Thirty-Five Athletes Accept Invitations To USA Basketball’s 2012 Women’s U17 World Championship Team Trials
Colorado Springs, Colo. • May 3, 2012
Including 13 USA Basketball gold medalists, 35 players have accepted invitations to attend the 2012 USA Basketball Women’s U17 World Championship Team Trials, which will be held May 17-20 at the U.S. Olympic Training Center (USOTC) in Colorado Springs, Colo.
The trails roster includes two-time USA gold medalist Diamond DeShields (Norcross H.S./Norcross, Ga.), who suited up for the USA in the 2010 FIBA Americas U18 Championship and the 2011 FIBA U19 World Championship, as well as all 12 members of the 2011 USA U16 National Team, including Recee’ Caldwell (Claudia Taylor Johnson H.S./San Antonio, Texas); Jordin Canada (Windward School/Los Angeles, Calif.); Kaela Davis (Buford H.S./Suwanee, Ga.); Rebecca Greenwell (Owensboro Catholic H.S./Owesnboro, Ky.); Linnae Harper (Whitney Young H.S./Chicago, Ill.); Stephanie Mavunga (Brownsburg H.S./Indianapolis, Ind.); Erica McCall (Ridgeview H.S./Bakersfield, Calif.); Taya Reimer (Hamilton Southeastern H.S./Fishers, Ind.); Mercedes Russell (Springfield H.S./Springfield, Ore.); Jannah Tucker (New Town H.S./Randallstown, Md.); Sydney Umeri (The Lovett School/Acworth, Ga.); and Jatarie White (Providence Day School/Charlotte, N.C.).
While trials participants Oderah Chidom (Bishop O’Dowd H.S./Oakland, Calif.); Kai James (William T. Dwyer H.S./West Palm Beach, Fla.); Ronni Williams (Atlantic H.S./Daytona Beach, Fla.); and A’ja Wilson (Heathwood Hall Episcopal/Hopkins, S.C.) enter their first USA Basketball experience; 18 attendees participated in the 2011 USA U16 trials, including Lindsay Allen (St. John’s College H.S., D.C./Bowie, Md.); Lyneé Belton (The Bullis School/Clinton, Md.); Sierra Calhoun (Christ the King Regional H.S./Brooklyn, N.Y.); McKenzie Calvert (Byron M. Steele H.S./Schertz, Texas); Nia Coffey (Hopkins H.S./New Hope, Minn.); Kendall Cooper (St. Anthony H.S./Carson, Calif.); LaJahna Drummer (St. Bernard H.S./Inglewood, Calif.); Courtney Ekmark (St. Mary’s Catholic H.S./Phoenix, Ariz.); Allisha Gray (Washington County H.S./ Sandersville, Ga.); Gabby Green (St. Mary’s College/Oakland, Calif.); Kianna Holland (Seneca H.S./Seneca, S.C.); Jessica Jackson (Jacksonville H.S./Jacksonville, Ark.); Alexa Middleton (Riverdale H.S./Murfreesboro, Tenn.); Jaime Nared (Westview H.S./Portland, Ore.); Alyssa Rice (Reynoldsburg H.S./Reynoldsburg, Ohio); Karlie Samuelson (Edison H.S./Huntington Beach, Calif.); Brianna Turner (Manvel H.S./Pearland, Texas); and Jessica Washington (Jenks H.S./Tulsa, Okla.).
The USA will look to defend its 2010 inaugural U17 title in the 2012 FIBA U17 World Championship on Aug. 17-26 in Amsterdam, Netherlands.
Jill Rankin Schneider (Monterey H.S., Texas) will lead the USA with assistant coaches Gail Hook (Monarch H.S., Colo.) and Letitia Hughley (Mott C.C., Mich.). The trio helped qualify the USA for the U17 Worlds by virtue of their gold-medal finish at the 2011 FIBA Americas U16 Championship.
“I hope to set the stage in regard to the intensity that we must embrace as a team in our preparation in order to win the gold medal in Amsterdam,” said Schneider, a co-recipient of the 2011 USA Basketball Developmental Coach of the Year and a finalist for the 2012 U.S. Olympic Committee’s 2011 Developmental Coach of the Year.
Invitations to attend the 2012 USA U17 World Championship Team Trials were issued by the USA Basketball Women’s Developmental National Team Committee. Players eligible for this competition must be U.S. citizens born on or after Jan. 1, 1995.
“We are looking forward to another very competitive trials,” said Carol Callan, USA Basketball Women’s National Team Director and non-voting chair of the Women’s Developmental National Team Committee. “The committee will have a tough task in selecting this team, and in order to win a gold medal in Amsterdam, we will be looking for the best team, not necessarily the best 12 individual players.”
The USA Basketball Women’s Developmental National Team Committee also includes AAU appointees Jody Patrick and Brian Robinson, National Federation of High School representatives Jill Meerman and Sue Phillips and athlete representative Ruthie Bolton (two-time Olympic gold medalist and a member of 11 USA Basketball teams from 1986 through 2000).
The first trials session will take place at 6 p.m. (times are local, MDT) on Thursday, May 17; followed by 9 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. sessions on May 18; and 10:30 a.m. and 6 p.m. sessions on May 19. The 12-member roster for the 2012 USA Women’s U17 World Championship Team is expected to be announced on the morning of May 20, and all athletes will depart for home that day. The USA Basketball Women’s U18 National Team Trials will take place May 18-21 at the USOTC, and all U17 athletes are eligible for that team as well.
The team will reconvene for training camp May 28 - June 2 at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World Resorts in Orlando, Fla., and then again at the USOTC on Aug. 1-7 before leaving for Europe.
The USA also will compete in an exhibition round-robin tournament in Italy against U17 national teams before arriving in Amsterdam. Traveling to Caorle, Italy, on Aug. 8, the team will practice on Aug. 9 before taking on Brazil at 6:30 p.m. (Caorle is +6 hours from EDT) on Aug. 10. The USA will play Australia at
6:30 p.m. on Aug. 11 and then face host Italy at 8:30 p.m. on Aug. 12. The team will practice in Italy on Aug. 13 before departing for Amsterdam on Aug. 14. The USA will have two days of training in Amsterdam before the start of the FIBA U17 World Championship.
The USA has been placed in preliminary round Group A and will open against South Korea at 9:15 p.m. (Amsterdam is +6 hours from EDT) on Aug. 17, followed by Canada at 9:15 p.m. on Aug. 18 and Italy at
4:45 p.m. on Aug. 19. After a rest day for all teams on Aug. 20, the USA will take on Belgium at 2:30 p.m. on Aug. 21 and wrap up preliminary round play against Mali at 10 a.m. on Aug. 22.
The top four finishing teams from each preliminary round group will advance to the medal quarterfinals on Aug. 24. Winners of the quarterfinals will compete in the medal semifinals on Aug. 25, and the gold medal game will be played on Aug. 26.
Twenty-one trials participants are from the Class of 2013, and 14 are set to graduate in 2014.
Born on Jan. 12, 1995, Gray is the oldest player, and Caldwell, born, Sept. 9, 1996, is the youngest.
The players hail from 18 different states, led by seven athletes from California and four from Georgia. Maryland and Texas are represented by three trials participants; Florida, Indiana, Oregon and South Carolina feature two players; and Arizona, Arkansas, Illinois, Kentucky, Minnesota, North Carolina, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma and Tennessee are each represented by one attendee.
Gray (Georgia) and Mavunga (Indiana) were tabbed as their state’s 2012 Gatorade Player of the Year.
In the final USA Today Super 25 rankings, Ekmark helped St. Mary’s to a No. 1 national rank, while Harper and Whitney Young H.S. listed No. 2, Middleton and Riverdale H.S. ranked No. 11 and Coffey and Hopkins H.S. listed No. 20.
As the youngest member of the 2011 USA U19 Team, DeShields averaged 4.7 ppg. and 2.6 rpg. to help the USA to an 8-1 record and gold medal in the FIBA U19 World Championship. In 2010, she averaged 9.0 ppg. and 3.4 rpg. to help the U.S. to a gold medal and 5-0 record in the 2010 FIBA Americas U18 Championship.
Greenwell, who was named co-MVP of the 2011 FIBA Americas U16 Championship, led the USA U16 team with 15.6 ppg. Russell averaged an 11.6 ppg. and 11.4 rpg. double-double along with 4.0 bpg.; followed by Mavunga with 10.6 ppg. and 6.4 rpg.; and White with 9.8 ppg. and 6.8 rpg. Harper averaged team-highs of 3.4 apg. and 3.4 spg.
About USA Basketball
Based in Colorado Springs, Colo., USA Basketball is a nonprofit organization and the national governing body for men's and women's basketball in the United States. As the recognized governing body for basketball in the United States by the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) and the United States Olympic Committee (USOC), USA Basketball is responsible for the selection, training and fielding of USA teams that compete in FIBA sponsored international basketball competitions, as well as for some national competitions.
Since 2008, USA Basketball men’s and women’s teams have compiled a sterling 134-6 win-loss record in FIBA or FIBA Americas competitions. USA teams are the current men’s and women’s champions of the Olympics and FIBA World Championship; FIBA women’s U19 world champions; the men’s and women’s title holders for the FIBA U17 World Championship; and the men’s and women’s U18 and U16 FIBA Americas champions. USA Basketball currently ranks No. 1 in all five of FIBA's world ranking categories, including combined, men's, women's, boys and girls.