USA Basketball Women’s World University Games Team Roster Features Five USA Basketball Gold Medalists
The 12-member roster for the 2015 USA Basketball Women’s World University Games Team, which was announced following three days of trials that featured 51 athletes at the United States Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado, features five USA Basketball gold medalists, including Jordin Canada (UCLA/Los Angeles, Calif.); Diamond DeShields (Tennessee/Norcross, Ga.); Rebecca Greenwell (Duke/Owensboro, Ky.); Erica McCall (Stanford/Bakersfield, Calif.); and Mercedes Russell (Tennessee/Springfield, Ore.).
Playing on their first USA Basketball team will be: Nina Davis (Baylor/Memphis, Tenn.); Chanise Jenkins (DePaul/Chicago, Ill.); Brionna Jones (Maryland/Havre de Grace, Md.); Aerial Powers (Michigan State/Detroit, Mich.); Courtney Range (California/Manteca, Calif.); Sydney Wiese (Oregon State/Phoenix, Ariz.); and Courtney Williams (South Florida/Folkston, Ga.).
Northwestern University head coach Joe McKeown will lead the 2015 USA Women’s World University Games Team, and he will be assisted by Holly Warlick from the University of Tennessee and Tanya Warren from the University of Northern Iowa.
“Well, I am really excited,” McKeown said. “I feel like we have tremendous talent and balance. We have size, we have quickness and the ability to score the basketball a high level. The challenge will be, obviously, to blend everybody together. But I feel like we have a real unselfish group, and it is going to be a lot of fun.”
DeShields is a four-time USA Basketball gold medalist, including the 2012 FIBA U17 World Championship, the 2012 FIBA 3x3 U18 World Championship, the 2011 FIBA U19 World Championship and the 2010 FIBA Americas U18 Championship.
Canada, Greenwell, McCall and Russell won gold together at the 2011 FIBA Americas U16 Championship, while Greenwell, McCall and Russell also won gold at the 2012 FIBA U17 World Championship.
Players eligible for the 2015 USA World University Games teams must be U.S. citizens who currently are enrolled as full-time college students with remaining eligibility for the 2015-16 school year.
The USA players and coaches for the 2015 USA World University Games Team will return to Colorado Springs for training camp on June 18-July 2, before departing for the event. The 2015 World University Games women’s basketball competition will be held July 4-13 in Gwangju, South Korea.
The USA women were drawn into Group C and will play Italy on July 5, China on July 6 and Czech Republic on July 7. Playing in Group A will be Canada, Hungary, Mozambique and South Korea; Group B includes Japan, Mexico, Russia and Sweden; and Group D features Australia, Brazil, Taipei and Uganda.
The quarterfinals will be played on July 9, the semifinals are on July 11, the bronze medal game is on July 12 and the gold medal game is set for July 13.
Held every other year, the World University Games is organized by the International University Sports Federation (FISU). The WUGs are a multi-sport competition open to men and women who are between the ages of 17 and 24 (born between 1/1/88 and 12/31/98), who are enrolled as a full-time college student with remaining eligibility for the 2015-16 school year.
USA Basketball women’s teams have participated in 17 World University Games and collected a record nine golds, six silvers and one bronze medal. Since 1973, the first year the USA women competed in the World University Games, USA women’s teams have compiled a 101-15 all-time record. The USA has won gold medals in the past five WUGs in which it has competed (2001, 2005, 2009, 2011, 2013).
In 2013, led by tournament co-MVP Odyssey Sims, who went on to earn gold as a member of the 2014 USA World Championship Team, the USA won by an average of 34.8 points per game and finished 6-0 to claim the gold medal.
Notable among the list of USA WUG alumni are 2012 Olympic gold medalists Seimone Augustus, Tina Charles, Sylvia Fowles and Maya Moore. Additionally, Olympians Carol Blazejowski, Ruthie Bolton, Anne Donovan, Pat Head (Summitt), Lisa Leslie, Katrina McClain, Suzie McConnell (Serio), Ann Meyers (Drysdale), DeLisha Milton-Jones, Cappie Pondexter, Ruth Riley, Katie Smith, Dawn Staley, Katy Steding, Tina Thompson, Kara Wolters and Lynette Woodward played for the USA in the World University Games.