2019 USA Women’s U19 World Cup Team Ready to Begin Training
-- Diamond Miller Added to Talented Roster --
The 2019 USA Basketball Women’s U19 World Cup Team, which was named on May 19, will return to Colorado Springs, Colorado, on July 5 to begin training for the FIBA U19 World Cup. Additionally, 6-foot-1 guard Diamond Miller (Franklin H.S./Somerset, N.J.), who will play for the University of Maryland in the fall, has been added to the USA roster after NaLyssa Smith (Baylor/Converse, Texas) withdrew.
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.
“I’m excited to get out to Colorado and get started,” said Jeff Walz, USA U19 and University of Louisville head coach. “I have been in touch with everyone to let them know how excited we as a staff are and to try to give them a little bit of an idea as to how training camp will work and what will take place. Things always change. There are working parts. We will be trying to get a feel for the team, who’s going to be able to do what. We will get that going as soon as we get out there.
“Diamond Miller brings great athleticism to our team. I’m really looking forward to seeing how we can get her to mesh in with the team. I really like how she plays. I really like how hard she plays, and I look forward to getting the opportunity to work with her.”
In addition to Miller, members of the 2019 USA U19 World Cup Team are: Francesca Belibi (Regis H.S./Centennial, Colo.); Aliyah Boston (Worcester Academy, Mass./St. Thomas, USVI); 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.); Jordan Nixon (Notre Dame/New York, N.Y.); Celeste Taylor (Long Island Lutheran/Valley Stream, N.Y.); and Hailey Van Lith (Cashmere H.S./Wenatchee, Wash.).
Miller previously helped the 2017 USA U16 National Team capture the FIBA Americas U16 Championship gold medal with a perfect 5-0 record in Buenos Aires, Argentina. She also was a finalist for the 2018 USA U17 World Cup Team and listed as an alternate to the 2019 USA U19 World Cup Team following team trials in May. She was named the 2019 Gatorade New Jersey Player of the Year and was a 2019 WBCA and Naismith High School All-America honorable mention.
The U.S. team will to train July 5-10 at the United States Olympic & Paralympic Training Center, beginning with a 5 p.m. (MDT) practice on July 5. On July 6, 8, 9 and 10 the team’s practices are scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. (MDT) and 5:30 p.m. (MDT), and on July 7 the team will practice once, beginning at 11 a.m. (MDT). Due to space constraints, practices are open to credentialed media and guests only.
Following its Colorado Springs training, the U.S. team will travel to Tokyo, Japan, where it will 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).