Roster Announced for USA Basketball Women’s U16 National Team
The 12-member roster for the 2019 USA Basketball Women’s U16 National Team was announced this evening, after the completion of a four-day training camp that featured 18 finalists at the United States Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
The 12 team members will return to Colorado Springs for training camp from June 5-12, before departing for the 2019 FIBA Americas U16 Championship that will be played June 16-22 in Puerto Aysen, Chile.
Named to the team were: Janiah Barker (Tampa Bay Tech H.S., Fla./Marietta, Ga.); Lauren Betts (Grandview H.S./Centennial, Colo.); KK Bransford (Mount Notre Dame H.S./Cincinnati, Ohio); Sonia Citron (The Ursuline School/Scarsdale, N.Y.); Amari DeBerry (Williamsville South H.S./Buffalo, N.Y.); Timea Gardiner (Fremont H.S./Ogden, Utah); Londynn Jones (Santiago H.S./Riverside, Calif.); Olivia Miles (Blair Academy/Phillipsburg, N.J.); Aaliyah Moore (Moore H.S./Moore, Okla.); Saylor Poffenbarger (Middletown H.S./Middletown, Md.); Kiki Rice (Sidwell Friends School, D.C./Bethesda, Md.); and Payton Verhulst (Bishop Meige H.S./De Soto, Kan.).
The USA will be led by Mark Campbell (Union University) with assistant coaches Kelly Carruthers (James Bowie H.S., Texas) and Ruth Sinn (University of St. Thomas, Minn.).
“This was an amazing week for me, to watch all of the talent that was brought in by Carol (Callan) and the staff,” Campbell said of the finalists training camp. “Just to watch how a group of young people came together, it was the most encouraging time I’ve ever been around a group young people. And to be able to do that in a competitive situation when you are trying to earn a spot, is just really unusual, and it speaks a lot of our youth.
“We have a lot of height, a lot of athleticism, everybody is unselfish,” Campbell continued about his 12-member team. This is the most unselfish group of people I have been around that are great basketball players. I think they really have bought into the fact that it is not about them and it is about the USA. I’m looking forward to trying to put them in situations where they can make each other better and bring out their strengths.”
Six athletes are from the high school class of 2021, and six will graduate high school in 2022.
Nine have taken part in at least one previous USA Basketball event, and three athletes will be new to USA Basketball.
Four team members participated in the 2019 USA Basketball 3x3 U18 National Championship, including Bransford and DeBerry as members of Her-ricanes; Moore as a member of Cyfair; and Verhulst as a member of Blue Star 30 Stars.
DeBerry and Moore also took part in the 2018 USA U17 World Cup Team trials, along with Barker, Gardiner, Miles, Rice and Verhulst.
Finally, Betts took part in the 2018 USA Basketball 3x3 U18 National Championship.
Listed on the ESPN HoopGurlz Terrific 25 for the class of 2021 are: No. 2 DeBerry; No. 3 Miles; No. 9 Moore; and No. 10 Verhulst.
The ESPN HoopGurlz watch list for the class of 2022 features: Barker, Betts, Gardiner, Jones and Rice.
The USA women will compete in Group B at the 2019 FIBA Americas U16 Championship, along with host Chile, El Salvador and Mexico. In Group A will be Brazil, Canada, Ecuador and Puerto Rico. The preliminary round games will be played on June 16-18. All eight national teams will advance to the quarterfinals on June 20, the semifinals will be played on June 21 and the gold medal game will be on June 22.
The top four finishing teams at the 2019 FIBA Americas U16 Championship qualify for the 2020 FIBA U17 World Cup that will be played in Cluj-Napoca, Romania.
The USA Basketball Women’s Development National Team Committee is responsible for selecting the athletes and coaches for the USA U16 national team. Athletes eligible for this team must be U.S. citizens born on or after Jan. 1, 2003.
Chaired by USA Basketball Women’s National Team director Carol Callan, the committee also includes athlete representatives Tamika Catchings (four-time Olympic and two-time World Cup gold medalist) and DeLisha Milton-Jones (two-time Olympic and two-time World Cup gold medalist); AAU representative Kevin Lynch; at-large representatives Kirsten Moore (Westmont College) and Mia Smith (Illinois Wesleyan); and NFHS representative Jill Schneider (Monterey H.S., Texas).