menu close twitter facebook snapchat instagram youtube article basketball gallery graph left-arrow right-arrow search star trophy video net clipboard shield-check shield-star stopwatch
Lauren Cox

Trials For USA Women’s U17 World Championship Team Heat Up

  • Date:
    May 23, 2014

Colorado Springs, Colorado

The 145 participants in the 2014 USA Basketball Women’s World Championship Team Trials are in the midst of day two of their experience at the U.S. Olympic Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and the action is heating up.

With the third and final of the three skills sessions, which are focused on individual drills, taking place this afternoon, the trials sessions, which mostly consist of scrimmaging, begin tonight.

While the skills sessions are intended to help develop individual players, and to allow their nerves a day-and-a-half to calm down, the trials sessions are what will help the USA Basketball Women’s Developmental National Team Committee make its decision as to which 12 players will represent the USA at the 2014 FIBA U17 World Championship from June 28-July 6 in the Czech Republic.

USA Basketball checked in with five players taking part in trials, including two players who won gold medals with USA Basketball at the 2013 FIBA Americas U16 Championship – DeJanae Boykin (Charles H. Flowers H.S./Springdale, Md.) and Lauren Cox (Flower Mound H.S./Flower Mound, Texas) – as well as USA Basketball rookie Evina Westbrook (South Salem H.S./Salem, Ore.) and two players with trials experience under their belt from the 2013 USA U16 National Team Trials – Natalie Chou (Plano West Senior H.S./Plano, Texas) and Kaleah Hires (Rampart H.S./Colorado Springs, Colo.)

DeJanae Boykin (Charles H. Flowers H.S./Springdale, Md.)
How are things going so far, how did your first few sessions go?
My first two sessions were great. It’s good to be back here again and get invited back with all of the other girls, so it’s fun.

What’s been your impression of USA Basketball this year?
We are just competing, and working hard all over again. I just want to make the team again and have a chance to win gold.

Are you enjoying this experience?
I am enjoying this experience.

This is not your first time in Colorado. How did you prepare?
I knew the air was thin, so I ran some more when I was back home. I did get prepared for it, because I was excited.

Are you feeling nervous, how do you handle whatever adversity you may be facing?
Of course I’m nervous. There is never a guarantee that you are going to make the team again, so I have to come out here, work hard and do better than I did last year.

Are you feeling nervous, how do you handle whatever adversity you may be facing?
I’m a little more nervous this year because of how tough the competition is, but I just go out, forget about it and just play my game.

Natalie Chou (Plano West Senior H.S./Plano, Texas)
How are things going so far, how did your first few sessions go?
Things have bee going pretty well. I don’t think I’m doing as good as I think I should be, but I know it’s going to be better; I just have to keep being a team player.

What’s been your impression of USA Basketball this year?
It’s just really competitive, and it’s a great environment to be in.

Are you enjoying this experience?
Yes, I’m learning a lot. Especially when the coaches explain things and during all the seminars we are attending.

Is this your first time in Colorado?
No, I was here last year. I know a lot more people than I did last year, and I know what to expect this time around coming in. I have more confidence.

Are you feeling nervous, how do you handle whatever adversity you may be facing?
I’m not nervous. I just have butterflies in my stomach. Being nervous means you’re not prepared, so I just calm myself down and pray.

Lauren Cox (Flower Mound H.S./Flower Mound, Texas) 
How are things going so far, how did your first few sessions go?
Pretty good. I feel like I could probably be in a little better shape than I am, but I think that ‘s going to improve as trials go on. I’ve learned a lot so far.

What’s been your impression of USA Basketball this year?
This year there’s a lot more competition; it’s a lot tougher.

Are you enjoying this experience?
Yes, I really am. I did last year too. Just coming up here and meeting all the players and all the coaches is great.

You played in the USA U16 team that won gold last summer, do you feel like that prepares you better for trials in Colorado these next few days?
I feel like this time I know what to expect, so I prepared a little bit better. But everyone is really good and has potential to make the team, so it’s always difficult.

Kaleah Hires (Rampart H.S./Colorado Springs, Colo.)
How are things going so far, how did your first few sessions go?
It’s still hard to tell but I’ve felt pretty confident, so I think things are going well.

What’s been your impression of USA Basketball this year?
I think I fit it more than I did last year. Last year I wasn’t very confident, but this time around I’ve been working more on my game so I have more confidence, and I think I have a better chance of making it through.

Are you enjoying this experience?
I think my favorite part is meeting all of the other girls from all the different states. It’s just amazing.

Do you feel you have any advantages since you are a native of Colorado?
I think it calms me a little bit because I’m from here, and it helps my confidence level a bit more. Also, I’m more used to the higher altitude, and it’s easier to breathe on the court.

Are you feeling nervous, how do you handle whatever adversity you may be facing?
Everyone gets nervous, but usually for me, the nerves help. They make my blood flow faster, and I’m all over it.

Evina Westbrook (South Salem H.S./Salem, Ore.) 
How are things going so far, how did your first few sessions go?
It’s great. It’s been an amazing experience. Just being here is like nothing I’ve ever experienced before, so I’m glad to be here.

What’s your first impression of USA Basketball?
That it’s tough. There are a lot of great players here, and you just have to lay it out on the table, do your best, play hard and see what happens.

Are you enjoying this experience?
I’m definitely enjoying this experience. I like the competition. All the players are great, so getting the best competition, even if I don’t make it, it’s just a great experience to be here.

Is this your first time in Colorado?
Yes, it is. I like it a lot. It’s definitely different than Oregon. The hail was different. So, just being here is amazing.

Are you feeling nervous, how do you handle whatever adversity you may be facing?
I’m a little nervous, but it’s an exciting, good nervous to feel. I’m excited to see what is going to happen, and what ever does happen, I’m just going to work as hard as I can.

Related Videos

USA Basketball Women's U17 World Cup and U18 Championship teams trained hard and returned home with gold in 2018 - don't miss USAB.com's Best of Sights and Sounds for both golden teams.

Don't miss USAB.com's Best of Slomo of its 2018 USA Men's And Women's Junior National Teams.

USA Basketball Women's U17 World Cup and U18 National teams won gold in 2018 - catch USAB.com's Best of Highlights for both golden teams.

Related Content

Haley Jones, a gold-medalist at the 2018 U17 World Cup, will be back in 2019 for the USA U19 World Cup Team trials.

  • Author:
    Steve Lee, Red Line Editorial
  • Date:
    Apr 7, 2019

On the same day the NCAA Women’s Final Four in Tampa drew worldwide attention with the nation’s greatest college players vying for a national championship, across the bay in Clearwater was a gym filled with top-ranked national and international players aspiring to get their shot at the next level.

Six USA Women’s Junior National Team gold medalists have accepted invitations to participate in the NCAA Next Generation for Women during the 2019 NCAA Women’s Final Four in Tampa, Florida.

No fewer than 30 teams that will compete in the 2019 Women's NCAA Tournament have athletes and/or coaches with USA Basketball ties. Who are they and how are they connected?  The complete list is below.  Download the full listing (PDF)  to find out who played on or coached for which...

USA Basketball Women's U17 World Cup and U18 Championship teams trained hard and returned home with gold in 2018 - don't miss USAB.com's Best of Sights and Sounds for both golden teams.

Coach Licensing & Organization Accreditation Login



Forgot Password?