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Cori Close

Quotes: WU19 Training Camp

  • Date:
    Jul 23, 2021

Cori Close (UCLA)

What are your thoughts on training camp so far

I really am pleased, especially from our first day, to today we saw a marked improvement and it really has come down to two words for us, teamwork and toughness. How quickly can we come together to be a better unit than we can be individually? Then, how tough can we be? The physicality of these U19 games is really high. I’m really pleased with the growth so far, but that’s where we need to continue to go. 

You talk about cohesion a lot, how do you take individuals and bring them together as a team?

I think first of all it is the power of privilege that we understand that wearing USA across our chest is something to have a deep sense of gratitude about. I think when you really understand how fortunate you are to be in this position then you are able to say, ‘hey, what am I able to sacrifice for the sake of the team. How can I make a play for somebody else, how do I make somebody else better’ and really it just starts with knowing it’s not about you. It’s about the three letters that we represent and how we go about to compete for our country. 

What is the most unique thing about playing international basketball based on what you are used to?

I think especially for this age group, we’re players where a lot of us haven’t even played in college before and we’re going to be going against players that have been playing in their professional club systems. So, the challenge is most of our team, they don’t know what they don’t know. It is so physical, so competitive and the experience and cohesion of the other teams, they have a leg up on us in that way. Understanding that challenge and then putting a strategy in place to overcome it, I guess that’s my job. 


Sonia Citron (The Ursuline School/Scarsdale, NY)

How do you like training camp so far and what have you been working on personally? 

I love it here, I think we have a great group of girls, so just getting after it each and every day, it’s been a blast. Personally, I am just working on whatever I can do to make the team better like hustle plays, offensive rebounding and all the little things. 

You have been with USA Basketball before, how is your experience with the U19 team going to be different?

Everyone says that the U19 World Cup is the hardest to win. So, I am just really looking forward to playing games. All the things that the coaches are teaching us, it’s just making me a better player and the gold medal habits that they just keep telling us to think about. So, I think in general I am just going to become a better player by the coaching, playing with the best girls in the country, all that.  

What advantage will this experience give you as you transition into Notre Dame? 

I just think making sure I take all the things I learned here and bringing it back with me. Just making sure it’s not just something I do here but whenever I get on the court. I will have the gold medal habits and everything I’ve learned here. 


Jewel Spear (Wake Forest University/The Colony, TX)

How do you think camp is going so far? 

I think camp is going great, I’ve met a lot of new players and very thankful to be here and represent the USA. 

How has it been to play for a new group of coaches? 

Coach Cori (Close) and all the other coaches have pushed me so far and I am learning so much day by day. I am just proud to be here with my teammates and also growing as a player. 

What is it like to represent USA Basketball and the United States? 

Representing the USA is amazing. It is more than yourself, so you have to give up some things for the bigger goal. I am just excited to be here with my teammates and my coaches, and I am glad to be pushed to the abilities in order to be the best that I can be.


Lauren Ware (University of Arizona/Bismark, ND) 

What has your experience at training camp been like so far? 

It’s been amazing just coming back. We haven’t seen each other in a while so just getting know everybody and learning how everyone plays and stuff like that and putting all the pieces together, it’s been really fun. 

How challenging is it to try and become a team in a short period of time? 

It just takes good listeners and good teachers which we really do have. Our coaches are taking their time with us and getting everyone on the same page and I think it’s going really well so far. 

Coach has been preaching rebounding a lot in training camp. How much do you prioritize that and how much will it play to your advantage when you go overseas? 

We know it’s going to be a really physical game every time we play. So, we’re really focusing on doing the little things, and something we can control is rebounding. So, making an effort to get a body on someone and box out and keeps our hands up to get the rebound.


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