USA U16 Women Hold Open Practice After Game Is Rescheduled
Rather than a game between the USA women and Mexico this evening at the FIBA Americas U16 Championship in Puerto Aysen, Chile, fans at Polideportivo arena instead watched a USA practice after Mexico could not arrive in time due to travel issues, and most stayed for the show.
The USA’s game against Mexico was rescheduled for 6 p.m. EDT on Wednesday, June 19, and instead the USA will get its first taste of official competition against El Salvador at 3:30 p.m. EDT on June 17.
“We have told our young ladies just to be flexible, being in a foreign country and enjoying the process, so for us as coaches, we have to demonstrate that as well,” said USA head coach Mark Campbell (Union University). “Everyone has treated us amazing, and this has been an amazing experience. The hotel has been great, and from our interpreter to our bus driver, everyone has been great. So, you just roll with it. You enjoy spending time with the team, and you know that those days are limited. You don’t spend time on things you can’t control.”
Despite not having an opponent, the USA took the court to a cheering crowd and proceeded to mostly work on shooting drills.
The team did get its official FIBA photo taken, and then spent about 10 minutes taking photos with fans in the arena.
“We obviously did a lot of shooting, we went through some drills, but didn’t get to do anything in depth,” Campbell said of the USA’s approximately 40 minutes on the court. “It was amazing how their attention to detail, their ability to communicate, it picked up even more being in front of all of these people. It was actually a good atmosphere to get some nerves out and be able to do some things. They actually performed better out here, than I have seen them the whole time.”
While the USA now will play six games in six days, it will get the chance to see every opponent before they meet.
“I think it is a benefit to even to watch Mexico tomorrow,” Campbell said. “We will get to see every opponent before we play them. I think that is a benefit. It was a benefit to watch Canada and play against Canada in a scrimmage a couple of days ago and then watch Brazil and Puerto Rico play earlier today.”
The USA is looking to defend its 2017 U16 gold medal and secure a top four finish, which would qualify the USA for the 2020 FIBA U17 World Cup, and you can follow the journey on Twitter at @USABJNT.