Dana Evans Named To The 2016 USA Basketball Women’s U18 National Team
A 5-foot-6 guard from West Side Leadership Academy in Gary, Indiana, Dana Evans, today was named to the 2016 USA Basketball Women’s U18 National Team that will play in the 2016 FIBA Americas U18 Championship from July 13-17 in Valdivia, Chile.
“I was surprised and excited,” Evans said. “I saw Colorado Springs pop up on my phone, and I jumped up. This means a lot to me, being the first girl or boy from Gary, Indiana, to play for a USA Basketball junior national team.
"I have really strong faith in what God has planned for me,” Evans added. “I'm dedicated to this game of basketball and enjoy playing it. This was a dream come true, and I am thankful for the opportunity.”
Crystal Dangerfield (Blackman H.S./Murfreesboro, Tenn.), who was named to the team on May 30, is unable to participate due to a hip injury.
“Dana will be a great addition to our team,” said USA head coach Suzie McConnell-Serio (Pittsburgh). “From what we saw, she is a tremendous point guard. She is very quick, athletic and can create her own shot or can create for her teammates, can disrupt the other team defensively and make things happen. That allows us to play at an up-tempo pace with her on the floor.
“Unfortunately for Crystal Dangerfield, we are disappointed that she won’t be a part of our team. I just hope she has a full recovery, because she is a great player with a great future.”
The 2016 USA Women’s U18 National Team will return to the United States Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado, for training camp July 2-8 before departing for Chile on July 9.
The USA will look to defend its 2014 U18 gold at the 2016 FIBA Americas U18 Championship, where the top four finishing teams will earn a berth into the 2017 FIBA U19 World Championship. Athletes for this team must be U.S. citizens who are 18 years old or younger (born on or after Jan. 1, 1998).
Also on the 2016 USA Women’s U18 National Team are: Jeannie Boehm (New Trier H.S./Winnetka, Ill.); Rellah Boothe (IMG Academy/Ocala, Fla.); Chennedy Carter (Timberview H.S./Mansfield, Texas); Sidney Cooks (Saint Joseph H.S./Kenosha, Wis.); Lauren Cox (Flower Mound H.S./ Flower Mound, Texas); Tyasha Harris (Heritage Christian School/Noblesville, Ind.); Ruthy Hebard (West Valley H.S./Fairbanks, Alaska); Valerie Higgins (Chaminade College Prep/Granada Hills, Calif.); Amber Ramirez (Karen Wagner H.S./San Antonio, Texas); Megan Walker (Monacan H.S./Chesterfield, Va.); and Evina Westbrook (South Salem H.S./Salem, Ore.).
Rounding out a coaching staff are Kamie Ethridge (Northern Colorado) and Charlotte Smith (Elon) as assistant coaches.
The team features eight players with at least one prior USA Basketball experience.
Six players graduated high school in 2016 and have signed a National Letter of Intent, including Boehm (Harvard); Cox (Baylor); Harris (South Carolina); Hebard (Oregon); Higgins (Southern California); and Ramirez (TCU). Six players are from the class of 2017.
2016 FIBA Americas U18 Championship
The FIBA Americas U18 Championship will feature eight U18 national teams from North, South and Central America and the Caribbean. The top four finishing teams will qualify for the 2017 FIBA U19 World Championship.
The USA will open Group A play against Guatemala at 6 p.m. (all times are EDT) on July 13, followed by Brazil at 6 p.m. on July 14 and its final preliminary round game against Venezuela at 1:30 p.m. on July 15.
Group B includes Canada, host Chile, Mexico and Puerto Rico.
The top two finishing teams from each preliminary round group will been in the semifinals on July 16, and the finals will be on July 17.
The United States, along with Canada, earned an automatic berth into the 2016 FIBA Americas U18 Championship from North America. Also earning a place in the tournament were the top three finishing teams from the 2015 South American U17 Championship, including Brazil, Venezuela and Argentina. Additionally, Guatemala, Mexico and Puerto Rico earned the three berths available from the 2015 Centrobasket U17 Championship.
USA women's teams boast of a remarkable 48-2 overall record in U18 / Junior Qualifiers and have won gold in 1988, 2000, 2004, 2006, 2008, 2010, 2012 and 2014, while capturing silver medals in 1992 and 1996.
The list of players who have competed for USA U18 national teams include: Jayne Appel (2006); Alana Beard (2000); Kelsey Bone (2008); Tamika Catchings (1996); Marissa Coleman (2004); Napheesa Collier (2014); Skylar Diggins (2008); Stacey Ford (1998); Sonja Henning (1988); Niesa Johnson (1992); Rebecca Lobo (1992); Maya Moore (2006); Chiney Ogwumike (2010); Nneka Ogwumike (2008); Candace Parker (2004); Courtney Paris (2004); Cappie Pondexter (2000); Nicole Powell (2000); Lynn Pride (1996); Breanna Stewart (2012); Diana Taurasi (2000); Morgan Tuck (2012); Brianna Turner (2014); Candice Wiggins (2004); A’ja Wilson (2014); and Tiffany Woosley (1992).