Desiree Caldwell, Maori Davenport and Ashley Joens Added to 2018 USA Basketball Women’s U18 National Team
Desiree Caldwell (Byron P. Steele II H.S./Cibolo, Texas), Maori Davenport (Charles Henderson H.S./Troy, Ala.) and Ashley Joens (Iowa City H.S./Iowa City, Iowa) today were added to the 2018 USA Basketball Women’s U18 National Team that will compete in the 2018 FIBA Americas U18 Championship from Aug. 1-7 in Mexico City, Mexico.
Queen Egbo (Travis H.S./Houston, Texas), Jordan Nixon (Mary Louis Academy/New York, N.Y.) and Abby Prohaska (Lakota West H.S./Liberty Township, Ohio), who were named to the team on May 28, no longer are able to participate due to school commitments.
“We are very excited to have Desiree, Maori and Ashley join the team and look forward to working with them at training camp as we prepare for the FIBA Americas U18 Championship,” said Jeff Walz, USA U18 and University of Louisville head coach. “We enjoyed getting to know Queen, Jordan and Abby, and we will certainly miss them going forward.”
The team members will return to Colorado Springs for training camp on July 20 and will train until departing for the competition. While the USA U18 women will be in the hunt for an incredible ninth-straight gold medal, also on the line will be a qualifying berth into next summer’s 2019 FIBA U19 World Cup, which will be awarded to the top four finishing teams.
A 5-foot-8 guard, Caldwell won a bronze medal with USA Basketball at the 2015 FIBA Americas U16 Championship. As a senior at Byron P. Steele II High School in 2017-18, Caldwell averaged 19.0 points, 7.0 rebounds, 8.0 assists and 5.0 steals per game. She currently is a freshman at the University of Southern California.
As a junior at Henderson High School in 2017-18, Davenport averaged 18.2 points, 12.0 rebounds, 5.1 blocks and 1.7 assists per game to help her team to an Alabama 5A state title.
Joens, who is beginning her freshman year at Iowa State University, graduated from Iowa City High School in 2018, where she averaged 30.7 points, 11.4 rebounds, 3.0 assists, 3.2 steals and 1.7 block per game to help her team to a 25-1 record and the Iowa 5A state title game.
The 2018 USA Women’s U18 National Team also features: Aijha Blackwell (Whitfield School/Berkeley, Mo.); Jenna Brown (The Lovett School/Smyrna, Ga.); Nazarah Hillmon-Baker (Gilmour Academy/Cleveland, Ohio); Rhyne Howard (Bradley Central H.S./Cleveland, Tenn.); Olivia Nelson-Ododa (Winder-Barrow H.S./Winder, Ga.); Anaya Peoples (Schlarman H.S./Danville, Ill.); Sedona Prince (Liberty Hill H.S./Liberty Hill, Texas); NaLyssa Smith (East Central H.S./Converse, Texas); and Christyn Williams (Central Arkansas Christian School/Little Rock, Ark.).
The USA’s assistant coaches are Natasha Adair, head coach at the University of Delaware, and Cori Close, head coach at UCLA.
Overall, the 12-member roster features five international medalists, three players who had previously participated in at least one USA Basketball trials and four players who were named to the 2018 USA Women’s U18 National Team after their first USA Basketball trials.
USA women's teams boast of a remarkable 53-2 overall record in U18/Junior qualifiers and have won gold in 1988, 2000, 2004, 2006, 2008, 2010, 2012, 2014 and 2016; while capturing silver medals in 1992 and 1996.
The USA Basketball Women’s Junior National Team Committee is responsible for selecting the athletes and coaches for the USA U18 National Team. Athletes eligible for this team must be U.S. citizens who are 18 years old or younger (born on or after Jan. 1, 2000).