Ashley Joens Added to USA Women’s U19 World Cup Team
Rising Iowa State University sophomore Ashley Joens (Iowa City, Iowa), who helped the USA claim gold at the 2018 FIBA Americas U18 Championship, has been added to the 2019 USA Basketball Women’s U19 World Cup Team. The 5-foot-11 guard replaces Jordan Nixon (Notre Dame/New York, N.Y.), who was injured during the team’s training camp in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
The 13th FIBA U19 World Cup will be held July 20-28 in Bangkok, Thailand, where the USA will attempt to capture an eighth gold medal.
“We’re sorry to see Jordan go, but we’re excited to add Ashley to our group,” said Jeff Walz, USA U19 and University of Louisville head coach. “She brings experience from playing on last year’s U18 team that won a gold medal. And then, having a year of college experience, there’s no doubt that that’s going to help her as we get prepared for the U19 World Cup.
“I think she’ll fit in really well. It’s a big help that she knows most of what we are going to run, which will make it easier for her coming in after the team’s already had a week of training to be able to get things quickly.”
As a member of the 2018 USA U18 National Team, Joens averaged 10.7 points, 4.5 rebounds and 2.7 assists per game to help the USA to a 6-0 record and a gold medal in Mexico City, which qualified the USA for this year’s U19 World Cup.
Joens was 2019 Big 12 Conference All-Freshman Team selection after averaging ISU third-bests of 11.7 points and 5.0 rebounds a game in aiding Iowa State to a 26-9 record and the 2019 NCAA Tournament second round.
In addition to Joens, members of the 2019 USA U19 World Cup Team are: Francesca Belibi (Regis H.S./Centennial, Colo.); Aliyah Boston (Worcester Academy, Mass./St. Thomas, U.S.V.I.); Cameron Brink (Southridge H.S./Beaverton, Ore.); Paige Bueckers (Hopkins H.S./St. Louis Park, Minn.); Caitlin Clark (Dowling Catholic H.S./West Des Moines, Iowa); Queen Egbo (Baylor/Houston, Texas); Naz Hillmon-Baker (Michigan/Cleveland, Ohio); Rhyne Howard (Kentucky/Cleveland, Tenn.); Diamond Miller (Franklin H.S./Somerset, N.J.); Celeste Taylor (Long Island Lutheran/Valley Stream, N.Y.); and Hailey Van Lith (Cashmere H.S./Wenatchee, Wash.).
Joens will join the U.S. squad on July 10 and will travel with the team as it heads to Tokyo to practice and scrimmage against the Japan U19 National Team July 13-15.
The USA has an additional three days of training and a pair of scrimmages in Bangkok against Argentina and Germany, July 17-19, before the FIBA U19 World Cup tips off July 20.
No. 1 in FIBA’s world youth women’s rankings, the USA will play in preliminary round Group C and will open the competition July 20 against No. 7 Australia (1:15 a.m. EDT), followed by a July 21 contest against No. 15 South Korea (1 a.m. EDT). After a rest day, the USA will cap preliminary games July 23 against No. 14 Hungary (1 a.m. EDT).
Group A includes Canada, Latvia, Mozambique and Thailand; Group B features Argentina, Belgium, China and Mali; and drawn into Group D were Colombia, Germany, Japan and Spain.
Following the preliminary round, all teams will advance to the July 24 round of 16. The winners of the round of 16 will advance to the July 26 medal quarterfinals, and the losers will play out for ninth-16th places. The semifinals will be played on July 27, and the gold and bronze medal games on July 28.
Walz is being assisted by collegiate head coaches Natasha Adair (Delaware) and Cori Close (UCLA).
Players eligible for this team must be U.S. citizens, born on or after Jan. 1, 2000.
FIBA U19 World Cup for Women
Originally known as the FIBA Junior World Championship, the tournament was held every four years starting in 1985. FIBA changed its calendar in 2005 and now conducts the U19 World Cup every other year.
USA women’s teams are 79-13 in U19/Junior World Cups, capturing a sixth-consecutive gold in 2015 with a 7-0 record. In 2017, USA Basketball fell four points short against Russia in the gold medal game in an attempt to capture a seventh-straight gold medal.
Notable players to represent the U.S. include: Angela Aycock (1993), Alana Beard (2001), Essence Carson (2005), Tamika Catchings (1997), Crystal Dangerfield (2015, 2017), Ruthy Hebard (2017), Crystal Langhorne (2005), Erlana Larkins (2005), Jantel Lavender (2007), Lisa Leslie (1989), Rebecca Lobo (1993), Maya Moore (2007), Nnemkadi Ogwumike (2009), Vickie Orr (1985), Courtney Paris (2005), Cappie Pondexter (2001), Katie Smith (1993), Dawn Staley (1989), Azura Stevens (2015), Breanna Stewart (2011 and MVP of the 2013 U19 World Cup), Diana Taurasi (2001), Morgan Tuck (2011 and 2013) and A’ja Wilson (2013 and MVP of the 2015 U19 World Cup).