Jewell Loyd Named To 2010 USA Women's U17 World Championship Team
- 2009 USA Gold Medalist Alexyz Vaioletama Withdraws Because Of Injury -
June 18, 2010 - Colorado Springs, Colo.
Jewell Loyd (Lincolnwood, Ill.), a 5-9 guard from Niles West High School today was added to the 2010 USA Women's U17 World Championship Team following the withdrawal of Alexyz Vaioletama (Mater Dei H.S./Fountain Valley, Calif.), who is unable to participate in the 2010 FIBA U17 World Championship for Women due to a right shin stress fracture.
'I was just really shocked. It is a great honor, and I was speechless,' Loyd said. 'From the trials, we all got along pretty well, so I'm not worried about the teamwork, and I have been working out here, so I'm ready to go. I'm ready to play with the other girls and learn some new things from coach. I'm just ready to get back out there. It's been one of my dreams to wear USA and represent your country doing something that you really love to do. It's amazing.'
Vaioletama was one of nine athletes who helped the USA earn its FIBA U17 World Championship berth with a gold medal in the 2009 FIBA Americas U16 Championship for Women who was named to the original 12-member roster for the 2010 USA Women's U17 World Championship Team on June 11. The selections were made by the USA Basketball Women's Developmental National Team Committee, following three days of trials June 8-10 at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo.
'When I received word that Alexyz was unavailable to travel with our team I was disappointed for her and the team,' said Barbara Nelson, USA U17 and Wingate University head coach. 'I enjoyed coaching Alexyz last year as she is a true winner putting the team success before herself.
'Jewell Loyd's addition to our roster improves our ball handling and on-ball defense,' Nelson continued. 'During the trials, Jewell demonstrated good decision making with the ball and shot selection. She is also a superb rebounding guard. I look forward to working with Jewell when we reconvene in July.'
Returning in 2010 from the inaugural USA U16 National Team are 2009 FIBA Americas U16 Championship MVP Elizabeth Williams (Princess Anne H.S./Virginia Beach, Va.) and the USA's leading scorer Kaleena Lewis (Mater Dei H.S./Anaheim, Calif.); as well as Jordan Adams (Mater Dei H.S./Irvine, Calif.); Cierra Burdick (Butler H.S./Matthews, N.C.); Bashaara Graves (Clarksville H.S./Clarksville, Tenn.); Betnijah Laney (Smyrna H.S./Clayton, Del.); Ariel Massengale (Bolingbrook H.S./Bolingbrook, Ill.); and Breanna Stewart (Cicero North Syracuse H.S./North Syracuse, N.Y.).
Rounding out the roster are: Bria Smith (Christ the King H.S./Massapequa, N.Y.); Imani Stafford (Winward H.S./Los Angeles, Calif.); and Morgan Tuck (Bolingbrook H.S./Bolingbrook, Ill.).
Loyd is a first-time USA team member, but she did participate in the 2009 USA Women's U16 National Team Trials. She averaged 22.8 ppg., 12.2 rpg., 3.6 apg., 2.1 spg. and 2.0 bpg. as a sophomore in 2009-10 to help Niles West to a 27-6 record, a Central Suburban South title and the elite eight of the Illinois state tournament, and she was honored as a 2010 Chicago Tribune All-State first team member.
The USA will compete in the inaugural FIBA U17 World Championship July 16-25 in Rodez and Toulouse, France. Players eligible for this competition must be a U.S. citizen born on or after Jan. 1, 1993.
The 2010 USA Women's U17 World Championship Team will reassemble in Washington, D.C., for training July 5-7. The USA will play several practice games in Spain prior to arriving in Rodez, France, where it will begin preliminary round games on July 16.
The United States was drawn into Preliminary Round Group A for the 2010 FIBA U17 World Championship, 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 USA will open play on July 16 against tournament host France at 8:30 p.m. (all times are CEST, which is +6 from EDT) followed by Russia at 5:30 p.m. on July 17 and Canada at 3:00 p.m. on July 18. Following a day off on July 19, the USA will wrap up preliminary round play against Turkey at 5:30 p.m. on July 20 and Japan at 5:30 p.m. 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.
Nelson returns in 2010 to serve as head coach for the USA, as do her 2009 assistant coaches Mike Armstrong of Perry Meridian High School (Ind.) and Dorena Bingham of Team Alaska AAU. The trio led the USA past 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.
The USA Basketball Women's Developmental Committee, chaired in non-voting position by Carol Callan, USA Basketball Women's National Team Director, also includes: NFHS representatives Jill Meerman (Decatur Central High School, Ind.) and Sue Phillips (Archbishop Mitty High School, Calif.); AAU appointees Jody Patrick (Vogues AAU, Va.) and Brian Robinson (Stealers AAU, N.C.); as well as athlete representative Ruthie Bolton, a two-time Olympic gold medalist.