliminary Round Group A, along with host country France, Canada, Japan, Russia and Turkey. Competing in Preliminary Round Group B will be Argentina, Australia, Belgium, China, Mali and Spain.
The inaugural FIBA U17 World Championship for Women will be played July 16-25 in Rodez and Toulouse, France.
'I am excited about our draw for the tournament,' said Barb Nelson, USA U17 and Wingate University head coach. 'Competing against the host team in France will make for an exciting game for the players and the fans. We are familiar with Canada as we played them in the FIBA Americas championship last summer, and Russia, Turkey and Japan typically are very disciplined and well coached. I am excited to watch film on all of the teams as we know very little about them at this point other than we are all striving to win the gold medal.'
The USA will open play on July 16 against tournament host France , followed by Russia on July 17 and Canada on July 18. Following a day off on July 19, the USA will wrap up preliminary round play against Turkey on July 20 and Japan on July 21.
The top four finishing teams from each preliminary round group advance to the medal quarterfinals, scheduled for July 23, the semifinals are slated for July 24 and the gold and bronze medal games will be contested July 25. Games times and venues are still to be announced.
'We will do our best to schedule some pre-tournament games, and we plan to scrimmage the USA U18 team that will also be in Colorado in June in order to prepare our team for this very tough tournament,' Nelson continued. 'The competition will be greater than what we faced last summer, and our game plan will be to use our own measuring stick. One of the aspects we will be preaching to our players will be 'reach for your best.' That will be asked of them every day in practice, it will asked of them in their conduct off the court and it will be asked of them on the court during games. I'm hopeful that they will be focused every game as if it is the championship game, and then when we emerge from pool play and every game is crucial, they will be ready.'
The 12 nations qualified through their respective 2009 U16 zone championships. From FIBA Americas, the USA placed first in the 2009 U16 zone championship with a 5-0 record, followed by silver medalist Canada and bronze medalist Argentina. In FIBA Europe, Spain won the U16 tournament, followed by Belgium with silver, France, which captured bronze, automatically qualified for the tournament as the host country, making way for Russia in fourth and Turkey in fifth place. China won the FIBA Asia U16 Championship, followed by Japan. Mali collected the lone FIBA Africa berth, as did Australia in the FIBA Oceania tournament.
USA Basketball will conduct trials for the 2010 USA Women's U17 World Championship Team June 8-11 at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo. Following trials, selected finalists will remain in Colorado Springs for training through June 15. On July 5, the finalists will once again reassemble in Colorado Springs for training, and the 12-member 2010 USA Women's U17 World Championship Team will be announced prior to the team's departure for Europe on July 9. Players eligible for this competition must be a U.S. citizen born on or after Jan. 1, 1993.
For a second consecutive year, Nelson will be assisted by Mike Armstrong of Perry Meridian High School (Ind.) and Dorena Bingham of Team Alaska AAU. The coaching trio led the USA past five opponents by an average of 70.0 points per game Aug. 10-14 in Mexico City, Mexico, capturing in impressive style the 2009 FIBA Americas U16 title and the USA's berth into the 2010 FIBA U17 World Championship.