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 filter reset Share




Shop Now USA Basketball

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 Content

2019 USA WU19 Gold Medalists


The USA women persevered and rallied late to claim the gold medal at the FIBA U19 World Cup on Sunday night in Bangkok, Thailand.

Paige Bueckers


The USA women advanced to the gold medal game after holding off Belgium 67-59 in Saturday's semifinals clash at the 2019 FIBA U19 World Cup.

Diamond Miller, Queen Egbo


The USA U19 women earned an 81-46 victory over Canada and advanced to the U19 World Cup semifinals for the ninth time in the past nine editions of the event.

Hailey Van Lith


The USA U19 women continued their winning ways with a victory over Germany in the round of 16 on Wednesday afternoon in Bangkok, Thailand.

Rhyne Howard


The USA U19 women earned the No. 1 seed out of Group C after taking down Hungary on Tuesday afternoon in Bangkok, Thailand.

Coach Licensing & Organization Accreditation Login

Forgot Password?