Court Coaches Announced for 2021 USA Women's U19 World Cup Team Trials
Trials to select the 2021 USA Basketball Women’s U19 World Cup Team will feature two court coaches on hand to help the USA U19 coaching staff, including Katrina Merriweather (University of Memphis) and Teri Moren (Indiana University). Both coaches will be participating with USA Basketball for the first time, and selections were made by the USA Basketball Women’s Junior National Team Committee.
Trials to select the 12-member team will be held May 14-16 at Metro State University in Denver.
The court coaches will assist the USA U19 coaching staff, including head coach Cori Close (UCLA) and assistant coaches Aaron Johnston (South Dakota State) and Joni Taylor (University of Georgia), with on-court drills and scrimmages during trials.
The 27 athletes expected to participate in trials include: Lauren Betts (Grandview H.S./ Centennial, Colo.); Sonia Citron (The Ursuline School/Scarsdale, N.Y.); Caitlin Clark (Iowa/West Des Moines, Iowa); Amari DeBerry (Williamsville South H.S./Buffalo, N.Y.); Brooke Demetre (Mater Dei H.S./Foothill Ranch, Calif.); Alexis Donarski (Iowa State/La Crosse, Wis.); Gabrielle Elliott (Clemson/Detroit, Mich.); Sania Feagin (Forest Park H.S./Ellenwood, Ga.); Azzi Fudd (St. John’s College H.S. (D.C.)/ Arlington, Va.); Hannah Gusters (LSU/DeSoto, Texas); Diamond Johnson (NC State/Philadelphia, Pa.); Raven Johnson (Westlake H.S./ Atlanta, Ga.); JerKaila Jordan (Mississippi State/New Orleans, La.); Greta Kampschroeder (Naperville North H.S./Naperville, Ill.); Madison Layden (Purdue/Kokomo, Ind.); Jordyn Merritt (Florida/Plano, Texas); Olivia Miles (Notre Dame/Phillipsburg, PA); Ugonne Onyiah (California/Eastvale, Calif.); Te-hina Paopao (Oregon/Oceanside, Calif.); Ayanna Patterson (Homestead H.S./Fort Wayne, Ind.); Angel Reese (Maryland/Baltimore, Md.); Jewel Spear (Wake Forest/The Colony, Texas); Payton Verhulst (Bishop Meige H.S./DeSoto, Kan); Talia von Oelhoffen (Oregon State/Pasco, Wash.); Sakima Walker (Rutgers/Columbus, Ohio); Lauren Ware (Arizona/Bismarck, N.D.); and Jersey Wolfenbarger (Northside H.S./Fort Smith, Ark.).
Due to COVID-19 precautions, no media or guests will be allowed to view trials sessions. USA Basketball will provide media with images and b-roll for non-commercial, editorial use.
“People dream of experiencing the greatness that is USA Basketball as a player or coach,” stated Merriweather. “I am honored to be selected as part of this group and look forward to the opportunity to learn and teach in this environment with amazingly talented players and coaches.”
Merriweather recently was named the 12th women’s basketball head coach in Memphis history after coming off five seasons as head coach at Wright State University (2016-17 to 2020-21) and the previous six seasons as an assistant coach for the Raiders (2010-11 to 2015-16).
She was named Horizon League Coach of the Year in 2021 for the third time in her five seasons at Wright State, and she led the Raiders to a 19-8 record and the program’s first NCAA Tournament win this past season.
While head coach at Wright State, Merriweather posted an overall record of 113-47 (.706) and led the Raiders to their only three Horizon League Championships in school history as well as the schools only back-to-back NCAA/Conference Tournament appearances in 2019 and 2021.
Prior to Merriweather’s time at Wright State, she served as an assistant at Purdue University for three seasons (2003-04 to 2005-06) where the Boilermakers made three straight NCAA Tournament appearances, reaching the NCAA Sweet 16 in two of her three seasons. She also spent the 2002-03 season as an assistant coach at University of Illinois at Chicago and began her coaching career as a graduate assistant at University of Cincinnati during the 2001-02 season.
“I am looking forward to the opportunity to serve as a court coach for USA Basketball’s U19 tryouts,” said Moren. “It is with great pride and gratitude to experience this process alongside fantastic coaches and while working with some of the best young athletes in our game today.”
Moren recently completed her seventh season as head coach of Indiana women’s basketball program (2014-15 to present), compiling a record of 148-79 (.651) while at the helm of the Hoosiers.
This past season, Moren led the Hoosiers to the program’s first NCAA Elite Eight appearance in school history, sixth consecutive 20-win season and a program record 16 wins in Big Ten Conference play. The team finished with a 21-6 record, winning its last nine-straight in the regular season. Moren has taken Indiana to the NCAA Tournament in three of her seven seasons advancing to the second round in both the 2015-16 and 2018-19 campaigns.
In her 17 seasons as a head coach, Moren has compiled a record of 347-210 (.662 winning percentage) over her career. In addition to Indiana, Moren served as head coach of Indiana State from 2010-11 to 2013-14 as well as University of Indianapolis from 2000-01 to 2006-07.
Featuring U19 teams from 16 nations, the 2021 FIBA U19 World Cup is scheduled to be held Aug. 7-15 in Debrecen, Hungary. In addition to the USA and host Hungary, teams that will take part in this summer’s U19 World Cup include Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Czech Republic, Egypt, France, Italy, Japan, Mali, Russia, South Korea and Spain.
The draw for the 2021 FIBA U19 World Cup was held on April 28, and the USA was drawn into Group A, alongside Australia, Egypt and Italy for the Aug. 7-10 preliminary round. The USA will open play against Italy on Aug. 7, followed by Australia on Aug. 8 and cap preliminary play against Egypt on Aug. 10.
Reigning FIBA U19 World Cup gold medalist, USA women’s teams have won eight gold medals, one silver medal and one bronze medal while compiling an 86-13 overall record in U19 World Cup play since the event was launched in 1985. Even more impressive, the USA has posted a 62-3 record and won seven of the past eight U19 golds since 2005.
The USA Junior National Team Selection Committee, which is responsible for selecting athletes and coaches for the USA U19 World Cup Team, includes committee chair Jennifer Rizzotti (Connecticut Sun President), Temple University head coach Tonya Cardoza; 2008 Olympic gold medalist and Duke University head coach Kara Lawson; and North Carolina State University head coach Wes Moore.