USA Women Draw Group B At 2017 FIBA Americas U16 Championship
FIBA today conducted the draw for the 2017 FIBA Americas U16 Championship for Women in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and the USA will play Colombia, Mexico and Puerto Rico in preliminary round action June 7-9 in Buenos Aires.
Competing in preliminary round Group A will be Argentina, Canada, Dominican Republic and Venezuela.
“We are excited to learn of our preliminary round opponents,” said USA head coach Carla Berube (Tufts University). “Colombia, Mexico and Puerto Rico will provide us with some good competition as we attempt to qualify for the semifinals. Our team will have a tough task to come together as a cohesive group in a short amount of time, and it will be important for us to get better each and every game.”
Following the preliminary round, the teams will be seeded, and the top two finishing nations from each group will advance to the semifinals on June 10. The gold and bronze medal games will be played on June 11.
Not only will the USA be in the hunt for a gold medal, a berth into the 2018 FIBA U17 World Cup will be awarded to the four semifinal teams.
Trials for the 2017 USA Basketball Women’s U16 National Team, which will feature 141 athletes, will take place May 25-29 at the United States Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Players eligible for the 2017 USA Basketball Women’s U16 National Team must be U.S. citizens born on or after Jan. 1, 2001.
After four days of trials, 15-18 finalists are expected to be selected on May 29 and will remain in Colorado Springs for training camp. The 12-member roster for the 2017 USA Basketball Women’s U16 National Team will be announced prior to the team’s departure for the competition on June 4.
Steve Gomez (Lubbock Christian University) and Vanessa Nygaard (Windward School, Calif.) complete the U16 staff as USA assistant coaches.
Canada and the United States qualified to compete in the FIBA Americas U16 Championship as the North American entries; Argentina (gold medalist), Venezuela (silver medalist) and Colombia (bronze medalist) qualified through the 2016 South American U15 Championship; and from the Centrobasket U15 Championship are Puerto Rico (gold medalist), Dominican Republic (silver medalist) and Mexico (bronze medalist).
Since FIBA Americas initiated the U16 Championship in 2009, USA teams have compiled a 19-1 record and won gold in 2009, 2011 and 2013.
Most recently, the USA finished 4-1 and with a bronze medal at the 2015 FIBA Americas U16 Championship in Puebla, Mexico, after falling to Brazil in the semifinals.
Canada, the only other team to have won a gold medal in women’s FIBA Americas U16 play, which it accomplished in 2015, won silver in 2009 and 2013 and bronze in 2011. Brazil finished with a silver medal in 2015 and 2011 and with bronze in 2013. Argentina is the only other nation to have medaled at the event, earning bronze in 2009.
While the 2017 USA U16 women will face Colombia for the first time at the event, the USA is 3-0 all-time against Mexico in U16 women’s play and 2-0 against Puerto Rico.USA U16 National Team players of note include: Lauren Cox (2013), Kaela Davis (2011), Aquira DeCosta (2015), Asia Durr (2013), Rebecca Greenwell (2011), Arike Ogunbowale (2013), Katie Lou Samuelson (2013), Breanna Stewart (2009) and Elizabeth Williams (2009).