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Following three days of trials, USA Basketball today announced the 2008 USA Basketball Women's U18 National Team roster, which includes 11 athletes who own prior USA Basketball experience and one red, white and blue rookie. The team will travel to Buenos

USA Basketball Names 2008 Women's U18 National Team Roster

June 12, 2008 � Colorado Springs, Colo.

Additional Quotes

Following three days of trials at the U.S. Olympic Training Center (USOTC) in Colorado Springs, Colo., that featured 35 of the nation's best 18-year-old and younger players, USA Basketball today announced the official 12-member roster for the 2008 USA Basketball Women's U18 National Team. Eleven of the team members boast of prior USA Basketball experience, while one is a red, white and blue rookie. The selections were made by the USA Basketball Women's Collegiate Committee, chaired by Sue Donohoe, the NCAA's vice president of Division I women's basketball.

The 12 members, born on or after Jan. 1, 1990, include: Kelsey Bone (Dulles H.S. / Stafford, Texas); Sarah Boothe (Warren Township H.S. / Gurnee, Ill.); Alyssia Brewer (Sapulpa H.S. / Sapulpa, Okla.); Ashley Corral (Prairie H.S. / Vancouver, Wash.); Skylar Diggins (Washington H.S. / South Bend, Ind.); Kelly Faris (Heritage Christian / Plainfield, Ind.); Lynetta Kizer (Potomac H.S. / Woodbridge, Va.); Nneka Ogwumike (Cy-Fair H.S. / Cypress, Texas); Samantha Prahalis (Commack H.S. / Dix Hills, N.Y.); Nikki Speed (Marlborough H.S. / Pasadena, Calif.); SheKinna Stricklen (Morrilton H.S. / Morrilton, Ark.); and Joslyn Tinkle (Big Sky H.S. / Missoula, Mont.).

'I think trials went really well and that this was a great group. Everyone was very coachable and there was a lot of energy � more than I expected from this age group. I am really excited about the 12 who will be joining us in July,' said USA U18 National Team and Northern Illinois University head coach Carol Owens. 'There is always a level of anticipation for coaches when you hear the roster for the first time. I think the committee did a great job selecting the right kids, the right fit and a balanced group that I think will work well together. I can't wait to get them in practice.

Carol Owens owns two previous gold medals as a
USA assistant coach, including the 2006 FIBA
Americas U18 Championship and the 2009 FIBA
U19 World Championship. (Steven Maikoski /
USA Basketball).
'I think one of our strengths has to be our defense. When you are playing teams from other countries, everyone can score. We have to be able to defend and create scoring opportunities for ourselves. We have to rebound too. I think this team has the capability of scoring but we have to be able to do other things. We have to be a hard working team.'

The USA Women's U18 National Team will train at the USOTC in Colorado Springs from July 10-16 and in Washington, D.C., July 17-20 before departing for the 2008 FIBA Americas U18 Championship for Women. The 2008 FIBA Americas zone qualifier will be contested July 23-27 in Buenos Aires, Argentina, with the top four finishing teams earning a berth to the 2009 FIBA U19 World Championship.

Assisting Owens on the USA sidelines will be Joe McKeown of Northwestern University and Terri Mitchell of Marquette University.

Eleven of the 12 team members return to the red, white and blue from the 2007 USA Basketball Women's Youth Development Festival, including Speed, who established an all-time Festival record for assists (27). Helping the USA White Team to a 5-0 record and gold medal were Bone, Corral, Diggins, Kizer and Prahalis; playing for USA Blue, which finished in possession of a 2-3 record and the silver medal, were Brewer and Faris; and capturing a 3-2 record and the bronze medal with the USA Red Team were Boothe, Ogwumike, Speed and Stricklen.

Ogwumike and Stricklen were named to the 2008 USA Today All-USA first team; while Bone and Speed were members of the second team; and Brewer and Diggins were third team selections.

In addition to naming Ogwumike its 2008 co-National Player of the Year, Parade Magazine recognized Bone and Diggins as All-America first team selections; while Brewer, Kizer, Prahalis and Stricklen were second team members; and Boothe and Speed were named to the third team.

Gatorade recognized Ogwumike at its 2008 National Girls Basketball Player of the Year and named Boothe (Ill.), Corral (Wash.), Diggins (Ind.), Prahalis (N.Y.), Stricklen (Ark.) and Tinkle (Mont.) as a state Player of the Year.

Eight of the team members will be college freshman in the fall, and four will complete their final year of high school eligibility.

Brewer and Stricklen are headed to the University of Tennessee; Booth and Ogwumike will play for Stanford University; Corral is headed to the University of Southern California; Kizer will attend the University of Maryland; Prahalis is headed to Ohio State University; and Speed will play at Rutgers University.

Of the four members of the class of 2009, Faris, who has said she will play at the University of Connecticut, is the only player to issue a verbal commitment.

In addition to Donohoe, the USA Basketball Women's Collegiate Committee includes athlete representatives Beth Cunningham (Virginia Commonwealth University), a member of the 1999 USA Pan American Games Team, and 1996 Olympic gold medalist Carla McGhee; NCAA appointees include Sherri Coale (University of Oklahoma), Jim Foster (Ohio State University), Trina Patterson (University at Albany) and Tara VanDerveer (Stanford University); Mary 'Roonie' Scovel (Gulf Coast Community College) represents the NJCAA; and Wendy Larry (Old Dominion University) was appointed to the committee by the WBCA.

2008 FIBA Americas U18 Championship for Women
The FIBA Americas U18 Championship for Women will feature eight national teams from North, South and Central America and the Caribbean from July 23-27 in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The top four finishing teams qualify for the 2009 FIBA U19 Women's World Championship, which will be held July 23-Aug. 2 in Bangkok, Thailand.

In the preliminary round, the eight participating teams will be divided into two groups of four teams each. After playing the three other teams in the preliminary round, the top two finishing teams from each group will advance to the medal round semifinals, while the third and fourth place finishing teams will meet in the consolation round semifinals. The gold medal, bronze medal, 5th/6th place and 7th/8th place games will be played on July 27.

Originally known as the FIBA Americas Junior World Championship Qualifying Tournament, the event had been held every four years since 1988. FIBA changed its calendar, however, and the tournament is now conducted every other year, followed in the next summer by the FIBA U19 World Championship.

USA women's teams boast of a remarkable 28-2 overall record in U18/Junior Qualifiers and have won gold in 1988, 2000, 2004 and 2006, while capturing silver in 1992 and 1996.