Thirty-Six Athletes Expected to Attend U.S. Pan American Games Women’s Basketball Team Trials
Among the 36 athletes expected to take part in trials for the 2019 U.S. Pan American Games Women’s Basketball Team are 12 athletes who have won medals with USA Basketball in international competition, 11 who have taken part in a previous USA Basketball trials and 13 who will be new to USA Basketball.
Trials to select the 12-member team will take place May 16-20 at the United States Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado. 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.
Expected to participate are: Bella Alarie (Princeton/Bethesda, Md.), Janelle Bailey (North Carolina/Charlotte, N.C.), Brittany Brewer (Texas Tech/Abilene, Texas), Chennedy Carter (Texas A&M/Mansfield, Texas), Te'a Cooper (TBD/Powder Springs, Ga.), Kathleen Doyle (Iowa/Lagrange Park, Ill.), Chelsea Dungee (Arkansas/Sapulpa, Okla.), Dana Evans (Louisville/Gary, Ind.), Kiah Gillespie (Florida State/Meriden, Conn.), Vivian Gray (Oklahoma State/Argyle, Texas), Tyasha Harris (South Carolina/Noblesville, Ind.), Ruthy Hebard (Oregon/Fairbanks, Alaska), Becca Hittner (Drake/Urbandale, Iowa), Joyner Holmes (Texas/Cedar Hill, Texas), Stephanie Jones (Maryland/Havre de Grace, Md.), Aari McDonald (Arizona/Fresno, Calif.), Karissa McLaughlin (Purdue/Fort Wayne, Ind.), Amber Melgoza (Washington/Santa Barbara, Calif.), Ayana Mitchell (Louisiana State/Conyers, Ga.), Beatrice Mompremier (Miami/Miami, Fla.), Nancy Mulkey (Rice/Cypress, Texas), Erica Ogwumike (Rice/Cypress, Texas), Michaela Onyenwere (UCLA/Aurora, Colo.), Eleah Parker (Pennsylvania/Charlotte, N.C.), Jaelynn Penn (Indiana/Louisville, Ky.), Destiny Pitts (Minnesota/Detroit, Mich.), Mikayla Pivec (Oregon State/Lynnwood, Wash.), Lindsey Pulliam (Northwestern/Silver Spring, Md.), Kristin Scott (Iowa State/Kasson, Minn.), Destiny Slocum (Oregon State/Meridian, Idaho), Amber Smith (Missouri/Shreveport, La.), Sug Sutton (Texas/St. Louis, Mo.), Kobi Thornton (Clemson/Shellman, Ga.), Kiana Williams (Stanford/San Antonio, Texas), Peyton Williams (Kansas State/Topeka, Kan.) and Kay Kay Wright (UCF/Orlando, Fla.).
Suzy Merchant (Michigan State) will lead the team as USA head coach, with USA assistant coaches Felisha Legette-Jack (Buffalo) and Vic Schaefer (Mississippi State).
“Our coaching staff is excited about the talent, depth and experience of the invitees for the 2019 Pan American Games team trials,” Merchant said. “The roster includes numerous past USA Basketball medalists as well as an impressive group of invitees that boast both individual and team successes nationally and within their respective conferences. We are looking forward to the opportunity to work with all of the participants, USA Basketball staff and committee members to help collectively put together the best team to compete for a gold medal at the 2019 Pan American Games this summer.”
Athletes eligible for this team must be U.S. citizens who currently are enrolled as a full-time collegiate student with remaining eligibility for the 2019-20 school year.
The 10 gold medalists include: 2017 USA Basketball Female Athlete of the Year Bailey, who won gold at the 2017 FIBA 3x3 U18 World Cup and bronze at the 2016 FIBA U17 World Cup; Carter, who won gold at the 2016 FIBA Americas U18 Championship and was all-tournament at the 2017 FIBA U19 World Cup as the USA earned silver; Dungee, who won gold at the 2013 FIBA Americas U16 Championship; Evans, who won gold at the 2016 FIBA Americas U18 Championship; Harris, who won gold at the 2016 FIBA Americas U18 Championship and silver at the 2017 FIBA U19 World Cup, where she was all-tournament; Hebard, who won gold at the 2016 FIBA Americas U18 Championship and silver at the 2017 FIBA U19 World Cup; Holmes, who won gold at the 2014 FIBA U17 World Cup and silver at the 2017 FIBA U19 World Cup; Mompremier, who won gold at the 2014 FIBA Americas U18 Championship; Mulkey, who won gold at the 2013 FIBA Americas U16 Championship and 2014 FIBA U17 World Cup; and Slocum, who won gold at the 2015 FIBA U19 World Cup.
Alarie and Sutton earned silver medals at the 2017 FIBA U19 World Cup.
This past September, Harris and Hebard took part in the 2018 USA Women’s National Team training camp prior to the FIBA World Cup, including taking part in a Red-White exhibition game in South Carolina.
Hebard also represented the USA at the 2018 FIBA 3x3 World Cup.
Athletes with experience at a previous USA Basketball trials are: Cooper (2013 U16, 2014 U17, 2015 U19 trials); Doyle (2017 U19 trials); Gillespie (2014 U17 trials); Gray (2016 U18 trials); Hittner (2017 U19 trials); Jones (2013 U16, 2014 U17, 2017 U19 trials); McDonald (2017 U19 trials); Onyenwere (2014 U17 trials); Pitts (2016 U17 trials); Smith (2017 U19 trials); and Kiana Williams (2014 U17, 2015 U16, 2016 U17 trials).
New to USA Basketball are: Brewer, McLaughlin, Melgoza, Mitchell, Ogwumike, Parker, Penn, Pivec, Pulliam, Scott, Thornton, Peyton Williams and Kay Kay Wright.
Thirty-four of the 36 athletes were recognized at the end of 2018-19 with conference awards. From the Atlantic Coast Conference, Evans was the Sixth Player of the Year; first team selections were Gillespie and Mompremier; and named to the second team were Bailey and Thornton (coaches). From the American Athletic Conference, Wright was a first team member. From the Big 12 Conference, Gray was the Newcomer of the Year and first team; Peyton Williams was first team and all-defensive team; Sutton was first team; Scott was second team; and Holmes was honorable mention. From the Big Ten Conference, Doyle, McLaughlin, PItts and Pulliam were first team; and Jones and Penn were second team. From Conference USA, Ogwumike was player of the year and first team; and Mulkey was first team and all-defensive team. From the Ivy League, Alarie was Player of the Year and first team, and Parker was Defensive Player of the Year and first team. From the Missouri Valley Conference, Hittner was a first team selection. From the Pacific-12 Conference, McDonald was all-defensive team and first team, Hebard, Onyenwere, Pivec, Slocum and Kiana Williams were first team selections; and Melgoza was honorable mention. And from the Southeastern Conference, Carter and Mitchell were first team; and Cooper, Dungee and Harris were second team.
The USA Basketball Women’s Junior National Team Committee, chaired by George Washington University head coach Jennifer Rizzotti, is responsible for selecting the U.S. trials athletes. In addition to Rizzotti, the USA 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.