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Nineteen Gold Medalists Highlight 2015 USA Basketball Women’s U19 World Championship Team Trials Roster

  • Date:
    May 6, 2015

Featuring 19 athletes who have earned a combined 29 gold medals while playing for USA Basketball, a total of 34 of the nation’s top 19-and-unders (born on or after Jan. 1, 1996), have accepted invitations to attend the 2015 USA Basketball Women’s U19 World Championship Team Trials, USA Basketball today announced. Trials to select the 12-member USA squad will be held May 14-17 at the United States Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The invitations were issued by the USA Basketball Women’s Junior National Team Committee.

“Looking at the list of invited players, I believe the committee members are going to have their hands full because it’s fill with so much talent,” said USA U19 head coach Dawn Staley (South Carolina). “I look forward to repeating the trials that we had last year, because it was competitive. It was respectful. All the players really bought into our coaching staff and the things that we had put in. Hopefully we’ll have a repeat trials and come up with a team that will compete and win the (FIBA) U19 World Championship.”

Six members of the 2014 USA U18 National Team that earned gold and the USA its 2015 FIBA U19 World Championship berth are returning to compete for a spot on the 2015 USA U19 World Championship Team – as is the coaching staff. Assisting Staley and the U19 squad are collegiate head coaches Kim Barnes Arico of the University of Michigan and Jeff Walz of the University of Louisville.

Accepting invitations to attend the USA U19 World Championship Team Trials were: Kristine Anigwe (Desert Vista H.S./Phoenix, Ariz.); De’Janae Boykin (Charles H. Flowers H.S./Springdale, Md.); Kalani Brown (Salmen H.S./Slidell, La.); Alliya Butts (Temple/Edgewater Park, N.J.); Batouly Camara (Blair Academy/New York, N.Y.); DiJonai Carrington (Horizon H.S./San Diego, Calif.); Chassity Carter (Dickson H.S./Dickson, Tenn.); Natalie Chou (Plano West Senior H.S./Plano, Texas); Napheesa Collier (Incarnate Word Academy/O’Fallon, Mo.); Te’a Cooper (McEachern H.S/Powder Springs, Ga.); Lauren Cox (Flower Mound H.S./Flower Mound, Texas); Sophie Cunningham (Rock Bridge H.S./Columbia, MO); Crystal Dangerfield (Blackman H.S./Murfreesboro, Tenn.); Asia Durr (St. Pius X Catholic H.S./Douglasville, Ga.); Katelynn Flaherty (Michigan/Point Pleasant Beach, N.J.); Keiana Gilbert (Chattanooga/Pulaski, Tenn.); Joyner Holmes (Cedar Hill H.S./Cedar Hill, Texas); Alexis Jennings (Kentucky/Madison, Ala.); Paris Kea (North Carolina/Greensboro, N.C.); Beatrice Mompremier (Miami H.S./Miami, Fla.); Mariya Moore (Louisville/Richmond, Calif.); Nancy Mulkey (Cypress Woods H.S./Cypress, Texas); Gabbi Ortiz (Oklahoma/Racine, Wis.); Ali Patberg (Columbus North H.S./Columbus, Ind.);  Katie Lou Samuelson (Mater Dei H.S./Huntington Beach, Calif.); Destiny Slocum (Mountain View H.S./Meridian, Idaho); Azurá Stevens (Duke/Raleigh, N.C.); Shakayla Thomas (Florida State/Sylacauga, Ala.); Mikayla Venson (Virginia/Arlington, Va.); Destinee Walker (Lake Highland Prep/Orlando, Fla.); Chatrice White (Illinois/Shelby, Neb.); Gabby Williams (Connecticut/Sparks, Nev.); Anna Wilson (Collegiate School/Richmond, Va.) and A’ja Wilson (South Carolina/Hopkins, S.C.).

The 13 USA U19 trials athletes who recently completed their freshman year of college also may be considered for the 2015 USA Pan American Games and USA World University Games teams. Those athletes include: Butts, Flaherty, Gilbert, Jennings, Kea, Moore, Ortiz, Stephens, Thomas, Venson, White, Williams and A’ja Wilson. Trials for those two teams will take place on the same dates, but at different times, as the USA U19 World Championship Team Trials.

Of the 19 athletes who have previously competed for USA Basketball, A’ja Wilson is the only athlete on the trials roster who has competed at a FIBA U19 World Championship; she was the youngest member of the 2013 USA U19 squad that captured gold two years ago.

Collier, Kea, Mompremier, Moore, Walker and tournament MVP A’ja Wilson were members of the 2014 USA U18 National Team that captured the FIBA Americas U18 Championship gold medal to secure a berth to this summer’s competition.

Ten return from the 2014 USA U17 World Championship Team that earned gold last summer: Anigwe, Boykin, Chou, Cooper, Cox, Durr, Holmes, Mulkey, Samuelson and Anna Wilson; while Boykin, Brown, Carter, Cox, Dangerfield, Durr, Mulkey and Samuelson competed on the 2013 USA U16 National Team that won gold at the FIBA Americas U16 Championship and qualified the U.S. to compete in the 2014 U17 Worlds.

Boykin, Collier and Samuelson teamed up for the USA and claimed gold at the 2014 Youth Olympic Games, a 3x3 basketball event, and Samuelson earned her first 3x3 gold medal as a member of the 2013 USA 3x3 U18 World Championship Team. Further, Cunningham played in the 2013 USA Basketball 3x3 U18 National Tournament.

In addition to the athletes who won gold medals playing for USA Basketball, Camara (2014 U18), Carrington (2013 U16), Cunningham (2014 U18), Patberg (2014 U18), Stevens (2014 U18) and Venson (2011 U16) previously participated in a USA Basketball trials.

The USA squad, which is on a quest to capture a sixth-consecutive gold medal at the U19 Worlds, will compete in the 2015 FIBA U19 World Championship, hosted by Russia from July 18-26 in Chekhov.

The USA team will regroup for training July 1-7 at the USOTC prior to traveling to Alicante, Spain, to compete in a round-robin tournament July 11-13 against U19 national teams from Australia, Canada and Spain prior to arriving in Russia for the 2015 FIBA U19 World Championship.

2015 FIBA U19 World Championship
The FIBA U19 Worlds will feature 16 teams with athletes 19 years old or younger. The 16 teams will be seeded following the July 18-21 preliminary play and advance to the knockout phase with the round of 16 on July 22. The quarterfinals are scheduled for July 24, semifinals are on July 25 and the tournament will end with the medal games on July 26.

Drawn into Group B, the USA will open play against Spain (FIBA Europe bronze medalist) on July 18, face China (FIBA Asia gold medalist) on July 19 and cap preliminary round play on July 21 against Egypt (FIBA Africa silver medalist).

Drawn into Group A for the preliminary round were host Russia (FIBA Europe gold medalist), Argentina (FIBA Americas bronze medalist), the Netherlands (FIBA Europe sixth place) and Japan (FIBA Asia fourth place); Group C consists of Belgium (FIBA Europe fifth place), Canada (FIBA Americas silver medalist), France (FIBA Europe silver medalist) and Mali (FIBA Africa gold medalist); while Group D includes Australia (FIBA Oceania gold medalist), Brazil (FIBA Americas fourth place), Serbia (FIBA Europe fourth place) and South Korea (FIBA Asia bronze medalist).

First held in 1985 and known as the FIBA Junior World Championship through 2001, the U19 World Championship features the world’s top players who are 19 years old or younger. Held every four years through 2005, FIBA now holds U19 World Championships every two years.

USA women’s teams are 66-12 in the U19/Junior World Championships, capturing a fifth-consecutive gold in 2013 with a 9-0 record. In all, the USA own a record six gold medals and one bronze medal and have stood on the podium in each of the past seven FIBA U19 World Championships.

Noteable players to represent the U.S. include: Angela Aycock (1993); Alana Beard (2001); Essence Carson (2005); Tamika Catchings (1997); Crystal Langhorne (2005); Erlana Larkins (2005); Jantel Lavender (2007); Lisa Leslie (1989); Rebecca Lobo (1993); Maya Moore (2007); Nnemkadi Ogwumike (2009); Vickie Orr (1985); Courtney Paris (2005); Cappie Pondexter (2001); Katie Smith (1993); Dawn Staley (1989); Breanna Stewart (2011 and 2013); and Diana Taurasi (2001).

Chaired by Jim Foster (Chattanooga), the USA Basketball Women’s Junior National Team Committee also includes NCAA appointees Melanie Balcomb (Vanderbilt), Lindsay Gottlieb (California) and Joi Williams (UCF); and athlete representative Kara Lawson Barling, a 2008 Olympic gold medalist.

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