USA Women’s World University Games Team Tips-Off Training Tonight
-- Arizona State’s Katie Hempen Added To USA Roster --
The 2015 USA Basketball Women’s World University Games Team will begin training in defense of the USA’s three-straight World University Games gold medals on Saturday evening in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Arizona State University’s Katie Hempen (Highland, Ill.), a 2015 All-Pacific 12 Conference honorable mention, has been selected to replace Rebecca Greenwell (Duke/Owensboro, Ky.), who withdrew due to illness.
“I’m really excited to start training tonight,” said USA and Northwestern University head coach Joe McKeown. “It’s going to be a great opportunity to blend great players into a team. Everybody coming into the training camp has that mentality. It will be a lot of fun. And I’m really excited to go to South Korea and represent the United States. I’m really looking forward to the games.
“We’re all disappointed about Rebecca. I was looking forward to having the opportunity to coach her in the World University Games. I just hope that she gets better and has a quick recovery.
“I had an opportunity to watch Katie at Arizona State when we competed against her. I thought that she had a great year. She can really shoot the basketball. She brings a lot of energy. So, I think she’ll be a great fit to a team that we want to have play in transition, and she’s able to really stretch defenses.”
Hempen earned All-Pac-12 honorable mention accolades after averaging a team-high 12.0 points and a team second-best 2.4 assists per game, while shooting 38.0 percent (76-200 3pt FGs) from 3-point as a junior in 2014-15 in leading ASU to a 29-6 record and the 2015 NCAA Sweet 16.
In addition to Hempen, the 2015 USA World University Games Team includes: Jordin Canada (UCLA/Los Angeles, Calif.); Nina Davis (Baylor/Memphis, Tenn.); Diamond DeShields (Tennessee/Norcross, Ga.); Chanise Jenkins (DePaul/Chicago, Ill.); Brionna Jones (Maryland/Havre de Grace, Md.); Erica McCall (Stanford/Bakersfield, Calif.); Aerial Powers (Michigan State/Detroit, Mich.); Courtney Range (California/Manteca, Calif.); Mercedes Russell (Tennessee/Springfield, Ore.); Sydney Wiese (Oregon State/Phoenix, Ariz.); and Courtney Williams (South Florida/Folkston, Ga.).
The team will train in Colorado Springs through June 27, before departing for South Korea and the 2015 World University Games. Following a 6 p.m. (all times MDT) practice tonight, the squad will train twice a day, at 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. June 21-23 and June 25-26. There will be just one practice, at 10 a.m., on June 24.
The U.S. will practice June 29-30 in Seoul before traveling to Guangju, site of the 2015 World University Games, on July 1.
The World University Games women’s basketball competition will be held July 5-13 and the USA opens Group C play against Italy on July 5, before playing 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, Taiwan 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.
McKeown will be assisted by collegiate head coaches Holly Warlick from the University of Tennessee and Tanya Warren from the University of Northern Iowa.
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.
World University Games
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.