TWELFTH PAN AMERICAN GAMES -- 1995
Mar Del Plata, Argentina • March 19-25, 1995
One of the most talented American women's basketball teams in Pan American Games history was denied a chance to win the gold medal when the 1995 Pan American Games women's basketball competition was cancelled just weeks before its scheduled start.
The United States Olympic Committee and USA Basketball were notified March 3 that COPAN, the organizing committee for the Games, had cancelled the women's tournament because only four teams were confirmed to play. Under the regulations of the Pan American Sports Organization, the field must include a minimum of five teams in the Pan American Games.
The USOC and USA Basketball were notified on February 28 that only four teams had entered after Puerto Rico experienced difficulties in formalizing its entry. Several efforts to find a fifth team to enter were made and a plea to PASO was made to conduct the tourney with the four teams -- USA, Argentina, Brazil and Cuba -- but were unsuccessful.
'Obviously, USA Basketball is very disappointed that, for the first time since 1955, no women's basketball competition will be held in the Pan American Games,' said Warren S. Brown, Executive Director of USA Basketball. 'We particularly feel badly for our athletes and coaches, who went through trials and had trained diligently to represent the United States and bring home the gold medal.'
'All possible avenues to hold a women's basketball competition were exhausted by the USOC and USA Basketball. Both organizations deeply regret that there will be no women's competition at the 1995 Pan American Games,' added Brown.
'The USOC shares the frustration of this fine team, its coaches, and the officials of the USA Basketball, who had put together a trials, a strong team, and a staff dedicated to winning the gold medal in a tough field,' added USOC President LeRoy Walker. 'We had looked forward to bringing this team into the living rooms of millions of Americans through our Pan Am Games television package and I know our fans will also be disappointed in this turn of events.'
USA Basketball conducted trials for the women's Pan Am Games Team at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, February 25-27. Following trials, the 12-member USA squad trained together in Colorado Springs until the cancellation was announced.
'Obviously we are extremely disappointed that this happened,' said USA head coach Paula Edney. 'I think it is disappointing because the world of women's basketball is missing something really special by having this competition cancelled. I think that it was a very, very special team. From the moment they were selected and began practice, the chemistry was there and I really believe that this team would have brought that gold medal back. I am disappointed that we didn't have the opportunity to do that.'
'I think when I say this I speak for everyone on the team, that we are all disappointed,' said USA team member Sheryl Swoopes. 'Not so much about the Pan Am Games being cancelled, but because none of us really got the opportunity to prove to the people that we a have a team that was capable of winning the gold and bringing the gold back home.'
1995 USA WOMEN'S PAN AMERICAN GAMES TEAM ROSTER
|Edna Campbell||G||5-8||140||26||Texas||Pittsburgh, PA|
|Sylvia Crawley||C||6-5||160||22||North Carolina||Wintersville, OH|
|Karen Deden||C||6-4||165||25||Washington||Missoula, MT|
|Dena Evans||G||5-5||130||24||Virginia||Deer Park, TX|
|Molly Goodenbour||G||5-6||135||22||Stanford||Waterloo, IA|
|Melody Howard||G||5-8||143||22||Southwest Missouri State||Springfield, MO|
|Carla McGhee||C||6-2||170||26||Tennesse||Stone Mountain, GA|
|Tari Phillips||F||6-3||185||26||Central Florida||Winter Park, FL|
|Dawn Staley||G||5-6||128||25||Virginia||Philadelphia, PA|
|Katy Steding||F||6-0||160||27||Stanford||Tualatin, OR|
|Sheryl Swoopes||G||6-0||145||23||Texas Tech||Lubbock, TX|
|Valeria Whiting||F||6-3||205||22||Stanford||Wilmington, DE|
|HEAD COACH: Paula Edney, Athletes In Action|
|ASSISTANT COACH: Tonya Edwards, Northwestern Community High School (MI)|
|ASSISTANT COACH: Cindy Noble-Hauserman, Centre College (KY)|
|TEAM PHYSICIAN: Brock Schnebel, Oklahoma City, OK|
|ATHLETIC TRAINER: Gina Lorence-Konin, Wilmington, DE|