2017 USA Basketball Women’s U16 National Team Trials Expected To Feature 133 Athletes
The 2017 USA Basketball Women’s U16 National Team Trials will see 133 athletes who are 16 years old or younger take part May 25-29 at the United States Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
In addition to 35 athletes who accepted invitations from the USA Basketball Women’s Developmental National Team Committee, the trials roster also features 98 applicant athletes.
Players eligible for the 2017 USA Basketball Women’s U16 National Team must be U.S. citizens born on or after Jan. 1, 2001.
“USA Basketball is very excited to welcome these players to Colorado Springs, and we look forward to a great weekend of competition,” said Carol Callan, USA Basketball Women’s National Team director and chair of the USA Basketball Women’s Developmental National Team Committee.
The USA will compete in the 2017 FIBA Americas U16 Championship from June 7-11 in Buenos Aires, Argentina, where it will be in the hunt for a gold medal as well as a berth into the 2018 FIBA U17 World Cup, which is awarded to the top four finishing teams.
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.
Twenty players with previous USA Basketball experience will attend trials.
Samantha Brunelle (William Monroe H.S./Ruckersville, Va.) helped the USA to a bronze medal as a member of the 2016 USA Basketball Women’s U17 World Championship Team, while Aliyah Boston (Worcester Academy/Worcester, Mass.) was one of 18 finalists for the 2016 USA U17 team. Haley Jones (Archbishop Mitty H.S. /Santa Cruz, Calif.) took part in both the 2015 U16 and 2016 U17 trials.
Ashley Bowen (Mesa Ridge H.S./Colorado Springs, Colo.), Myra Gordon (LD Bell H.S./Fort Worth, Texas), Nyah Green (Bishop Lynch H.S./Allen, Texas), Tori Hall (Archbishop Molloy H.S./Valley Stream, N.Y.), Taylor Jones (Dallas Christian School/Forney, Texas), Jordyn Oliver (Prosper H.S./Prosper, Texas), Ashley Owusu (Paul VI Catholic H.S. /Woodbridge, Va.), Te-Hina Paopao (La Jolla Country Day School/Oceanside, Calif.), Sydney Parrish (Hamilton Southeastern H.S. /Fishers, Ind.) and Ashten Prechtel (Discovery Canyon H.S./Colorado Springs, Colo.) attended the 2016 U17 trials.
Returning from the 2015 U16 trials are: Zia Cooke (Rogers H.S. /Toledo, Ohio), Katelyn Levings (Memorial H.S. /Oklahoma City, Okla.), Taiyier Parks (North Royalton H.S./North Royalton, Ohio), Celeste Taylor (Long Island Lutheran H.S. /Valley Stream, N.Y.) and Harmoni Turner (Mansfield Legacy H.S./Arlington, Texas).
Additionally, Fran Belibi (Regis Jesuit H.S./Centennial, Colo.) and Jana Van Gytenbeek (Cherry Creek H.S./Greenwood Village, Colo.) played together on Denver at the 2017 USA Basketball 3x3 U18 National Tournament this past April at the USOTC; while Prechtel played in the 2016 USA Basketball 3x3 U18 National Tournament.
Carla Berube (Tufts University) has been tabbed head coach of the 2017 USA Basketball Women’s U16 National Team, and Steve Gomez (Lubbock Christian University) and Vanessa Nygaard (Windward School, Calif.) complete the staff as USA assistant coaches.
Additionally, serving as court coaches during trials will be Alicia Komaki from Sierra Canyon School (Calif.), Dan Rolfes from Incarnate Word Academy (Mo.), Trenia Tillis Hoard from Tyler Junior College (Texas) and 2000 Olympic and two-time World Championship gold medalist Natalie Williams from the Williams Basketball Academy (Utah).
Sixty-three players will graduate high school in 2019, 58 players are from the class of 2020 and 12 players will finish their prep campaigns in 2021.
The 133 players reside in 32 different states throughout the USA, including 15 athletes who are from Texas, 14 players who represent California, 10 athletes from Illinois and nine from New York. Colorado, Ohio and Pennsylvania are represented by seven participants; Florida is sending six athletes to trials; Nevada features five players; Georgia, Maryland, New Jersey, Oklahoma, Virginia and Washington are represented by four athletes; Indiana and Missouri each feature three players; Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, North Carolina and Oregon all are represented by two participants; and featuring one athlete at trials are Connecticut, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, New Mexico, South Carolina and Tennessee.
Standing 6-foot-5, River Baldwin (Pleasant Home School/Andalusia, Fla.) and Prechtel are the tallest. Seven players list as the shortest athletes at 5-foot-5, including Channing Chappell (Ponte Verdra H.S./Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.), Shakyla Johnson (Putnam City North H.S./Moore, Okla.), Tomia Johnson (Sand Creek H.S./Colorado Springs, Colo.), Bella LaChance (Cypress Bay H.S./David, Fla.), Eliyjah Pricebrooks (Desert Oasis H.S./Las Vegas, Nev.) and Destani Rose (Homewood Flossmoor H.S./Homewood, Ill.).
High school teammates attending trials include: Ajanhai Phoumiphat, Jade Thomas and Eboni Walker from Centennial High School and Las Vegas, Nevada; Alexa Brodie (Chalfont, Pa.) and Maddie Burke (Doylestown, Pa.) of Central Bucks High School West; Nailah Dillard (Sacramento, Calif.) and Maile Williams (Elk Grove, Calif.) of Inderkum High School; Maddie Buford (Caseyville, Ill.) and Raevyn Ferguson (Florissant, Mo.) from Lutheran High School North (Mo.); Caitlin McGee and Amari Wright of Sandalwood High School and Jacksonville, Florida; Destiny Bohanon (Huber Heights, Ohio) and Aubryanna Hall (Dayton, Ohio) from Wayne High School; and Jasmine Gayles and Grace Sarver of West Seattle High School and Seattle, Washington.
Brunelle is the top-ranked player by espnW in the class of 2019, while Green is third, Haley Jones is sixth, Jordan Horston (Columbus Africentric Early College/Columbus, Ohio) is eighth, Boston is ninth, Owusu is 10th, Rickea Jackson (Detroit Edison Public School Academy/Detroit, Mich.) is 11th, Cooke is 14th, Baldwin is 17th, Diamond Miller (Franklin H.S./Somerset, N.J.) is 20th, Shaila Beeler (Warren Central H.S./Indianapolis, Ind.) is 23rd and Charisma Osborne (Windward School/Inglewood, Calif.) is 24th.
For the class of 2020, espnW lists 50 players not ranked in order, and that list includes: Sarah Andrews (MacArthur H.S./Irving, Texas), Cameron Brink (Southridge H.S./Beaverton, Ore.), Paige Bueckers (Hopkins H.S./Eden Prairie, Minn.), Burke, Caitlin Clark (Dowling Catholic H.S./West Des Moines, Iowa), Daylee Dunn (Bishop O’Dowd H.S./San Ramon, Calif.), Sasha Goforth (Fayetteville H.S./Fayetteville, Ark.), Gordon, Gabriella Heimbauer (Massapequa H.S./Massapequa, N.Y.), Aja Holmes (Byron P. Steele II H.S./Cibolo, Texas), Treasure Hunt (Hamilton Heights Christian Academy/Chattanooga, Tenn.), Deja Kelly (Claudia Taylor Johnson H.S. /San Antonio, Texas), LaChance, Levings, Liz Martino (National Christian Academy/Lanham, Md.), Taliyah Medina (Bethlehem Catholic H.S./Bethlehem, Pa.), Jordyn Merritt (Plano Senior H.S./Plano, Texas), Paopao, Parrish, Angel Reese (St. Frances Academy/Randallstown, Md.), Harmoni Turner and Kylee Watson (Mainland Regional H.S./Linwood, N.J.).
In addition to Callan, the USA Basketball Women’s Developmental National Team Committee includes: athlete representatives Tamika Catchings, a four-time Olympic and two-time World Championship gold medalist, and DeLisha Milton-Jones, a two-time Olympic and two-time World Championship gold medalist; AAU representative Kevin Lynch of the Philadelphia Belles; National Federation of High Schools representative Jill Rankin Schneider, a 1980 U.S. Olympian and head coach at Monterey High School in Texas; and at-large representatives Kirsten Moore, head coach at Westmont College (NAIA), and Mia Smith, head coach at Illinois Wesleyan University (DIII).