menu close twitter facebook snapchat instagram youtube article basketball gallery graph left-arrow right-arrow search star trophy video net clipboard shield-check shield-star stopwatch

Chemistry Building For 2016 USA Basketball Women’s 3x3 U18 World Championship Team

  • Author:
    Ryan Stevens
  • Date:
    May 22, 2016


The 2016 USA Basketball Women’s 3x3 U18 World Championship Team has only a few days remaining until embarking on a journey to Astana, Kazakhstan, in search of a gold medal. After last year’s USA Team won silver at the FIBA 3x3 U18 World Championship, the 2016 team is hoping to reclaim gold and improve the USA’s all-time overall mark of 30-5.

With 20 teams, including the United States competing in this year’s FIBA 3x3 U18 World Championship, the USA’s team of Jaelyn Brown (Vista Murrieta H.S./ Murrieta, Calif.), Sidney Cooks (St. Joseph Catholic Academy/ Kenosha, Wis.), Amber Ramirez (Karen Wagner H.S./ San Antonio, Texas), and Megan Walker (Monacan H.S./ Chesterfield, VA) understand the importance of building the best possible chemistry before tournament play begins. The USA 3x3 U18 squad tips off their opening game against the Netherlands on June 2.

Behind any cohesive team is a proven point guard serving as the floor general. That’s the role the 5-foot-8 Ramirez is taking for this team. 

The San Antonio, Texas, native, who has committed to attend Texas Christian University next fall, is the Horned Frogs’ first McDonald’s All-American. Ramirez was named captain of the team during the 2016 USA Basketball 3x3 U18 National Tournament and that is a role that she has embraced.

“Being a captain is good because I think I’m the vocal leader and I think I do a great job at making sure everyone knows where they’re at on the court,” Ramirez said. “It’s humbling to be called the captain of this 3x3 team.”

Complementing Ramirez on the perimeter are a pair of wings that can attack off the dribble or display their perimeter prowess.

Brown, who is the USA’s other player from the Class of 2016, will soon be taking her talents to the Division I collegiate level at the University of California. Her veteran leadership will be critical on and off the floor.

She echoes the importance of making sure this team is geared the right way mentally heading into the FIBA 3x3 U18 World Championship in just over a week.

“We really get along well off the court and that helps us tremendously on the court,” Brown said. “We’ve begun to really gain experience playing with each other over these last couple of weeks.”

The two remaining members of the USA 3x3 U18 Team each have one more year of high school eligibility, but they aren’t short of talent or confidence in their skill set. 

Walker is currently the top rated prospect in the Class of 2017 according to ESPN HoopGurlz Recruiting Rankings. The 6-foot-1 wing out of Monacan H.S. in Chesterfield, Va., is a pure scorer from anywhere on the court.

Nearly every major Division I program has been infatuated with her skill set and she understands what the 3x3 game can do to add to any player’s offensive game.

“There’s more space available, more isolation and extra cutting that leads to more chances to score,” Walker said of playing 3x3.

It doesn’t take long to witness the comfort Walker possesses in the 3x3 setting. Whether she’s pulling up for a mid-range jump shot or adjusting in mid-air to avoid defenders around the rim, Walker understands how precious of an opportunity is in front of her.

“It’s great being here. Being able to compete for our country is a great feeling,” Walker added.

The final member of the U.S. roster certainly knows how to pack a punch in the lane, particularly in a 3x3 setting. From Kenosha, Wis., Cooks knows the intricacies most may not know coming into 3x3.

“I would have never thought I’d be here with the opportunity to play 3x3 for USA Basketball and luckily I have been playing some 3x3 prior during summer tournaments,” Cooks said.

At 6-foot-4, Cooks provides great length inside to help disrupt shots defensively as well as a smooth variety of post moves on the offensive end. There’s a lot to love about Cooks on the floor, and she knows the importance of being a positive impact off the floor.

“You want to be surrounded by good people and my teammates are a lot of fun to be around,” Cooks said. “I’m extremely excited to go to Kazakhstan and play with these girls.”

Despite being fairly new with each other, the confidence and the expectations are all the same from each player.

Ramirez concluded practice saying, “I think we’re ready,” and Walker followed suit adding, “We’re definitely ready.” This team seems to be jelling at the right time.

Related Tags:

Related Videos

USA Basketball Women's 3x3 U18 World Championship Team member Jaelyn Brown discusses her teammates and what she thinks is the biggest challenge in 3x3 basketball. The FIBA 3x3 U18 World Championship takes place in Astana, Kazakhstan on June 1-5. 2016

Although Erin Boley (Elizabethtown H.S/Hodgenville, KY) was a late add to the USA 3x3 U18 World Championship Team, her ability to contribute wasn't in question, not after earning MVP honors at the 2015 USA Basketball 3x3 U18 National Tournament.

Six-foot-four Kristine Anigwe (Desert Vista H.S./Phoenix, AZ) and her USA 3x3 U18 teammates know the road to FIBA 3x3 U18 World Championship gold won't be easy.

The 2015 USA Men's 3x3 U18 National Team will look to win the USA's first 3x3 gold medal when it competes at the 2015 FIBA 3x3 U18 World Championship from June 4-7 in Debrecen, Hungary.

Related Content

2019 USA U19 World Cup Team

Tags

Following six trials sessions over four days, the 2019 USA U19 World Cup Team was finalized May 19 and includes 10 returning gold medalists and two NCAA champions.

Tags

Two previous USA Basketball medalists, Honesty Scott-Grayson and Kylee Watson, have been added to the 2019 USA Basketball Women’s U19 World Cup Team trials roster.

Lisa Fortier (Gonzaga), Aaron Johnston (South Dakota State), Nikki McCray-Penson (Old Dominion), and DeLisha Milton-Jones (Pepperdine) will serve as court coaches for the Women's U19 World Cup Team and Women's Pan American Games Team Trials.

WU19 Trial Graphic

Tags

A total of 30 of the nation’s top young athletes, including 19 previous USA Basketball gold medalists, have accepted an invitation to participate in the 2019 USA Women’s U19 World Cup Team trials

Jeff Walz, Natasha Adair and Cori Close will return to guide the 2019 USA Basketball Women's U19 World Cup Team.

Coach Licensing & Organization Accreditation Login



Forgot Password?