USA Basketball To Name Two Teams Following 2010 USA Women's U17 World Championship/Youth Olympic Games Team Trials
June 7, 2010 - Colorado Springs, Colo.
Thirty-six athletes will participate in the 2010 USA Basketball Women's U17 World Championship/Youth Olympic Games Team Trials on June 8-11 at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo., including 10 who helped USA Basketball capture gold at the 2009 FIBA Americas U16 Championship in Mexico City.
The 36 athletes will battle for one of 12 roster spots on the 2010 USA Basketball Women's U17 World Championship Team or one of four positions on the 2010 USA Youth Olympic Games Team.
'I know the entire coaching staff is excited to start trials,' said Barbara Nelson, USA U17 and Wingate University head coach. 'USA Basketball is a unique experience where players have the opportunity to test themselves in drills, training and competition against some of the best players in their class. I am hopeful the young women feel as though they have grown as an individual and as a player when trials are completed.'
'I'm definitely excited,' said Kathy Richey-Walton, USA Youth Olympic Games and Southwest Dekalb High School head coach. 'I think in these three days we are going to get a good idea of the talent we have, what they are capable of doing and trying to figure out the best personnel to be successful in the Youth Olympic Games
3-on-3 format. One thing that is fortunate is that I have participated in the USA Basketball Youth Development Festival before, so it's not totally new to me. This time I'll probably be able to appreciate this experience even more.'
Returning from the inaugural U16 National Team are 2009 FIBA Americas U16 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.); Breanna Stewart (Cicero North Syracuse H.S./North Syracuse, N.Y.); Kiah Stokes (Linn Mar H.S./Marion, Iowa); and Alexyz Vaioletama (Mater Dei H.S./Fountain Valley, Calif.).
Rounding out the trials roster are: Ameryst Alston (McKinley H.S./Canton, Ohio); Danielle Ballard (Memphis Central H.S./Memphis, Tenn.); Alyson Beebe (St. Joseph H.S./Santa Maria, Calif.); Kayla Brewer (Jean Ribault H.S./Jacksonville, Fla.); Briyona Canty (Trenton Catholic Academy/Willingboro, N.J.); Andraya Carter (Buford H.S./Flowery Branch, Ga.); Sidney Cook (Southmoore H.S./Moore, Okla.); Kaela Davis (Norcross H.S./Norcross, Ga.); Diamond DeShields (Norcross H.S./Norcross, Ga.); Alexa Gallagher (Germantown Academy/Elkins Park, Pa.); Taylor Greenfield (Ballard H.S./Huxley, Iowa); Isabelle Harrison (Hillsboro H.S./Nashville, Tenn.); Amber Henson (Sickles H.S./Tampa, Fla.); Rachel Hollivay (New Hope H.S./Columbus, Miss.); Malina Howard (Twinsburg H.S./Twinsburg, Ohio); Moriah Jefferson (Texas Home Educators Sports Association/Glenn Heights, Texas); Niya Johnson (PK Yonge Developmental Research School/Gainesville, Fla.); Alexis Jones (Irving MacArthur H.S./Irving, Texas); Jewell Loyd (Niles West H.S./Lincolnwood, Ill.); Xylina McDaniel (Spring Valley H.S./Blythewood, S.C.); Alexis Prince (Edgewater H.S./Maitland, Fla.); Tiffany Rice-Mitchell (Providence Day School/Charlotte, N.C.); Bonnie Samuelson (Edison H.S./Huntington Beach, Calif.); 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.).
All sessions will be held at the training center's Sports Center II. The first session will take place June 8 at 5:30 p.m. (all times are MDT); followed by sessions on June 9 at 8:30-10:30 a.m. and 4:30-6:30 p.m.; and June 10 at 8:30-10:30 a.m. and 4:00-6:00 p.m. The 2010 USA Women's U17 World Championship and Youth Olympic Games teams will be announced on the morning of June 11 and will remain in Colorado Springs for training through June 15.
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 U17 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 began games on July 16.
Nelson of Wingate University will return to serve as head coach for the USA, as will 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.
On Aug. 14-26, the USA will participate in the Youth Olympic Games in Singapore, which will feature a 3-on-3 competition between 20 teams organized by the International Olympic Committee and FIBA. Players eligible for this competition must have been born between Jan. 1, 1993 and Dec. 31, 1994.
The USA Women's Youth Olympic Games Team will reassemble in Aug. 5 at a site to be determined and train through Aug. 10 before departing for Singapore. The Youth Olympic Games women's basketball competition will take place Aug. 15-23.
In the 2009 U16 zone championship, Lewis averaged 14.0 ppg., followed by Williams with 13.4 ppg. and a team-high 5.2 rpg., Laney with 13.2 ppg. and Massengale with 12.0 ppg. and a team-high 4.8 apg. Additionally, Stewart averaged 9.6 ppg., Adams contributed 7.8 ppg., Vaioletama scored 7.4 ppg., Burdick tallied 6.8 ppg., Graves added 6.4 ppg. and Stokes averaged 5.8 ppg.
While 13 athletes are new to USA Basketball, the remaining 13 players attended the 2009 USA U16 National Team Trials, including Tuck, who was named to the 2009 USA U16 National Team but was sidelined by injury. Also attending trials in 2009 were: Brewer, Canty, Carter, Greenfield, Hollivay, Howard, Jefferson, Jones, Lloyd, Prince, Samuelson and Smith.
Fifteen players are a member of the class of 2011, 19 players will graduate in 2010 and two athletes will complete their high school careers in 2013.
Seventeen states are represented on the trials roster. California tops the list with six athletes, followed by Florida with four players, Georgia, Illinois and Tennessee with three trials athletes and Iowa, Ohio, New York, North Carolina and Texas with two representatives each.
Seven players will be among high school teammates at trials. Adams, Lewis and Vaioletama play together at Mater Dei High School in California, Davis and DeSheilds attend Norcross High School in Georgia and Massengale and Tuck are teammates at Bollingbrook High School in Illinois.
Despite their status as underclassmen, 13 players received national attention for outstanding play.
Lewis was named to the 2009-10 USA Today All-USA first team, while Williams was honored as a All-USA third team member.
Parade Magazine recognized Lewis and Williams as All-America first team members, Adams, Massengale and Tuck were All-America second team honorees, Burdick and Smith listed on the Parade All-America third team and DeShields, Graves, Samuelson, Stewart and Stokes listed on the fourth team.
Gatorade honored Burdick (North Carolina), Laney (Deleware), Stokes (Iowa) and Williams (Virginia) as a State Player of the Year.
Eight players helped their high school teams finish the 2009-10 season ranked among USA Today's Super 25 index. Jordan Adams, Kaleena Lewis and Alexyz Vaioletama led Mater Dei to a USA Today Super 25 No. 1 final ranking and a No. 1 ranking in the West region. Ariel Massengale and Morgan Tuck helped Bolingbrook to a No. 5 Super 25 final ranking and No. 2 ranking in the Midwest region. Bria Smith led Christ the King to a No. 12 final ranking and a No. 3 rank in the East region, and Kaela Davis and Diamond DeShields helped Norcross High School to a No. 13 Super 25 ranking and a No. 2 ranking in the South region.
Trials invitations were extended by the USA Basketball Women's Developmental Committee, chaired in non-voting position by Carol Callan, USA Basketball Women's National Team Director. The committee also includes: NFHS members 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.