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USA Women's U18 National Team Additional Quotes

  • Date:
    May 30, 2016

Jeannie Boehm (New Trier H.S./Harvard/Winnetka, IL)
How did you feel when you heard your name called as a member of this team?
Oh my gosh, I knew I was going to be the first one, because my last name starts with B, and it was an unbelievable feeling. Words can’t even describe it.

What does it mean for you to be able to represent your country in this manner?
I don’t even think it’s sunk in. It’s such a huge honor to be able to represent the country. Especially with the quality of the basketball here, so I don’t think it’s sunk in yet.

What did you show the committee this weekend?
My ability to run the floor and do the little things stood out to the committee. That’s what I really focused on. There were so many amazing players out here, so I think doing the little things probably made me stand out.

Rellah Boothe (IMG Academy/Ocala, Fla.)
How did it feel hearing your name called?
I was surprised because I just came here to watch (the announcement), honestly. I didn’t think they were going to call my name for this team. I’m really excited now.

How did you think you performed throughout the entire trials?
It was tough. I feel like I worked really hard to be on at least one of these teams, and now I feel like I deserved to be on the U18 team.

What excites you about being on the U18 team instead of the U17 team?
I’m excited to play against more developed players overseas and on this team. I hope that is going to make me better.

Chennedy Carter (Timberview H.S./Mansfield, TX)
How does it feel to be on this team?
It’s amazing. I was scared. I was really scared when she said the list. It’s a wonderful feeling. I’m truly blessed to be able to display and represent my country in basketball.

How did you stand out this weekend?
I just played and did whatever they told me to do. They put me at the two, so I ran it. I just tried to work hard, play smart and finish and keep my head even when things weren’t going right. Even when I was tired, I tried to suck it up and still be a good teammate and a great player.

What are your thoughts on your teammates?
Wow, this is a lot of talent. I think we’re going to be really good, and I think we’re going to get gold this year.

Lauren Cox (Flower Mound H.S./Baylor/Flower Mound, TX)
How does it feel to be on a fourth USA Basketball team in four years?
It feels amazing. It’s a huge blessing just being here and trying out. It’s even more awesome making the team. It feels great.

On playing on the 2015 USA U19 World Championship Team and now on the 2016 USA U18 National Team that is hoping to qualify for next year’s U19 World Championship.
I don’t think of it as any different. These are great players, great coaches and great competition. So, I’m excited.

What can you teach your teammates about representing your country internationally?
Just to be humble. A lot of the countries don’t always see us as nice people, necessarily. Somebody said that they kind of think we’re like our movies and stuff, so just to be humble and show them that we’re not really like that. Just have good sportsmanship.

And you’re teamed up with Crystal Dangerfield for the third time in four years before heading to separate colleges. Are you excited about that?
It’s going to be fun. It’s always fun playing with her. She makes me a better player, so I’m excited.

Crystal Dangerfield (Blackman H.S./Connecticut/Murfreesboro, TN)
How does it feel to be named to a third USA Basketball team?
It feels great. And then seeing who else made the team, it’s going to be a really special summer.

Two years ago you didn’t make the 2014 USA U17 World Championship Team, so you’ve been on both sides. How were you feeling when the announcement was coming?
The wait brought me back to that point, but after they came out and said what they had to say, I was relaxed.

What does it mean for you to be able to represent your country like this?
It means I came back hungry to win another gold medal.

Because you have experience, do you feel like you’re one of the leaders?
I feel like it, yes. I feel like it’s just a presence-type thing. I think the others are going to ask us questions and go off our lead.

On the overall make-up of the team:
Looking at it, this is a physical group. I think that’s going to help us, because international play is very physical. We’re very talented, and I’m ready to see how it goes.

Tyasha Harris (Heritage Christian/Noblesville, IN)
How did you feel when you heard you learned you had made the team?
I was honestly surprised. I thought all of the girls that were here were good. I thought we all competed well, and it was really a shock to me. I thought everyone did well, and we all did the same things, so it was just kind of separating yourself. So, I guess I separated myself well, and I’m happy. I’m happy to represent USA.

What things did you try to focus on and show the committee during the trials?
I knew everyone kind of had the same skill set, so I needed to do the little things and do those better. So, like hustling more, talking, and since I’m the point guard, I know everybody can score. So, I had to make sure I knew where my players had to be and just kind of be a coach on the floor.

How exciting is it for you to be representing the United States?
It’s amazing. I came here my freshman year, and I got cut and I kind of took that as a lesson to learn from. And then I came back this year and tried my hardest and tried to do the little things well, and now I finally made it. So hard work does pay off. It’s amazing. It’s an amazing feeling.

Ruthy Hebard (West Valley H.S./Fairbanks, AK)
How did you feel when you heard you learned you had made the team?
I didn’t think it was my name for a second. It was crazy, and I really wanted to call my mom and then I called her, and afterwards I was like, ‘I should go check and make sure they called my name, because I didn’t want to embarrass myself.’ I’m just really happy that I made this team.

What things did you try to focus on and show the committee during the trials?
Rebounding a lot. That’s one of the strongest parts of my game. I just rebounded as hard as I could and made sure to keep my eye on the ball most of the times, and that’s probably what got me here.

How exciting is it for you to be representing the United States?
It means a lot to me. I tried out for the U16 team a few years ago and didn’t make it, so it shows me that I got better and that dreams do come true.

What did you do differently or learn from that U16 trials experience?
I learned I had to get faster and work better in the post, and that’s what I did this tryout.

Valerie Higgins (Chaminade College Prep/Granada Hills, CA)
How did you feel when you heard you learned you had made the team?
Oh man, when I heard my name called the first thing I could think of was, I need to tell my parents, and I need to tell my little brother. They’re all at home, fingers crossed, praying for me. So, it was kind of like a weight was lifted off my shoulders.  We were waiting, everyone was sitting around and I got nervous, so it was the best feeling.

What things did you try to focus on and show the committee during the trials?
What I tried to focus on was just do what I do best, get all the little hustle plays, give it 110 percent on every possession and try and show the committee what I’m good at.

How exciting is it for you to be representing the United States?
It means the world, honestly.  Coming out here to the trials, even getting invited is such an honor, and now making the team is even a bigger honor. All the girls that made it are so deserving. and it’s just an exciting opportunity.

Evina Westbrook (South Salem H.S./Salem, Ore.)
How did it feel hearing your name called?
It’s an unbelievable feeling just to know I came out here and worked as hard as I could, knowing everything paid off. I knew I just had to do what I could on the court and work my hardest.

How did you think you performed throughout the entire trials?
I think I performed well, just playing my hardest and doing what I normally try to do. I wasn’t trying to show off for anybody.

What are you looking forward to the most about playing on this team?
This is going to be all about the experience of getting to play other countries, along with playing with some of the best players in the United States.

What are your initial thoughts about the strengths of this team?
Our team is going to be physically strong. We’ve got most of the top talents from the class of 2016 and 2017, so it’s going to be exciting. 

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