USA Basketball Veteran Linnae Harper Added To 2017 USA Women’s U23 National Team
Six-time USA Basketball medalist Linnae Harper (Ohio State/Chicago, Ill.) will join the 2017 USA Basketball Women’s U23 National Team. A’ja Wilson (South Carolina/Hopkins, S.C.), who was named to the team on Aug. 4, will not be able to play due to a groin strain.
“I’m just very grateful for the opportunity,” Harper said. “This past week (at the U23 national team training camp) was great for me, being able to play with the best players and coaches in the country. I’m very excited that I have the chance to compete and represent the USA again and play in Tokyo.”
Harper will join teammates Ariel Atkins (Texas/Duncanville, Texas); Monique Billings (UCLA/Corona, Calif.); Kalani Brown (Baylor/Slidell, La.); Jordin Canada (UCLA/Los Angeles, Calif.); Asia Durr (Louisville/ Douglasville, Ga.); Sabrina Ionescu (Oregon/Walnut Creek, Calif.); Brittany McPhee (Stanford/Normandy Park, Wash.); Kelsey Mitchell (Ohio State/Cincinnati, Ohio); Jamie Nared (Tennessee/Portland, Ore.); Arike Ogunbowale (Notre Dame/Milwaukee, Wis.); and Mercedes Russell (Tennessee/Springfield, Ore.).
“We wish A’ja the best and a speedy recovery,” said Jeff Walz, USA U23 and University of Louisville head coach. “We are excited to welcome Linnae, and I’ve got no doubt that she will pick things up quickly.”
Harper is one of eight gold medalists on the 2017 USA Women’s U23 National Team roster. Most recently, she earned a bronze medal at the 2016 FIBA 3x3 World Cup, and she also owns a silver medal from the 2015 Pan American Games, as well as gold medals from the 2013 FIBA U19 World Championship, the 2012 FIBA U17 World Championship and the 2011 FIBA Americas U16 Championship. She also collected an honorary bronze medal as a member of the 2011 USA 3x3 Youth World Championship Team.
As a junior at Ohio State in 2016-17, Harper averaged 8.4 points, 5.0 rebounds and 1.9 assists per game and was named the 2017 Big Ten Conference Sixth Player of the Year.
The USA U23 squad will play in the inaugural U24 Four Nations Tournament Aug. 12-15 at Katayanagi Arena in Tokyo, Japan. The team will continue training at the USOTC through Aug. 7 before departing for Tokyo. Athletes eligible for this team must be U.S. citizens who are 23 years old or younger and currently are freshmen, sophomores or juniors in college.
Courtney Banghart of Princeton University and Michelle Clark-Heard of Western Kentucky University are the USA assistant coaches.