U.S. Pan American Games Women’s Basketball Team Named
Following three days of trials that began with 35 hopefuls, the 12-member roster for the 2019 U.S. Pan American Games Women’s Basketball Team today was announced and includes five athletes who have won medals with USA Basketball, three who have taken part in a previous USA Basketball trials and four who are new to USA Basketball.
The team was selected by the USA Basketball Women’s Junior National Team Committee. All Pan American Games roster nominations are pending approval of the United States Olympic Committee.
“This was probably, in the three years of being on this committee, the most well-rounded, competitive, good-spirited group we’ve had,” said Jennifer Rizzotti (George Washington University), chair of the USA Basketball Women’s Junior National Team Committee. “They really rose to the occasion in terms of coming out here, representing themselves and their school in the right way. They made it really hard for us, it was hard to cut some of those last kids, because they could easily be on this team. But, I’m really proud of the way they competed, and they treated each other as competitors. Some of them play together some of them play against each other and they stepped on the floor every day and gave it their best shot.”
Named to the team were: Bella Alarie (Princeton/Bethesda, Md.), Brittany Brewer (Texas Tech/Abilene, Texas), Chennedy Carter (Texas A&M/Mansfield, Texas), Kathleen Doyle (Iowa/Lagrange Park, Ill.), Tyasha Harris (South Carolina/Noblesville, Ind.), Taylor Mikesell (Maryland/Massillon, Ohio), Beatrice Mompremier (Miami/Miami, Fla.), Michaela Onyenwere (UCLA/Aurora, Colo.), Mikayla Pivec (Oregon State/Lynnwood, Wash.), Lindsey Pulliam (Northwestern/Silver Spring, Md.), Kiana Williams (Stanford/San Antonio, Texas) and Peyton Williams (Kansas State/Topeka, Kan.).
The team members will return to Colorado Springs for training camp July 23-Aug. 5, before competing in the women’s basketball tournament at the 2019 Pan American Games from Aug. 6-10 in Lima, Peru.
“I first want to say thank you,” said USA head coach Suzy Merchant (Michigan State). “It’s an exciting process, but it’s always a hard day, and with so many kids that gave their all. When you look at the 12 kids, you feel really blessed that they spent the time and put their energy and effort into playing for the United States of America and representing the USA Basketball brand. For us now, it’s about putting them together. It’s about seeing exactly who they gave us and putting them in positions to be successful. That’s what we look forward to. The last five days you try to make sure you showcase everybody here. But now, it’s time to roll up our sleeves, go to work – what can people do and how do we do the best job as coaches of putting those kids in positions to be successful.”
The USA assistant coaches are Felisha Legette-Jack (Buffalo) and Vic Schaefer (Mississippi State).
The three gold medalists include: Carter, who won gold at the 2016 FIBA Americas U18 Championship and was selected to the all-tournament at the 2017 FIBA U19 World Cup as the USA earned silver; Harris, who won gold at the 2016 FIBA Americas U18 Championship and silver at the 2017 FIBA U19 World Cup, where she was named to the all-tournament team; and Mompremier, who won gold at the 2014 FIBA Americas U18 Championship.
Additionally, Alarie earned a silver medal at the 2017 FIBA U19 World Cup, and Mikesell won bronze at the 2016 FIBA U17 World Cup.
This past September, Harris took part in the 2018 USA Women’s National Team training camp prior to the FIBA World Cup, including playing in a Red-White exhibition game in South Carolina.
Athletes with experience at a previous USA Basketball trials are: Doyle (2017 U19 trials); Onyenwere (2014 U17 trials); and Kiana Williams (2014 U17, 2015 U16, 2016 U17 trials).
New to USA Basketball are: Brewer, Pivec, Pulliam and Peyton Williams.
Eleven of the 12 athletes were recognized at the end of the 2018-19 season with conference awards. From the Ivy League, Alarie was Player of the Year and first team. From the Southeastern Conference, Carter was first team, and Harris was second team. From the Big Ten Conference, Mikesell was Freshman of the Year and was joined on the first team by Doyle (coaches) and Pulliam (coaches and media). From the Atlantic Coast Conference, Mompremier was a first team selection (coaches and media). From the Pacific-12 Conference, Onyenwere, Pivec and Kiana Williams were first team selections. And, frrom the Big 12 Conference, Peyton Williams was first team and all-defensive team.
In addition to Rizzotti, the USA Basketball Women’s Junior National Team Committee includes 2008 Olympic gold medalist Kara Lawson as the athlete representative; and Karen Aston (Texas), Tonya Cardoza (Temple) and Wes Moore (North Carolina State) as the NCAA representatives.