Including 10 athletes who helped USA Basketball capture a gold medal at the 2009 FIBA Americas U16 Championship in Mexico City, USA Basketball recently announced 36 athletes who have accepted invitations to participate in the 2010 USA Basketball Women's U17 World Championship/Youth Olympic Games Team Trials, June 8-11 at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo. The 36 athletes will battle for one of 12 roster spots on the 2010 USA Basketball Women's U17 World Championship Team or one of four positions on the 2010 USA Youth Olympic Games Team.
The USA will compete in the inaugural FIBA U17 World Championship July 16-25 in Rodez and Toulouse, France. Players eligible for this competition must be a U.S. citizen born on or after Jan. 1, 1993.
On Aug. 14-26, the USA will participate in the Youth Olympic Games in Singapore, which will feature a 3-on-3 competition between 20 teams organized by the International Olympic Committee and FIBA. Players eligible for this competition must have been born between Jan. 1, 1993 and Dec. 31, 1994.
Trials invitations were extended by the USA Basketball Women's Developmental Committee, chaired in non-voting position by Carol Callan, USA Basketball Women's National Team Director.
"Between the U17 World Championship and the Youth Olympic Games, USA Basketball has 16 roster spots to fill during these trials, and these competitions will be tough events," Callan said. "The U17 World Championship will feature excellent teams from Europe, Australia and our FIBA Americas rivals, and the Youth Olympic Games will be different because of its 3-on-3 format. The goal of the committee was to put together a trials roster that included talent and depth at every position, and I think we did that. We certainly are fortunate to have so many outstanding young players in this country."
Returning from the inaugural U16 National Team are 2009 FIBA Americas U16 MVP Elizabeth Williams (Princess Anne H.S./Virginia Beach, Va.) and the USA's leading scorer Kaleena Lewis (Mater Dei H.S./Anaheim, Calif.); as well as Jordan Adams (Mater Dei H.S./Irvine, Calif.); Cierra Burdick (Butler H.S./Matthews, N.C.); Bashaara Graves (Clarksville H.S./Clarksville, Tenn.); Betnijah Laney (Smyrna H.S./Clayton, Del.); Ariel Massengale (Bolingbrook H.S./Bolingbrook, Ill.); Breanna Stewart (Cicero North Syracuse H.S./North Syracuse, N.Y.); Kiah Stokes (Linn Mar H.S./Marion, Iowa); and Alexyz Vaioletama (Mater Dei H.S./Fountain Valley, Calif.).
Rounding out the trials roster are: Ameryst Alston (McKinley H.S./Canton, Ohio); Danielle Ballard (Memphis Central H.S./Memphis, Tenn.); Alyson Beebe (St. Joseph H.S./Santa Maria, Calif.); Kayla Brewer (Jean Ribault H.S./Jacksonville, Fla.); Briyona Canty (Trenton Catholic Academy/Willingboro, N.J.); Andraya Carter (Buford H.S./Flowery Branch, Ga.); Sidney Cook (Southmoore H.S./Moore, Okla.); Kaela Davis (Norcross H.S./Norcross, Ga.); Diamond DeShields (Norcross H.S./Norcross, Ga.); Alexa Gallagher (Germantown Academy/Elkins Park, Pa.); Taylor Greenfield (Ballard H.S./Huxley, Iowa); Isabelle Harrison (Hillsboro H.S./Nashville, Tenn.); Amber Henson (Sickles H.S./Tampa, Fla.); Rachel Hollivay (New Hope H.S./Columbus, Miss.); Malina Howard (Twinsburg H.S./Twinsburg, Ohio); Moriah Jefferson (Texas Home Educators Sports Association/Glenn Heights, Texas); Niya Johnson (PK Yonge Developmental Research School/Gainesville, Fla.); Alexis Jones (Irving MacArthur H.S./Irving, Texas); Jewell Loyd (Niles West H.S./Lincolnwood, Ill.); Xylina McDaniel (Spring Valley H.S./Blythewood, S.C.); Alexis Prince (Edgewater H.S./Maitland, Fla.); Tiffany Rice-Mitchell (Providence Day School/Charlotte, N.C.); Bonnie Samuelson (Edison H.S./Huntington Beach, Calif.); Bria Smith (Christ the King H.S./Massapequa, N.Y.); Imani Stafford (Winward H.S./Los Angeles, Calif.); and Morgan Tuck (Bolingbrook H.S./Bolingbrook, Ill.).
The U17 World Championship team will reassemble in Washington, D.C., for training July 5-7. The USA will play several practice games in Spain prior to arriving in Rodez, France, where it will began games on July 16. Barbara Nelson of Wingate University (N.C.) will return to serve as head coach for the USA, as will her 2009 assistant coaches Mike Armstrong of Perry Meridian High School (Ind.) and Dorena Bingham of Team Alaska AAU. The trio led the USA past opponents by an average of 70.0 points per game Aug. 10-14 in Mexico City, Mexico, capturing in impressive style the 2009 FIBA Americas U16 title and the USA's berth into the 2010 FIBA U17 World Championship.
The USA Women's Youth Olympic Games Team will reassemble in Aug. 5 at a site TBD and train through Aug. 10 before departing for Singapore. The Youth Olympic Games women's basketball competition will take place Aug. 15-23, and the USA head coach is still to be announced.