Ali Patberg Named To 2015 USA U19 World Championship Team
-- USA U19 Begins Preparing In Defense Of Title On June 30 --
Originally named as an alternate to the 2015 USA Basketball Women’s U19 World Championship Team on May 17, 2015, incoming University of Notre Dame freshman Ali Patberg (Columbus North H.S./Columbus, Ind.) has been added to the USA U19 roster, USA Basketball today announced. Patberg replaces University of Louisville signee Asia Durr (St. Pius X Catholic H.S./Douglasville, Ga.), who is injured and unable to compete in the FIBA U19 World Championship.
The USA U19 squad is on a quest to capture a sixth-consecutive gold medal at the 2015 FIBA U19 World Championship, hosted from July 18-26 in Chekhov, Russia, and will train June 30-July 7 at the United States Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado, beginning with a 5 p.m. (all times listed are MDT) practice on June 30. The team will train twice a day, at 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. July 1-3. Practicing just once at 1 p.m. on July 4, the U.S. squad will practice at 8:30 a.m. and scrimmage the USA Pan American Games Team at 5 p.m. on July 5-6. The team’s final domestic practice will be at 1 p.m. on July 7, prior to departing for Europe on July 8.
Traveling to Murcia, Spain, for a round-robin tournament July 12-14 against U19 national teams from Australia, Canada and Spain, the U.S. squad will arrive in Russia July 15 for the 2015 FIBA U19 World Championship.
“I’m really excited to start training camp,” said USA U19 and University of South Carolina head coach Dawn Staley. “We have a big feat ahead of us and the more opportunity we have to prepare, the better. I’m looking forward to working with a star-studded roster. Hopefully we can get everyone meshing sooner than later, but with experience in USA Basketball I know that everybody is willing to do their part for us to be successful.
“Anytime a team loses someone like Asia Durr, someone who has had a lot of success in USA Basketball, it leaves a pretty big void. But, our country has the best players in the world and in adding Ali Patberg to the team, we’ll be just fine. She brings to our team a hard-nosed player who has the ability to create her own shot and she has tremendous court vision. We’re looking to add those attributes as we lose someone like Asia Durr.”
“I was really excited, it was almost like it wasn’t real,” said Patberg about hearing she would be a member of the USA U19 World Championship Team. “When (USA Basketball women’s national team director) Carol (Callan) called me, I heard what she said, but it took me awhile to really realize what it meant to be able to be a part of the USA (U19) National Team and represent my country.
“I’ll contribute in any way the team needs me to. I handle the ball well. I can create shots for other people. I’ll do whatever they need me to do in order to help the team win.
“I love Asia as a person and I know that she’s a great player,” added Patberg. “So, it stinks for her to not be able to go, but also I think that since she can’t play, she would want me to take her place and play hard for her. I want her to get better and be healthy.”
In addition to Patberg, the 2015 USA U19 World Championship Team features: Kristine Anigwe (Desert Vista H.S./Phoenix, Ariz.); Napheesa Collier (Incarnate Word Academy/O’Fallon, Mo.); Lauren Cox (Flower Mound H.S./Flower Mound, Texas); Crystal Dangerfield (Blackman H.S./Murfreesboro, Tenn.); Mariya Moore (Louisville/Richmond, Calif.); Gabbi Ortiz (Oklahoma/Racine, Wis.); Katie Lou Samuelson (Mater Dei H.S./Huntington Beach, Calif.); Azurá Stevens (Duke/Raleigh, N.C.); Shakayla Thomas (Florida State/Sylacauga, Ala.); Chatrice White (Illinois/Shelby, Neb.) and A’ja Wilson (South Carolina/Hopkins, S.C.).
As a senior in 2014-15, Patberg averaged 25.9 points, 8.8 rebounds and 6.1 assists a game in leading her team to its first Indiana 4A state championship and a 28-1 record. She was named the 2015 Gatorade Indiana Player of the Year and was a 2015 WBCA High School All-American, 2015 USA Today All-USA second team and 2015 Naismith High School All-America third team selection.
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.
2015 FIBA U19 World Championship
The FIBA U19 Worlds will feature 16 teams with athletes 19 years old or younger (born on or after Jan. 1, 1996). 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).
Selected for preliminary round Group A 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.
Notable 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).