Sixteen Finalists Named for 2021 USA Women’s U16 National Team
Following eight trials sessions featuring 34 athletes who are 16 and younger, 16 finalists remain in the hunt for one of 12 roster spots on the 2021 USA Basketball Women’s U16 National Team. The finalists, who were selected by the USA Basketball Women’s Developmental National Team Committee, will remain in Indianapolis through June 18, when it is anticipated the 12-member team will be finalized.
Named as finalists for 2021 USA U16 National Team are: Kamorea “KK” Arnold (Germantown H.S./Germantown, Wis.); Madison Booker (Germantown H.S./Ridgeland, Miss.); Zoe Brooks (Trenton Catholic Academy/Plainfield, N.J.); Jaloni Cambridge (Ensworth H.S./Nashville, Tenn.); Breya Cunningham (La Jolla Country Day School/Chula Vista, Calif.); Jadyn Donovan (Sidwell Friends School/Upper Marlboro, Md.); Kendall Dudley (Sidwell Friends School, D.C./Manassas Park, Va.); Milaysia Fulwiley (W.J. Keenan H.S./Columbia, S.C.); Ella Hobbs (Jay M. Robinson H.S./Mooresville, N.C.); Margaret Mendelson (Fremont H.S./North Ogden, Utah); Olivia Olson (Benilde-St. Margaret's/New Hope, Minn.); Grace Slaughter (Grain Valley H.S./Grain Valley, Mo.); Delaney Thomas (St. John's College H.S./Charles Town, W.Va.); Kennedy Umeh (McDonogh School/Columbia, Md.); Judea "JuJu" Watkins (Windward School/Los Angeles, Calif.); and Jada Williams (Blue Springs H.S./Blue Springs, Mo.).
“The committee did a terrific job in pairing down the roster to 16,” said Sue Phillips (Archbishop Mitty/San Jose Cagers), who is serving for a second time as the USA U16 National Team head coach after having led the 2013 USA U16 squad to gold. “We had some incredibly talented athletes, who made it such a difficult journey for the committee. I could tell they were working tirelessly throughout the week to evaluate such a hard-working group of young athletes.
“I’m excited for this group and the opportunity to see them over the next two days to determine which 12 will be joining us at the FIBA Americas U16 Championship.”
Team members will return to USA Basketball for training camp on Aug. 4, to prepare for the 2021 FIBA Americas U16 Championship, which is expected to be played Aug. 16-22 in Santiago, Chile.
Players eligible for this team must be U.S. citizens born on or after Jan. 1, 2005.
Five athletes have prior USA Basketball experience after having participated in the 2019 USA U16 National Team trials, including Brooks, Cunningham, Slaughter, Watkins and Williams.
Eleven of the finalists are in the high school class of 2023, while five will graduate in 2025.
The USA’s assistant coaches are Tom McConnell (Indiana University Pennsylvania) and Sophia Witherspoon (Fort Pierce Central H.S., Fla.).
Due to safety precautions, media will not be permitted to attend the remaining two days of camp. However, USA Basketball will provide media with images to assist in coverage of the team.
The top four finishing teams at the 2021 FIBA Americas U16 Championship will qualify for the 2022 FIBA U17 World Cup.
The USA Basketball Developmental National Team Committee is chaired by Carol Callan, the USA Basketball Women’s National Team director, and includes athlete representatives Tamika Catchings and DeLisha Milton-Jones, who earned a combined six Olympic and four FIBA World Cup gold medals; AAU appointee Kevin Lynch; NFHS appointee Jill Schneider; and at-large representatives Kirsten Moore and Mia Smith.
A biennial event launched in 2009 and open to athletes 16 years old or younger, the FIBA Americas U16 Championship features eight national teams from North, South and Central America and the Caribbean. The USA Basketball women claimed the gold medal in 2009, 2011, 2013, 2017 and 2019 and the bronze medal in 2015 and are 30-1 in FIBA Americas U16 Championship action.