Thirty-five Athletes Accept Invitations To Attend 2015 USA Basketball Women's U16 National Team Trials
Thirty-five of the nation’s top young basketball players have accepted invitations issued by the USA Basketball Women’s’ Developmental National Team Committee to attend trials for the 2015 USA Women’s U16 National Team. Trials will take place May 21-25 at the United States Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
Additionally, trials were open to applicant athletes, for a total of as many as 150 players expected to participate. The entire trials roster will be announced in late April.
“This roster is full of exceptionally talented players, and we expect to have a tremendous amount of competition for the 2016 USA Women’s U16 National Team,” said Carol Callan, USA Basketball women’s national team director and chair of the USA Basketball Women’s Developmental National Team Committee, which is responsible for selecting the U16 players and coaches. “We continue to see great interest in our developmental programs, and athletes are excited to participate. Further, we see a great response within the basketball community and our applicant athletes. We look forward to welcoming everyone to trials and watching these elite athletes vie for a roster spot.”
Attending from the high school class of 2017 are: Rellah Boothe (Potter’s House Christian Academy/Jacksonville, Fla.); Mikayla Boykin (Clinton H.S./Clinton, N.C.); Ayanna Clark (Long Beach Poly H.S./ Long Beach, Calif.); Maya Dodson (St. Francis H.S./Alpharetta, Ga.); Andra Espinoza-Hunter (Blair Academy, N.J./Ossining, N.Y.); Chelsie Hall (Seffner Christian Academy/Wesley Chapel, Fla.); Jaala Henry (Eleanor Roosevelt H.S./Riverdale, Md.); Taylor Kissinger (Minden H.S./Minden, Neb.); Kasiyahna Kushkituah (St. Francis H.S./Austell, Ga.); Destiny Littleton (The Bishop’s School/San Diego, Calif.); Alexis Morris (Legacy Christian Academy/Beaumont, Texas); Deauzya “DiDi” Richards (Cypress Ranch H.S./Cypress, Texas); Taya Robinson (Huguenot H.S./Richmond, Va.); Unique Thompson (Faith Academy/Theodore, Ala.); Madison Treece (Rock Bridge H.S./Columbia, Mo.); Kiana Williams (Karen Wagner H.S./San Antonio, Texas); and Jade Williams (Prestonwood Christian Academy/The Colony, Texas).
Players from the class of 2018 are: Jenna Brown (The Lovett School/Marietta, Ga.); Desiree Caldwell (Johnson H.S. /San Antonio, Texas); Christianna Carr (Eden Prairie H.S. /Eden Prairie, Minn.); Jessika Carter (Harris County H.S./Waverly Hall, Ga.); Charli Collier (Barbers Hill H.S./ Baytown, Texas); Amira Collins (St. Johns College H.S./White Plains, Md.); Aquira DeCosta (St. Mary’s H.S./Stockton, Calif.); Katlyn Gilbert (Heritage Christian School/Indianapolis, Ind.); Honesty Grayson (Blair Academy/Brick, N.J.); Zarielle Green (Duncanville H.S. /Dallas, Texas); Destanni Henderson (Fort Myers H.S./Fort Myers, Fla.); Lindsey Jarosinski (Montini Catholic H.S./Medinah, Ill.); Ayoka Lee (Byron H.S./Byron, Minn.); Valencia Myers (Solon H.S. /Solon, Ohio.); Sedona Prince (Faith Academy/Liberty, Texas); Mykasa Robinson (Paul G. Blazer H.S. /Cattlesburg, Ky.); Bexley Wallace (Pickerington Central H.S./Pickerington, Ohio); and Xaria Wiggins (Princess Anne H.S./Virginia Beach, Va.).
The 2015 USA Basketball Women’s U16 National Team will be led by Dori Oldaker, head coach at Mt. Lebanon High School in Pennsylvania, with USA assistant coaches Dianne Lewis of Thomas Edison High School in Virginia and Samantha Quigley, who is the head coach at the University of St. Francis (NAIA) in Illinois.
The first two days of the 2015 USA U16 National Team Trials primarily consist of skills sessions and off-court sessions on health and performance on May 21 and 22. After scrimmage opportunities on the evening on May 22 and the morning of May 23, the roster may begin to be reduced.
Due to the number of athletes expected to participate, the trials roster will be split into two groups for at least the first three days.
The 12 players for the 2015 USA Women’s U16 National Team, or finalists for the team, will be announced on May 25.
The selected 12-member team will return to Colorado Springs for training camp June 14-22, before departing for the FIBA Americas U16 Championship that will be held June 24-28 in Puebla, Mexico.
Four players attended last year's 2014 USA Women's U17 World Championship Team Trials, including Collins, Kushkituah, Treece and Kiana Williams; while three players attended the 2013 U16 National Team Trials, including Boykin, Gilbert and Henry.
The invited athletes include eight players from Texas; four players from Georgia; three players apiece from California and Florida; two players from Maryland, Minnesota, Ohio and Virginia; and one player each from Alabama, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Missouri, North Carolina, Nebraska, New Jersey and New York.
Two sets of high school teammates are on the roster – Dodson and Kushkituah at St. Francis High School in Georgia and Espinoza-Hunter and Grayson at Blair Academy in New Jersey.
Three players listed themselves as 5-foot-6, including Caldwell, Morris and Mykasa Robinson; and, at the other end of the spectrum, seven players are listed as 6-foot-4 or taller, including Prince as 6-foot-7 and Lee as 6-foot-5.
Born Oct. 4, 2000, Brown is the youngest on the roster, while, Hall, born Jan. 12, 1999 is the oldest.
Desiree Caldwell is the younger sibling of Receé Caldwell, a 2011 USA U16 gold medalist and 2014 U18 gold medalist.
Eleven players are listed on the ESPN HoopGurlz class of 2017 Terrific 25, including Boykin (third), Clark (fourth), Kushkituah (fifth), Jade Williams (eighth), Richards (ninth), Boothe (13th), Hall (14th), Morris (18th), Treece (19th), Littleton (21st) and Henry (25th).
Thirteen players are included on the class of 2018 HoopGurlz espnW watch list, which features Brown, Caldwell, Carr, Collier, Collins, DeCosta, Gilbert, Grayson, Green, Henderson, Jarosinski, Myers and Wallace.
Chaired in a non-voting position by Callan, the USA Basketball Women’s Developmental National Team Committee also includes AAU representatives Bill Larson and Sherri Pegues, National Federation of High Schools representatives Jody Patrick and Jill Rankin Schneider and athlete representative Yolanda Griffith, a 2000 and 2004 Olympic gold medalist who played on five USA Basketball teams.
2015 FIBA Americas U16 Championship
The 2015 FIBA Americas U16 Championship will be played June 24-28 in Puebla, Mexico, where the USA women will set their sights on a fourth-consecutive U16 gold medal, along with a berth into the 2016 FIBA U17 World Championship, which will be awarded to the top four finishing teams.
The U16 zone qualifier will feature eight teams from North, South and Central America and the Caribbean. The USA was drawn into preliminary round Group A, along with Argentina, Honduras and Mexico. Playing in preliminary round Group B will be Brazil, Canada, Cuba and Venezuela.
After playing each of the teams in its preliminary round group, the top two ranked teams from each group will advance to the semifinals, and the third and fourth-placed teams will compete for fifth-through-eighth places. The semifinals will be played on June 27, and the finals will be on June 28.
The USA owns three gold medals and is a perfect 15-0 all-time in U16 play, including most recently in 2013, when the USA topped teams by 63.9 points per game.
The list of players who have competed for USA U16 national teams includes: Cierra Burdick (2009), Kaela Davis (2011), Asia Durr (2013), Rebecca Greenwell (2011), Linnae Harper (2011), Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis (2009), Arike Ogunbowale (2013), Taya Reimer (2011), Katie Lou Samuelson (2013), Breanna Stewart (2009) and Elizabeth Williams (2009).
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.
USA Basketball men’s and women’s teams between 2012-14 compiled a spectacular 122-4 win-loss record in FIBA and FIBA Americas competitions, the World University Games and the Nike Hoop Summit, and posted a 65-8 win-loss record in official FIBA and FIBA Americas 3x3 competitions.
USA teams are the current men’s and women’s champions in the Olympics; men’s FIBA World Cup and women’s FIBA World Championship; 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; the FIBA 3x3 Women’s U18 World Championship; and the women’s Youth Olympic Games. USA Basketball currently ranks No. 1 in all five of FIBA’s world-ranking categories, including combined, men’s, women’s, boys and girls.