2010 U.S. Youth Olympic Games Basketball Teams Set To Resume Training
-- Kearney Added To Men’s Roster As Both Men’s And Women’s Teams Prep For Singapore --
With the addition of 6-6 guard Brandan Kearney (Detroit Southeastern H.S./Detroit, Mich.) to the 2010 U.S. Men’s Youth Olympic Games Team, all eight members of the 2010 U.S. Men’s and Women’s Youth Olympic Games Basketball Teams are ready to resume training Aug. 6-9 before departing on Aug. 10 for the inaugural Youth Olympic Games in Singapore from Aug. 14-26.
Kearney replaces L.J. Rose (Second Baptist School/Houston, Texas), who withdrew for personal reasons. Kearney joins 6-11 center K.C. Caudill (Brea Olinda H.S./Brea, Calif.); 6-9 forward Angelo Chol (Herbert Hoover H.S./San Diego, Calif.) and 6-1 guard Sterling Gibbs (Seton Hall Prep/Scotch Plains, N.J.) on the men’s team.
The women’s team will send 5-8 guard Briyona Canty (Trenton Catholic Academy/Willingboro, N.J.); 5-9 guard Andraya Carter (Buford High School/Flowery Branch, Ga.); 6-3 forward Amber Henson (Sickles H.S./Tampa, Fla.) and 6-3 forward Kiah Stokes (Linn-Mar H.S./Marion, Iowa).
Each team will conduct seven practice sessions at Springfield College in Springfield, Mass., from Aug. 6- 9 and will then leave for Singapore on Aug. 10.
The men’s and women’s basketball competitions at the inaugural Youth Olympic Games will run from Aug. 15-23 and will feature a 3-on-3 game format, played on a half-court. Each competition includes 20 international teams of four players each, organized by the International Olympic Committee and FIBA. Athletes eligible for this competition must have been born between Jan. 1, 1993 and Dec. 31, 1994.
“I think Brandan is probably the ideal 3-on-3 player,” said Eric Flannery, U.S. men’s and St. Edward High School (Ohio) head coach, referring to the addition of Kearney. “He has the perfect size and skill set. He can do it all, and that’s what we want from every guy on our team, a guy who can do everything offensively and defensively. We’re very excited to add Brandan, and he’ll be a huge asset for us to accomplish what we want to accomplish.
“The biggest thing over the three or four days (of training) is to establish the style of play,” Flannery added. “We can work on skill level and things like that briefly, but more importantly we need to establish the rhythm of the game and how it’s played and how different it is from 5-on-5. Ideally, we just want to get in as many game situations as we can possibly muster and get them comfortable with that style of play.”
“I’m excited to see the girls again,” said Kathy Richey-Walton, U.S. women’s and Southwest DeKalb High School (Georgia) head coach. “What I’d like to see is what they’ve done in the time we’ve been away, then from there we’ll just work on getting better, re-familiarizing ourselves with each other and to get a better understanding of the 3-on-3 game. I think this time through it’ll be a little bit easier. We’ll be more familiar with each other, and we know what the task is. The selection committee picked some outstanding young ladies. They’re quick learners, and they work hard, so I’m looking for them to make some rapid improvement.”
The men’s team was placed in the Youth Olympic Games preliminary round Group C and is joined by the Central African Republic, Israel, host Singapore and Turkey. The U.S. men open on Aug. 15 versus Turkey, then meet Israel on Aug. 16, Singapore on Aug. 18 and close out preliminary round play against the Central African Republic on Aug. 19.
The women’s team landed in preliminary round Group B with Angola, Belarus, Germany and Singapore. Opening preliminary round play against Angola on Aug. 15, the U.S. women will face Singapore on Aug. 16 and go up against Germany on Aug. 17. The Americans will close preliminary competition against Belarus on Aug. 19.
Quarterfinals for both the men’s and women’s competitions begin on Aug. 21, with semifinals taking place Aug. 22. The finals are Aug. 23.
Three of the eight men’s and women’s Youth Olympic Games team members – Gibbs, Kearney and Stokes – have previous international playing experience with USA Basketball, while seven of the eight have participated in USA Basketball trials prior to 2010.
Gibbs and Kearney helped lead the 2009 USA Men’s U16 National Team to a perfect 5-0 record and the FIBA Americas U16 Championship gold medal in Mendoza, Argentina. Gibbs ranked No. 1 in the eight-team field with a 7.0 assist-to-turnover ratio and averaged 9.2 points, 2.8 assists and 1.8 steals in 15.2 minutes per game. Kearney averaged 4.4 points, 1.8 rebounds and 1.4 assists in 11.2 mpg.
Returning from the 2009 USA Women’s U16 National Team is Stokes, who averaged 5.8 ppg. and 3.3 rpg. in 13.5 mpg. in the FIBA Americas U16 Championship For Women in Mexico City, helping to lead the USA to a 5-0 record and the gold medal.
Additionally, Caudill and Chol both participated in the 2009 USA Men’s Developmental National Team training camps. And while Henson is new to USA Basketball this year, Canty and Carter participated in the 2009 USA Women’s U16 National Team Trials.
The men’s player selections were made by USA Basketball’s Men’s Developmental National Team Committee. Aside from Kearney’s late addition, the selections were made after five training sessions held June 18-20 at the University of Texas at San Antonio. Chaired by USA Basketball Men’s National Teams Director Sean Ford (non-voting chair), the committee features five voting members: Ron Crawford, head of the Arkansas Wings AAU program and Boo Williams, head of the Boo Williams Summer League (Va.), both appointed by the AAU; Flannery and John Olive, head coach at Torrey Pines High School (Calif.), who were appointed by the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS); while 1999 USA Pan American Games Team member Kermit Holmes serves as the athlete representative.
The women’s team was selected by the USA Basketball Women's Developmental National Team Committee following three days of trials from June 8-11 at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo.
The committee is chaired by Carol Callan (Women’s National Team Director, USA Basketball) in a non-voting position and includes: National Federation of High Schools appointees Jill Meerman (Decatur Central High School, Ind.) and Sue Phillips (Archbishop Mitty High School, Calif.); AAU members Jody Patrick (Vogues AAU, Va.) and Brian Robinson (Stealers AAU, N.C.); and athlete representative Ruthie Bolton, a two-time Olympic gold medalist.
2010 Youth Olympic Games
Scheduled to take place every four years, the inaugural Youth Olympic Games men's and women's 3-on-3 basketball competition will feature a total of 40 teams from 38 different countries. The basketball competition will be played on a half-court in two, five-minute periods. The first team to score 33 points, or the team with the most points at the end of regulation, wins. Each team operates with a 10-second shot clock, and the ball must be brought out behind the 3-point line to score. The player who first gets the ball over the 3-point line, though, has to make one additional pass before a basket can count.
The Singapore 2010 Youth Olympic Games are expected to include as many as 5,000 athletes and officials participating from 205 National Olympic Committees (NOCs), along with an estimated 1,200 media representatives, 20,000 local and international volunteers and more than 500,000 spectators. Athletes 14 to 18 years old are eligible to compete in 26 sports and take part in cultural and educational programs.