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1997 USA Women's World Championship Qualifying Team

WOMEN'S WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP QUALIFYING TOURNAMENT -- 1997

  • Date:
    Jun 10, 2010

Sao Paulo, Brazil • August 5-10, 1997


The 1997 USA World Championship Qualifying Team, headed by 1997-2000 USA Senior National Team head coach Nell Fortner, traveled to Brazil with two goals: qualify the U.S. for the 1998 FIBA World Championship and win a gold medal. While the squad fell six points shy of the gold, the American women captured the silver medal and advanced the United States to the '98 Worlds, where they eventually took gold on the globe's highest stage.


1997 USA RESULTS (4-2)
USA 2% Dominican Rep. 0
USA 88 Argentina 46
USA 85 Canada 80
Brazil 87 USA 50
USA 94 Cuba 41
Brazil 101 USA 50
% Forfeit

1997 WORLD CHAMP. QUAL. FINAL STANDINGS

1. *Brazil (6-0) 5. Canada (2-2)
2. *USA (4-2) 6. Colombia (1-3)
3. *Cuba (3-3) 7. Puerto Rico (1-3)
4. *Argentina (2-4) 8. Dominican Rep. (0-4)
*Qualified for the 1998 FIBA World Championship.

Comprised of 10 athletes from the American Basketball League (ABL), one European professional and a collegiate standout, the USA was forced to wait until the second day of competition to show the Americas its hand after the Dominican Republic failed to arrive at the competition on time.

In its opener against Argentina, the USA was paced by its youngest member as Chamique Holdsclaw poured in 21 points and added a game-high seven rebounds in an 88-53 victory on Aug. 6. Additionally, Taj McWilliams checked in for 15 points, and Edna Campbell and Michelle Marciniak each scored 10.

Sheri Sam scored a team-high 15 points, while Teresa Edwards and Campbell had 11 and 10 points, respectively, as the USA pounded Canada 85-66 on Aug. 7. The victory placed the United States at the top of preliminary Group B and advanced the squad not only to the medal semifinal round, but assured the country a spot in the '98 World Championship.

In the first of two semifinal round games, despite receiving double-digit scoring efforts from five different players, the USA was edged 87-83 by host Brazil on Aug. 8.

McWilliams came off the bench to lead the squad with highs of 16 points and six rebounds, Campbell had 15 points, Holdsclaw and Edwards each netted 11 and Dale Hodges scored 10 points.

Facing Cuba on Aug. 9, Holdsclaw celebrated her 20th birthday with a game-high 32 points as the North Americans earned a hard-fought 94-90 victory over the islanders. Edwards also made a significant contribution to the USA advancing to the gold medal game. She scored 26 points, collected seven rebounds and with 25 seconds remaining and the U.S. holding a 92-90 lead, converted a pair of free throws to seal the squad's four-point victory.

The hometown Brazilian crowd, a pregame jersey retirement of celebrated three-time Olympian Hortencia Marcari Oliviara, and a game-high 38 points from soon-to-be retiring Brazilian Olympic hero �Magic� Paula Silva proved too much for the USA as the Americans lost for the second time in three days to host Brazil, this time 101-95 in the gold medal game on Aug. 10. Edwards and Holdsclaw finished the game with 21 points each to lead the United States, while Sam notched 16 and McWilliams scored 12.

The 20-year-old Holdsclaw capped the tournament as the USA's leading scorer and rebounder, averaging 19.0 ppg. and 6.2 rpg. Edwards followed with 14.6 ppg., 4.2 rpg. and passed off a team-high 5.6 apg. Sam averaged 11.4 ppg. and McWilliams scored 10.8 ppg. off the bench and added a team second best 4.4 rpg., while Campbell added 10.0 ppg.

In all, five of the USA's players would go on to compete in the 1998 FIBA World Championship where the United States captured gold: Campbell, Edwards, Holdsclaw, McWilliams and Katie Smith.

1997 USA WOMEN'S WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP QUALIFYING TEAM ROSTER

NAME
POS
HGT
WGT
AGE
TEAM / SCHOOL HOMETOWN
Edna Campbell
G
5-8
140
28
Colorado Xplosion / Texas Pittsburgh, PA
Sylvia Crawley
C
6-5
160
24
Colorado Xplosion / North Carolina Wintersville, OH
Teresa Edwards
G
5-11
155
32
Atlanta Glory / Georgia Cairo, GA
Katryna Gaither
C
6-3
170
21
San Jose Lasers / Notre Dame Mt. Vernon, NY
Dale Hodges
F
6-1
170
29
Messina Fontalba (ITA) / St. Joseph's Trenton, NJ
Chamique Holdsclaw
F
6-2
166
20
n/a / Tennessee Astoria, NY
Michelle Marciniak
G
5-9
164
23
Long Beach Stingrays / Tennessee Macungie, PA
Taj McWilliams
C
6-3
180
26
Philadelphia Rage / St. Edwards El Paso, TX
Beth Morgan
G
6-0
150
22
Philadelphia Rage / Notre Dame Bloomington, IN
Sheri Sam
F
6-1
175
23
San Jose Lasers / Vanderbilt Duson, LA
Katie Smith
G
5-11
173
22
Columbus Quest / Ohio State Logan, OH
Rhonda Smith
F
6-2
185
24
Seattle Reign / Washington Seattle, WA
HEAD COACH: Nell Fortner, USA Basketball
ASSISTANT COACH: Anne Donovan, East Carolina (NC)
ASSISTANT COACH: Regina Miller, Western Illinois University
TEAM PHYSICIAN: George DeSilvester, Indianapolis, Ind.
ATHLETIC TRAINER: Ed Ryan, U.S. Olympic Committee (CO)
TEAM MANAGER: Lori Phelps, Columbus, Ohio

1997 USA WOMEN'S WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP QUALIFYING TEAM CUMULATIVE STATISTICS

NAME G FGM-A PCT 3PM-A PCT FTM-A PCT REB PTS AS BK ST
Holdsclaw 5 39-57 .684 1-1 1.000 16-18 .889 31/6.2 95/19.0 1 0 7
Edwards 5 23-57 .404 3-16 .188 24-32 .750 21/4.2 73/14.6 28 0 5
Sam 5 25-45 .556 2-3 .667 5-6 .833 13/2.6 57/11.4 3 0 9
McWilliams 5 24-34 .706 0-1 .000 6-10 .600 22/4.4 54/10.8 3 0 6
Campbell 5 21-43 .488 2-8 .250 6-6 1.000 12/2.4 50/10.0 0 0 4
Crawley 5 11-17 .647 0-0 .--- 4-6 .667 11/2.2 26/5.2 0 0 3
Hodges 5 10-11 .909 0-0 .--- 4-8 .500 12/2.4 24/4.8 0 0 4
K. Smith 5 8-19 .421 0-0 .--- 3-3 1.000 16/3.2 19/3.8 1 0 2
Marciniak 5 5-9 .556 0-2 .000 8-8 1.000 5/1.0 18/3.6 6 0 2
R. Smith 2 6-8 .750 0-0 .--- 3-5 .600 4/2.0 15/7.5 1 0 1
Morgan 2 2-3 .667 1-2 .500 2-2 1.000 1/0.5 7/3.5 1 0 0
Gaither 2 2-2 1.000 0-0 .--- 3-4 .750 1/0.5 7/3.5 0 0 0
USA 5 176-305 .577 9-33 .273 84-108 .778 149/29.8 445/89.0 44 0 43
OPP. 5 140-287 .488 26-66 .394 91-133 .684 112/22.4 397/79.4 24 0 42

NOTE: The USA's record of 4-2 in the tournament includes the forfeit victory over the Dominican Republic. Therefore, the USA's statistics reflect its five games played.

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