Court Coaches Announced for the 2021 USA Womens U16 National Team Trials
Trials to select the 2021 USA Basketball Women’s U16 National Team will feature two court coaches on hand to help the USA U16 coaching staff, including Sam Caldwell (New Hope Academy/Landover Hills, Md.) and Brittanny Johnson (Evanston Township High School/Evanston, Ill.). Both coaches will be participating with USA Basketball for the first time.
Trials to select the 12-member team will be held June 13-16 in Indianapolis, Indiana.
“Sam and Brittanny represent the qualities we look for in a court coach for the U16 National Team Program” said Carol Callan, chair of the USA Basketball Women’s Developmental National Team committee, which is responsible for selecting the USA coaches and athletes, and the USA Basketball Women’s National Team director. “First and foremost, is the ability to teach the important aspects of the game focusing on skill development, team play and the introduction to a winning culture. Both have experienced success as a coach and leader in their own lives, and will transfer that knowledge to this group of young athletes. We are excited to have them participate as court coaches at the U16 National Team trials.”
The court coaches will assist the USA U16 coaching staff, including head coach Sue Phillips (Archbishop Mitty H.S., Calif./San Jose Cagers) and assistant coaches Tom McConnell (Indiana University Pennsylvania) and Sophia Witherspoon (Fort Pierce Central H.S., Fla.), with on-court drills and scrimmages during trials.
The trials roster will feature 34 participants, with 20 athletes from the class of 2023, including: Cori Allen (Hilsboro H.S./Hilsboro, Texas); Olivia Anderson (Ellensburg H.S./Ellensburg, Wash.); Kamorea “KK” Arnold (Germantown H.S./Germantown, Wis.); Madison Booker (Germantown H.S./Ridgeland, Miss.); Zoe Brooks (Trenton Catholic Academy/Plainfield, N.J.); Breya Cunningham (La Jolla Country Day School/Chula Vista, Calif.); Jadyn Donovan(Sidwell Friends School/Upper Marlboro, Md.); Milaysia Fulwiley (W.J. Keenan H.S./Columbia, S.C.); Jordy Griggs (Spain Park H.S./Hoover, Ala.); Mary Ashley Groot (Cardinal Newman H.S./New York, N.Y.); Madisyn Jordan (Panther Creek H.S./Morrisville, N.C.); Adria Lincoln(Monroe H.S./Monroe, Wash.); Margaret Mendelson (Fremont H.S./North Ogden, Utah); Jorynn Ross (John Cooper H.S./Woodlands, Texas); Taliah Scott (Oakleaf H.S./Orange Park, Fla.); Grace Slaughter (Grain Valley H.S./Grain Valley, Mo.); Riley Stack (Wren H.S./Anderson, S.C.); Delaney Thomas (St. John's College H.S./Charles Town, W.V.); Judea "JuJu" Watkins (Windward School/Los Angeles, Calif.); and Jada Williams(Blue Springs H.S./Blue Springs, Mo.).
From the class of 2024 will be 13 athletes, including: Jaloni Cambridge (Ensworth H.S./Nashville, Tenn.); Justice Carlton (Seven Lakes H.S./Katy, Texas); Kendall Dudley (Sidwell Friends School, D.C./Manassas Park, Va.); Joyce Edwards (Camden H.S./Rembert, S.C.); Tatum Greene (McDonogh School/Baltimore, Md.); Ella Hobbs (Jay M. Robinson H.S./Mooresville, N.C.); Kiyomi McMiller (Good Counsel H.S./Silver Spring, Md.); Olivia Olson (Benilde-St. Margaret's/New Hope, Minn.); Taliyah Parker (Putnam City West/Oklahoma City, Okla.); Cameron Rust(Worcester Academy/South Kingstown, R.I.); Chloe Spreen (Bedford North Lawrence H.S./Bedford, Ind.); Kennedy Umeh (McDonogh School/Columbia, Md.); and Ava Watson (Buford H.S./Flowery Branch, Ga.).
Due to COVID-19 precautions, no media or guests will be allowed to view trials sessions. However, USA Basketball will provide media with images and b-roll for non-commercial, editorial use.
The USA Basketball Developmental National Team Committee in addition to Callen, is comprised by athlete representatives Tamika Catchings and DeLisha Milton-Jones; AAU appointee Kevin Lynch; NFHS appointee Jill Schneider; and at-large representatives Kirsten Moore and Mia Smith.
“This means everything to me, one of the greatest opportunities of my coaching career and as a retired U.S. Naval Intelligence officer, the opportunity to serve again, this time with USA Basketball is a major blessing,” stated Caldwell. “Having the opportunity to work with Sue Phillips at the Nike Skills Academy, I already know she’s the best. I’m absolutely looking forward to meeting and getting to know the rest of the coaching staff, to learn and collaborate with them.”
Caldwell recently completed his fourth season at the helm at New Hope Academy, and including 27 years of coaching experience owns a commanding a 337-90 overall record (17-3 this past season). Caldwell
In the same season, he became the first coach in National Association of Christian Athletes (NACA) sports history to win the NACA Division I Girls Basketball National Championship with two different programs.
Caldwell also compiled a 140-40 record in five seasons with Riverdale Baptist School (Md.), and led teams to the Dick’s Sporting Goods High School championship in 2014 and the NACA championships in 2014 and 2016.
He has been selected as the 2014 High School Coach of the Year by the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA), and as a finalist for the Pat Summit Coach of the Year Award. He has college coaching experience from his tenure at University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC) and Bowie State University. He also maintains his standing as one of the all-time winningest coaches in All-Navy basketball history, a league comprised of active duty U.S. Navy and U.S. Coast Guard personnel that compete in the All Armed Forces Championships (All Army, All Marines and All Air Force). The winner is selected as the All Armed Forces USA Team that competes in the CISM World Games typically held in Belgium. Caldwell has been head coach of the All Armed Forces USA Team three times throughout his affiliation. Caldwell was also inducted into the Hall of Fame at his alma mater, Luther Burbank High School (Calif.), on October 11, 2013.
In addition, Caldwell has instructed at the Nike Skills Academy, served as an assistant coach in the 2018 Jordan Brand All-American Game and was selected a court coach for the 2020 USA Basketball U17 World Cup Team trials (cancelled last year due to COVID).
“Being named a court coach for the U16 National Team trials is both an honor and a privilege, and I have always respected the USA Basketball network of coaches, athletes, and administrators for their hard work and professionalism,” stated Johnson. “Being chosen to be part of this incredible organization is one of the proudest moments of my coaching career and it is an awesome opportunity to work with so many of our game’s finest coaches.”
Johnson recently completed her fifth season as the Evanston Township High School girls basketball head coach. She currently has a 108-34 record and has also led Evanston Township to four consecutive 20-win seasons, including three Illinois High School Association (IHSA) regional championships and four consecutive Central Suburban League South Conference titles. Johnson has been named the Illinois Basketball Coaches Association (IBCA) District 4 Coach of the Year three times during her tenure at Evanston Township.
Prior to Evanston, Johnson was the head coach of the Kennedy-King College women’s basketball team from 2013-16. Johnson amassed a 54-23 overall record and produced the two-highest single-season win totals since the program was reinstated in 1996.
Johnson inherited a Kennedy-King team with three wins in the 2012-13 campaign, helping it eventually to a 20-7 record and advancing to the Region IV Tournament championship in her rookie campaign. Kennedy-King also garnered national recognition in January 2015 when it received votes in the NJCAA’s Division I Top-25 poll.
Johnson played basketball at Boston College where she concluded her playing career in 2010 ranked second in team history in games played (106), 13th in assists (255) and 15th in free throws made (231). She was a three-year starter and captain for two years, helping the Eagles advance to the NCAA Sweet 16 in 2006. She graduated with both a bachelor’s degree in economics and master’s degree in administrative studies from Boston College.
FIBA Americas U16 Championship
The USA U16 National Team will compete at the 2021 FIBA Americas U16 Championship, where the top four finishing teams will qualify for the 2022 FIBA U17 World Cup. The eight teams taking part include: Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, El Salvador, Mexico, Puerto Rico and the United States.
The committee is expected to name the 12-member roster on June 16, and the selected athletes will remain in Indianapolis for training through June 19 before returning home. The team will gather for training camp on Aug. 4, before the team departs for the competition, which is expected to be played Aug. 16-22 in Santiago, Chile.
A biennial event launched in 2009. USA Basketball women’s U16 teams have claimed the gold medal in 2009, 2011, 2013, 2017 and 2019 and the bronze medal in 2015, and is 30-1 overall in FIBA Americas U16 Championship action.