Quick Transition From Travel To The Court For The USA U16 Women
The 2017 USA Basketball Women’s U16 National Team wasted no time finding the gym following its long travel day from Colorado Springs, Colorado, to Buenos Aires, Argentina, on June 5. Just seven hours after checking into its hotel, the USA met up with Canada for a friendly scrimmage at the competition venue for the 2017 FIBA Americas U16 Championship, CENARD.
In fact, the team has no time to waste. After one more day of practice on June 6, the USA will begin play in the U16 championship against Colombia at 3 p.m. ET (watch live on YouTube.com/FIBA). All told, the USA will play five games in five days.
Monday night's scrimmage against Canada saw the USA earn an 86-64 win in a game that served as an international primer for the 2017 USA Basketball Women’s U16 National Team. Only one USA team member, Samantha Brunelle (William Monroe H.S./Ruckersville, Va.), has previous international experience.
“Our team had great chemistry, and it looked like we were starting to mesh and get better as a team,” said 5-foot- 9 guard Zia Cooke (Rogers H.S./Toledo, Ohio), who finished with eight points and three assists. “Playing against Canada, we can see how they play, and it will be better for us if we play them again.”
The USA led from start to finish and outscored Canada in every quarter. The closest 10-minute margin was the third quarter, when the USA narrowly out produced Canada 21-19.
“We scored and played good defense,” said forward Diamond Miller (Franklin H.S./Somerset, N.J.), who collected eight rebounds. “Sometimes, we had little break downs, but overall, we did really good.”
Considering the U.S. athletes walked into a new gym and jumped right into the scrimmage, the USA shot an impressive 43.5 percent from the field (30-69 FGs), and 10 players registered points.
Celeste Taylor (Long Island Lutheran H.S./Valley Stream, N.Y.) led the red, white and blue with 12 points, while Jordan Horston (Columbus Africentric Early College/Columbus, Ohio) added four assists.
More notes on the 2017 USA Basketball Women’s U16 National Team:
- The USA flew 2 hours and 24 minutes from Denver to Houston, Texas, then 10 hours and five minutes from from Houston to Buenos Aires, for a total of 12 hours and 29 minutes of flight time and about 22 hours of travel time.
- This trip marks the first time traveling outside of the United States for five of the 12 players, including Paige Bueckers, Caitlin Clark, Cooke, Jordan Horston and Miller.
- The 2017 FIBA Americas U16 Championship also will be the first international competition for USA head coach Carla Berube and her assistant coaches, Steve Gomez and Vanessa Nygaard.
- The USA opens 2017 FIBA Americas U16 Championship preliminary round play on Wednesday, June 7, against Colombia before taking on Mexico on June 8, and concluding Group B competition on June 9 against Puerto Rico. 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.
- The top four finishing teams at the FIBA Americas U16 Championship will qualify for the 2018 FIBA U17 World Cup.