34 top teens to compete for spot on U.S. U19 World Championship Team roster

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May 8, 2013 - 1:17am
2011 USA Basketball Female Player of the Year Breanna Stewart, who was named Most Outstanding Player of the NCAA Final Four last month, after leading the University of Connecticut to the national championship as a freshman, anchors the list of 34 talented young players who have been invited to try out for a spot on the U.S. roster for the upcoming FIBA U19 World Championships. (Photo courtesy USA Basketball)

2011 USA Basketball Female Player of the Year Breanna Stewart, who was named Most Outstanding Player of the NCAA Final Four last month, after leading the University of Connecticut to the national championship as a freshman, anchors the list of 34 talented young players who have been invited to try out for a spot on the U.S. roster for the upcoming FIBA U19 World Championships. (Photo courtesy USA Basketball)

 COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -- Thirteen prior USA Basketball international gold medalists will compete against 21 more of the nation's top female athletes aged 19-years-old or younger for the right to represent the United States in the 2013 FIBA U19 Women's World Basketball Championships, USA Basketball announced Tuesday.

Trials to select the 12-member U.S. squad will be held May 16-19 at the U.S. Olympic Training Center (USOTC) in Colorado Springs, Colo. Invitations to the trials were issued by the USA Basketball Junior National Team Committee to the nation's top players born on or after Jan. 1, 1994.

"This group has a nice nucleus with some former gold medal winners in the mix and some new candidates that will allow us to field a very competitive team," said committee chair Jim Foster, who has been a member of nine different USA Basketball coaching staffs.

"I think it's a fantastic, dynamic, diverse group for international play," University of Miami head coach Katie Meier, who will head the U19 Team coaching staff at both the FIBA World Championships to be held from July 18-28 in Klaipeda and Panevezys, Lithuania, and this month's team trials in Colorado Springs. "The committee understands the important parts of what it takes to win internationally. There's a lot of great and versatile size in this group, some really dynamic players who can do a lot of special things from 20-feet in. This is a really exciting, athletic group who are also very, very skilled. That's a real sign for the growth of our game throughout the country, that the U19s have this level of skill.

Back for this year's U19 trials are six members of the 2012 USA U18 National Team that earned the USA its 2013 FIBA U19 World Championship berth -- as is the coaching staff from that team. Returning to assist Meier on the sidelines are Nikki Caldwell, head coach of the Louisiana State University women's basketball team, and Kelly Graves, head coach at Gonzaga University. Additionally, American University head coach Matt Corkery, University of Wisconsin head coach Bobbie Kelsey and University of Tulsa head coach Matilda Mossman will serve as court coaches during the trials.

13 Returning Gold Medalists

At the core of the group returning from last year's gold-medal U18 team is Connecticut Husky Breanna Stewart, who took Most-Outstanding-Player honors at the NCAA Final Four last month while leading UConn to the national title as a mere freshman. Stewart, a member of this year's Full Court Freshman All-American First Team and the most experienced USA Basketball alum attending trials, was honored last summer as MVP of the 2012 FIBA Americas U18 Championship and had previously been named to the five-member 2009 All-FIBA U19 World Championship Tournament Team. The 6-4 center has helped U.S. squads earn gold at the 2010 U17 and 2011 U19 FIBA World Championships, as well as the 2009 U16 and 2012 U18 FIBA Americas Championships. The 2011 USA Basketball Female Athlete of the Year was the lone high school athlete on the 2011 USA Pan American Games Team.

Also back from the 2012 USA U18 National Team that captured the FIBA Americas U18 Championship are Stewart's Husky teammates and classmates Moriah Jefferson, a speedy 5-7 point guard, and Morgan Tuck, a 6-2 forward, both of whom also played pivotal roles in UConn's march to the national championship; this season's Full Court Collegiate Freshman of the Year Bashaara Graves, a 6-2 forward at the University of Tennessee; 6-6 center Candice Agee of Penn State; and prep standout Kendall Cooper, a 6-4 center from St. Anthony's High School in Carson, Calif., and the No. 20-ranked player in the 2013 Full Court Fresh 50, who is headed to Duke next year.

Stewart and Tuck were also members of the most recent USA U19 squad that captured gold at the 2011 FIBA U19 World Championship, as were 6-1 guard Jordan Adams, a freshman this season at USC, and 5-8 guard Alexis Jones, who earned Full Court Collegiate Freshman Second-Team honors this season as a Duke Blue Devil.

Adams, Graves and Stewart earned their first gold medal with USA Basketball at the 2009 FIBA Americas U16 Championship. In 2010 Adams, Graves, Stewart and Tuck were members of the gold medal-winning USA U17 World Championship Team; while Jones captured gold that summer at the FIBA Americas U18 Championship.

Briana Turner Brianna Turner, a 6-3 forward and junior at Manvel High School in Pearland, Tex., is the No. 1-ranked player in the 2014 Full Court Fresh 50, and will be the youngest of the 13 returning gold medalists competing at USA Basketball's U19 World Championships Team Trials later this month. (Photo by Kelly Kline)

Prep stars Kaela Davis (Buford H.S. /Suwanee, Ga.), Oderah Chidom (Bishop O'Dowd H.S./Oakland, Calif.), Linnae Harper (Whitney Young H.S. / Chicago, Ill.) and Brianna Turner (Manvel H.S. /Pearland, Tex.) are also among the group of returning gold medalists competing at this year's U19 trials, with international gold to their credit as members of members of the last year's USA U17 World Championship Team. Davis and Turner combined to earn a second gold medal last summer at the FIBA 3x3 U18 World Championship, while Davis and Harper teamed up with another of this year's U19 trials participants, Stephanie Mavunga (Brownsburg H.S. / Indianapolis, Ind.), to help the U.S. win gold at the FIBA Americas U16 Championship in 2011. Davis and Harper competed later that summer in the inaugural FIBA 3x3 U18 World Championship and after falling to Italy in overtime of the semifinal with just two healthy players on the court and being forced to forfeit in the bronze medal game due to a lack of players, were awarded an honorary bronze medal by FIBA. Davis, a 6-2 guard who is bound for Georgia Tech next season, Chidom, a 6-3 forward who is headed to Duke and Harper, a 5-7 guard committed to Kentucky, are ranked No. 3, No. 5 and No. 7 in the country, respectively, in the 2013 Full Court Fresh 50, while Mavunga weighs in at No. 23 on the list. Turner, a 6-3 forward who is the top-ranked player in the 2014 Full Court Fresh 50 and has not yet committed to a college program, will return for her senior year at Manvel High School in Pearland, Tex.

Ten Additional USA Basketball Trial Veterans

In addition to the 13 gold medalists who will be attending this month's U19 trials, 10 athletes have participated in a USA Basketball trial previously, including collegians Xylina McDaniel, a 6-2 forward at North Carolina who was named to this year's Full Court Collegiate Freshman All-American First Team; Ameryst Alston, a 5-9 guard at Ohio State; and Brittney Sykes, a 5-9 guard at Syracuse; as well as prep standouts Nia Coffey, a 6-1 forward at Hopkins High School, Minneapolis, Minn., who has committed to play for Northwestern next year; Rebekah Dahlman, a 5-9 guard at Braham Area High School, Braham, Minn., who is headed to Vanderbilt; 5-9 guard Kelsey Plum of La Jolla Country Day, Poway, Calif., who has signed with Washington; Tennessee-bound Jordan Reynolds, a 5-9 guard at Central Catholic High School, Portland, Ore.; 5-9 guard Tyler Scaife, Little Rock Hall High School, Little Rock, Ark., who will play college ball at Rutgers; 5-10 guard Ieshia Small, of Florida State University High, Tallahassee, Fla., who is bound for Baylor; and 6-1 guard Gabby Green, who will return for her senior year at St. Mary's College High School, Oakland, Calif. All of the high school players in this group have been honored as members of the 2013 Full Court Fresh 50, with the exception of Green, who ranks No. 8 in the country in the 2014 version of the elite list.

11 USA Basketball Newcomers

That leaves 11 young athletes who will be participating in their first USA Basketball trials as they vie with the veterans for a position on this summer's U19 team. The eight collegians in this group include 2013 Full Court Freshman All-American Second Team honorees Jillian Alleyne, a 6-3 forward at Oregon, Amber Deane, 5-9 guard at Dayton, and Courtney Walker, a 5-8 guard at Texas A&M, and Full Court Freshman Third Team member Brittney Martin, a 6-0 guard at Oklahoma State; as well as two Georgia freshmen -- 5-10 wing Shacobia Barbee and 5-8 guard Tiaria Griffin; 5-11 Washington State guard Lia Galdeira; and 5-11 Florida wing Sydney Moss (Florida / Union, Ky.). The newcomers also include prep players Marqu’es Webb, a 6-1 Vanderbilt-bound forward at Hoover High School, Montgomery, Ala., who is ranked No. 42 in the country in the 2013 Full Court Fresh 50; and two rising high school seniors -- 6-4 wing A’ja Wilson, of Heathwood Hall High School, Hopkins, S.C., the No. 2-ranked player in the 2014 Full Court Fresh 50, and 5-9 guard Amber Campbell of Charleston, South Carolina's Northwood Academy.

A'ja Wilson A'ja Wilson, a 6-4 wing and a junior at Heathwood Hall High School, Hopkins, S.C., is the No. 2-ranked player in the country in the 2014 Full Court Fresh 50, and will be one of just three high school players in her graduation year competing at the USA Basketball U19 World Championship Team trials to be held at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs later this month. (Photo by Kelly Kline)

Though beating out one of the 13 returning gold medalists for a spot on the 2013 U19 squad will be no small task, Meier made clear that no one can be considered a shoo-in for the roster:

"This is going to be a very competitive trials," Meier continued. "We've got a lot to play for, and the young ladies who have already won gold have already proven how competitive they are. But, I think there will be another sense of, absolutely, nothing is given. There's no automatic, 'You're going to make the team.' That's obvious. We don't even have enough slots for everyone who's won a gold medal, and then you look at the rest of the talent who's coming in hungry for their first chance to win gold. We're going to see a very, very high level of competition and probably some of the best scrimmages we've ever seen."

FIBA U19 World Championships Format

The U.S. squad will be on a quest to capture a fifth-consecutive gold medal at the U19 Worlds in July. The final roster will be selected by the 2013-16 USA Basketball Women’s Junior National Team Committee, chaired by NCAA representative Jim Foster, until recently the head women's basketball coach at Ohio State University, and including NCAA appointees Melanie Balcomb (head coach, Vanderbilt University), Lindsay Gottlieb (head coach, University of California) and Joi Williams (head coach, UCF), as well as athlete representative Kara Lawson (Connecticut Sun), a 2008 Olympic gold medalist who has played on nine USA Basketball teams. Following the May trials, the team will regroup for training on July 1 at the USOTC prior to traveling to Europe for the competition later that month.

The FIBA U19 Worlds will feature 16 teams with athletes 19-years-old or younger. While Lithuania earned an automatic berth to the tournament as host, the remaining 15 nations were determined by the five FIBA zone qualifiers in 2012. In addition to the Americas' gold-medalist United States, nations qualified out of the FIBA Americas zone include Brazil (silver medalist), Argentina (bronze medalist) and Canada (fourth place). Senegal (gold medalist) and Mali (silver medalist) will represent FIBA Africa; advancing from FIBA Asia are China (gold medalist), Japan (silver medalist) and South Korea (bronze medalist). FIBA Europe will be represented by France (gold medalist), Russia (silver medalist), Serbia (bronze medalist), Netherlands (fourth place) and Spain (fifth place), while Australia took FIBA Oceania’s spot after wining its best-of-three series against New Zealand.

Drawn into Group D, the U.S. will play its preliminary and second round games in Panevėžys, opening against Lithuania on July 18, followed by China on July 19 and finishing the preliminary round against Mali on July 20.

The top three finishing teams from each first-round group will advance to the second round, held July 22-24. The 12 nations qualifying for the second round will be divided into Groups E and F. Each team will play the three new teams in its new group, with all results of games played in the preliminary round carrying over to determine the second-round standings.

Teams finishing in first through fourth places in the second round will qualify for the quarterfinals, with the opportunity to advance to the semifinals and finals. The medal round will be played in Klaipeda, with the quarterfinals held on July 26, semifinals slated for July 27 and the gold medal game on July 28.

Current collegiate athletes invited to participate in the 2013 USA U19 World Championship Team trials are eligible and may also be considered for the 2013 USA World University Games Team. Trials for both teams will take place in staggered sessions May 16-19. The 2013 World University Games women’s basketball competition is scheduled for July 8-15 in Kazan, Russia.

2013 USA Women's U19 World Championship Team Trials Roster

NO NAME
POS
HGT
WGT
DOB
YOG SCHOOL HOMETOWN
  Jordan Adams
G
6-1
165
02/10/94
2016 Southern California Irvine, CA
  Candice Agee
C
6-6
190
09/14/94
2016 Penn State Victorville, CA
  Jillian Alleyne
F
6-3
184
09/08/94
2016 Oregon Fontana, CA
  Ameryst Alston
G
5-9
---
01/20/94
2016 Ohio State Canton, OH
  Shacobia Barbee
G/F
5-10
---
08/09/94
2016 Georgia Mufreesboro, TN
  Amber Campbell
G
5-9
149
11/24/94
2014 Northwood Academy Charleston, SC
  Oderah Chidom
F
6-3
165
07/09/95
2013 Bishop O'Dowd H.S./*Duke Oakland, CA
  Nia Coffey
F
6-1
155
06/11/95
2013 Hopkins H.S./*Northwestern Minneapolis, MN
  Kendall Cooper
C
6-3
190
08/19/95
2013 St. Anthony's H.S./*Duke Carson, CA
  Rebekah Dahlman
G
5-9
145
08/11/94
2013 Braham Area H.S./*Vanderbilt Braham, MN
  Kaela Davis
G
6-2
160
03/15/95
2013 Buford H.S./*Georgia Tech Suwanee, GA
  Amber Deane
G
5-9
140
02/22/94
2016 Dayton Lathrup Village, MI
  Lia Galdeira
G
5-11
---
04/24/94
2016 Washington State Kamuela, HI
  Bashaara Graves
F
6-2
185
03/17/94
2016 Tennessee Clarksville, TN
  Gabby Green
G
6-1
148
10/18/95
2014 St. Mary's College H.S. Oakland, CA
  Tiaria Griffin
G
5-8
132
08/30/94
2016 Georgia Monticello, MS
  Linnae Harper
G
5-7
140
01/31/95
2013 Whitney Young H.S./*Kentucky Chicago, IL
  Moriah Jefferson
G
5-7
122
03/18/94
2016 Connecticut Glenn Heights, TX
  Alexis Jones
G
5-8
160
05/08/94
2016 Duke Irving, TX
  Brittney Martin
G
6-0
162
01/03/94
2016 Oklahoma State Syracuse, UT
  Stephanie Mavunga
G
6-3
184
02/24/95
2013 Brownsburg H.S./*North Carolina Indianapolis, IN
  Xylina McDaniel
F
6-2
175
11/18/94
2016 North Carolina Columbia, SC
  Sydney Moss
G/F
5-11
196
03/06/94
2016 Florida Union, KY
  Kelsey Plum
G
5-9
145
08/24/94
2013 La Jolla Country Day/*Washington Poway, CA
  Jordan Reynolds
G
5-11
165
08/04/95
2013 Central Catholic H.S./*Tennessee Portland, OR
  Tyler Scaife
G
5-9
135
12/13/94
2013 Little Rock Hall H.S./*Rutgers Little Rock, AR
  Ieshia Small
F
6-8
170
12/17/94
2013 Florida State University H.S./*Baylor Tallahassee, FL
  Breanna Stewart
F/C
6-4
175
08/27/94
2016 Connecticut North Syracuse, NY
  Brittney Sykes
G
5-9
145
02/07/94
2016 Syracuse Newark, NJ
  Morgan Tuck
F
6-2
190
04/30/94
2016 Connecticut Bolingbrook, IL
  Brianna Turner
F
6-3
150
07/05/96
2014 Manvel H.S. Pearland, TX
  Courtney Walker
G
5-8
160
04/28/94
2016 Texas A&M Edmond, OK
  Marqu'es Webb
F
6-1
235
03/23/95
2013 Hoover H.S./*Vanderbilt Montgomery, AL
  A'ja Wilson
F
6-4
175
08/08/96
2014 Heathwood Hall H.S Hopkins, SC
Head Coach: Katie Meier, University of Miami
Assistant Coach: Nikki Caldwell, Louisiana State University
Assistant Coach: Kelly Graves, Gonzaga University
Court Coach: Matt Corkery, American University
Court Coach: Bobbie Kelsey, University of Wisconsin
Court Coach: Matilda Mossman, University of Tulsa
 
*Has signed a National Letter of Intent to attend and compete for school indicated.
#Has verbally committed to attend and compete for school indicated.

Source: Significant portions of this article were drawn from a USA Basketball press release.


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