USA Basketball U18 Women’s National Team Begins Training Camp
Colorado Springs, Colorado
On a quest for a seventh-consecutive gold medal in FIBA Americas U18 Championship play, the 2014 USA Basketball Women’s U18 National Team will begin its training camp on July 26 at the U.S. Olympic Training Center (USOTC) in Colorado Springs, Colorado.Training camp will continue through Aug. 5, prior to the start of the 2014 FIBA Americas U18 Championship that will take place Aug. 6-10 at the USOTC.
"I'm excited to finally start this journey with this versatile group of U18 players,” said Dawn Staley, a three-time Olympic gold medalist and head coach of the USA U18 National Team and at the University of South Carolina. “We will utilize our players in a way that will increase our chances to win gold. If it all plays out like we envision, the players will get better and we will win a gold medal. So I look forward to meeting both of those goals.”
The 2014 USA U18 National Team, which was selected on May 26 after six trials sessions, is headlined by a trio of USA Basketball gold medalists, including Receé Caldwell (Homeschooled/ San Antonio, Texas); Brianna Turner (Manvel H.S/Pearland, Texas) and A’ja Wilson (Heathwood Hall H.S./ Hopkins, S.C.).
Playing on their first USA Basketball team will be: Ariel Atkins (Duncanville H.S./Duncanville, Texas); Napheesa Collier (Incarnate Word Academy/O’Fallon, Mo.); Paris Kea (Greensboro Page H.S./ Greensboro, N.C.); Marina Mabrey (Manasquan H.S./Manasquan, N.J.); Teaira McCowan (Brenham H.S./ Brenham, Texas); Beatrice Mompremier (Miami H.S./Miami, Fla.); Mariya Moore (Salesian H.S./Richmond, Calif.); Jessica Shepard (Fremont H.S./Fremont, Neb.); and Destinee Walker (Lake Highland Prep School/ Ocoee, Fla.).
Staley, who also will serve this summer as an assistant coach for the 2014 USA Basketball Women’s World Championship Team, will be joined on the sideline by USA assistant coaches Kim Barnes Arico (University of Michigan) and Jeff Walz (University of Louisville).
After a 5 p.m. (all times listed are local, Mountain Daylight Time) practice on July 26, the USA will practice at 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. July 27- Aug. 3. After one 10 a.m practice on Aug. 4 and a 3-5 p.m. practice on Aug. 5, the USA will begin tournament play on Aug. 6.
Admission to the 2014 FIBA Americas U18 Championship is free, and all games will take place in Sports Center II at the USOTC.
Opening play in the 2014 FIBA Americas U18 Championship against Mexico at 6 p.m. on Aug. 6, the USA will take on El Salvador at 5:30 p.m. on Aug. 7 and then wrap up its preliminary round against Canada at 5:30 p.m. on Aug. 8.
Playing in Group B will be Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Puerto Rico.
Following the preliminary round, the top two finishing teams from each group will meet in the semifinals on Aug. 9, with the winners meeting in the gold medal game on Aug. 10. The third and fourth-placed teams after the preliminary round will compete for fifth through eighth places, including consolation semifinals on Aug. 9 and classification games on Aug. 10.
In all, and including the three gold medalists, there are five athletes with prior USA Basketball experience among the U18 team members.
Caldwell won a gold medal with the 2011 USA U16 National Team at the FIBA Americas U16 Championship, while Turner and Wilson teamed up to aid the USA to gold at the 2013 FIBA U19 World Championship.
Turner has the most experience with USA Basketball as she also collected gold at the 2012 FIBA U17 World Championship and owns a trio of 3x3 gold medals, including first-place finishes at the 2012 and 2013 FIBA U18 3x3 World Championships and the 2013 FIBA Americas 3x3 U18 Championship.
Moore and Turner participated in the 2011 USA U16 National Team Trials, and Wilson was on the 2012 USA U17 World Championship Team Trials roster.
Last summer, Collier’s Primus team finished in second place at the 2013 USA Basketball 3x3 National Championship and the USA Basketball 3x3 U18 National Championship, and this year her Primus team won the 2014 USA Basketball 3x3 U18 National Championship, earning her the right to represent the USA at the 2014 Youth Olympic Games 3x3 basketball competition from Aug. 16-28 in Nanjing, China.
The major 2014 National High School Girls Basketball Player of the Year awards were split between Atkins, who was named the 2014 Morgan Wootten Award winner; Turner, who earned the nod from Gatorade and USA Today; and Wilson, who collected the Naismith, Parade Magazine and WBCA awards.
In addition to Turner, who captured the honor for Texas as well as the Gatorade National High School Athlete of the Year award, receiving 2014 Gatorade State Player of the Year awards were: Mompremier (Florida), Shepard (Nebraska) and Wilson (South Carolina).
Turner headlined the 2014 USA Today All-USA first team, which also featured Wilson; while Atkins was an All-USA second team selection.
Atkins and Turner joined Wilson on the 2014 WBCA High School All-America Team, while 2014 WBCA High School All-America honorable mention went to Moore.
Wilson was joined on the 2014 Parade Magazine All-American Team by Atkins and Turner.
Atkins, Caldwell and Turner teamed up to help the 2014 McDonald’s All-American Game West Team to an 80-78 victory over and East Team that included Moore and Wilson.
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FIBA Americas U18 Championship
Originally known as the FIBA Americas Junior World Championship Qualifying Tournament, the event was held every four years from 1998-2004. FIBA changed its calendar following the 2004 event; and the tournament is now every other year, followed in the next summer by the FIBA U19 World Championship.
USA women’s teams boast of a remarkable 43-2 overall record in U18/Junior Qualifiers and have won gold in 1988, 2000, 2004, 2006, 2008, 2010 and 2012, while capturing silver medals in 1992 and 1996.
Numerous future stars have competed for USA Basketball at the U18s, including: Jayne Appel (2006); Alana Beard (2000); Kelsey Bone (2008); Tamika Catchings (1996); Marissa Coleman (2004); Skylar Diggins(2008); Sonja Henning (1988); Niesa Johnson (1992); Rebecca Lobo (1992); Maya Moore (2006); Chiney Ogwumike (2010); Nneka Ogwumike (2008); Candace Parker (2004); Courtney Paris (2004); Cappie Pondexter (2000); Nicole Powell (2000); Breanna Stewart (2012); Diana Taurasi (2000); Morgan Tuck(2012); and Candice Wiggins (2004).
Based in Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA Basketball, chaired by Jerry Colangelo, 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 U.S. 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 competitions, as well as for some national competitions, and for the development of youth basketball initiatives that address player development, coach education and safety.
During the 2009-12 quadrennium, 1,273 male and female players and 235 coaches participated in USA Basketball, including USA Basketball teams and trials, and USA Basketball 3x3 FIBA championships.
USA Basketball men's and women's teams between 2009-12 compiled an impressive 262-35 win-loss record in FIBA and FIBA Americas competitions, the Pan American Games, the World University Games, the Nike Hoop Summit and in exhibition games.
USA teams are the current men's and women's champions in the Olympics; men's and women's FIBA World Championships (Basketball World Cup); men’s and women’s FIBA U19 and U17 World Championships; men's and women's U18 and U16 FIBA Americas Championships; the FIBA 3x3 Women's World Championship; and the FIBA 3x3 Women's U18 World Championship. USA Basketball currently ranks No. 1 in all five of FIBA's world-ranking categories, including combined, men's, women's, boys and girls.
For further information about USA Basketball, go to the official Web site of USA Basketball at usab.com and connect with us on facebook.com/usabasketball, twitter.com/usabasketball, plus.google.com/+usabasketball and youtube.com/usab.