Seven Athletes With USA Basketball Experience Among 10 Named To 2010 USA Women's Select Team
- International Veterans Debbie Ryan, Dawn Staley Set To Coach USA Squad -
April 8, 2010 - Colorado Springs, Colo.
Ten of the nation's elite college players, including seven with USA Basketball experience, have been named to the 2010 USA Basketball Women's Select Team, USA Basketball today announced. Additionally, USA Basketball veterans Debbie Ryan of the University of Virginia and Dawn Staley of the University of South Carolina, who played collegiately for Ryan at Virginia, will act as court coaches for the 2010 USA Select Team.
With a gap in the international calendar this summer for college-aged players, USA Basketball will conduct the USA Select Team training camp April 15-18 in Hartford and Storrs, Conn., in order to continue preparing its historically strong pipeline of athletes for future USA National Team events. Comprised of future USA National Team hopefuls, the collegians will scrimmage against the USA National Team.
-This unique experience will give these elite athletes a chance to continue to work on their skills in a USA Basketball setting, where they'll also get a valuable glimpse into the USA National Team program," said USA Basketball Executive Director/CEO Jim Tooley.
Members of the 2010 USA Select Team include: Kalana Greene (Connecticut / Saint Stephen, S.C.), Kelsey Griffin (Nebraska / Eagle River, Alaska), Allison Hightower (LSU / Arlington, Texas), Jantel Lavender (Ohio State / Cleveland, Ohio), Jacinta Monroe (Florida State / Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.), Nneka Ogwumike (Stanford / Cypress, Texas), Andrea Riley (Oklahoma State / Dallas, Texas), Danielle Robinson (Oklahoma / San Jose, Calif.), Jasmine Thomas (Duke / Fairfax, Va.) and Monica Wright (Virginia / Woodbridge, Va.).
-I had a chance to work with a select team years ago when Tara (VanDerveer) was coaching the Olympic team," said 2009-12 USA Basketball Women's National Team head coach Geno Auriemma of the University of Connecticut. -I thought it was a great opportunity for those young kids to get a feel for what USA Basketball is and what it entails to be part of that special group. For those young players to be in that environment, I think it's a great learning experience for them. It's a great opportunity for us as coaches to evaluate them, see where they are now and let them know where they need to be down the road. It's something that I'm glad we're able to do and I hope we keep doing it in the future. It's a great group. They're all distinguished players from great programs with a history of winning. That's certainly one of the most important things about being with USA Basketball, making sure that we get character kids who know nothing but winning.
-I couldn't be happier that Dawn and Debbie have agreed to do this. Dawn has had such a long and distinguished career with USA Basketball and had so much success on the playing side winning gold medals, on the coaching side winning gold medals, she's a natural. And then having Debbie, who's been doing this for so long, who coached Dawn and who I have tremendous respect for and I'm so fond of, is great. I think it'll be a great learning experience for the two of them, as well as for me to be around the two of them."
While Ryan and Staley will serve as court coaches, the USA Select Team will be directed by the USA National Team coaching staff, which also includes DePaul University head coach Doug Bruno (DePaul) and Los Angeles Sparks head coach Jennifer Gillom.
USA National Team members confirmed to attend the spring training camp are: Seimone Augustus (Minnesota Lynx), Alana Beard (Washington Mystics), Swin Cash (Seattle Storm), Tina Charles (University of Connecticut), Kara Lawson (Connecticut Sun), Angel McCoughtry (Atlanta Dream), Renee Montgomery (Connecticut Sun) and Maya Moore (University of Connecticut).
Additionally, USA National Team hopeful Jayne Appel (Stanford University), who attended the team's 2009 fall training camp, but was injured and unable to participate, will practice alongside USA National Team members in the hopes of being added to the squad.
Seven of the USA Select Team members have prior USA Basketball experience, including FIBA U19 World Championship gold medalists Lavender (2007), Ogwumike (2009), Thomas (2007) and Wright (2007). Lavender, Monroe and Robinson aided the 2009 USA World University Games Team to a gold medal last summer; Lavender (2006) and Ogwumike (2008) earned gold medals at the FIBA Americas U18 Championship, qualifying the U.S. for the following summer's U19 World Championship; while Hightower (2005), Ogwumike (2007) and Wright (2005) participated in a USA Basketball Youth Development Festival.
Three members of the USA Select Team competed in the 2010 Final Four where Greene and the University of Connecticut earned the NCAA title. Additionally, Ogwumike and Robinson earned All-Final Four honors.
USA Select Team members, including Wright, the 2010 WBCA National Defensive Player of the Year, and Griffin, the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award winner, earned numerous postseason honors. Six listed as finalists for the 2010 State Farm Wade Trophy, including Griffin, Lavender, Ogwumike, Robinson, Thomas and Wright. Griffin and Ogwumike were named to the 2010 John R. Wooden Award All-American Team; while finalists for the 2010 John R. Wooden Award included Greene, Griffin, Hightower, Lavender, Ogwumike, Riley, Robinson, Thomas and Wright.
The U.S. Basketball Writers Association selected Griffin, Lavender, Ogwumike, Thomas and Wright to its 2010 All-America Team; the 2010 NCAA Division I State Farm Coaches' All-America Basketball Team included Griffin, Lavender, Ogwumike, Robinson and Wright. Named to the 2010 Associated Press All-America first team were Griffin, Lavender and Wright; the A.P. All-America second team included Ogwumike and Riley; while honored as third team selections were Robinson and Thomas.
All 10 members of the USA Select Team earned all-region honors from the WBCA, including Greene (Region 1), Griffin (Region 5), Hightower (Region 3), Lavender (Region 6), Monroe (Region 2), Ogwumike (Region 8), Riley (Region 5), Robinson (Region 5), Thomas (Region 2) and Wright (Region 2). Additionally, all 10 from the WBCA
all-region squads were named as finalists for the 2010 State Farm Coaches' All-America Team, which will be announced on April 3.
Ryan and Staley will be coaching on the same staff for the first time. However, it won't be the same time they've been on the same team as Staley was an All-American under Ryan at Virginia. During Staley's four years at Virginia (1989-92), the Wahoos compiled a 110-21 record for a sparkling 83.9 winning percentage, appeared in four NCAA Tournaments, including three Final Fours (1990, 1991, 1992), and finished as NCAA runner-up in 1991.
-It's always a great honor to be included with USA Basketball in any way," said Ryan, who led the Wahoos to a 21-10 mark in 2009-10 and the NCAA Tournament. -I think the world of the program and I've always been very, very proud to say that I've been able to coach for USA Basketball in my career.
-Obviously having the opportunity to be alongside Dawn is a tremendous honor and opportunity as well. I think Dawn has become the face of women's basketball in so many ways. I'm very, very proud of all she's accomplished and I think we'll have a lot of fun doing this together.
-Geno and I have been very good friends for years and I'm very proud of everything he's accomplished. He's been a juggernaut in our profession. Every time I see him doing something good, it always tugs at my heart. I feel very happy for him that he's getting all the recognition that he deserves through this part of his career. I'm really excited about this opportunity, being around such great players, such tremendous athletes and obviously very accomplished coaches. It's going to be a lot of fun."
The 2010 USA Select Team coaching assignment is Ryan's sixth USA Basketball head coaching nod. Most recently Ryan headed the 2003 USA Pan American Games Team, a squad comprised of the nation's top collegiate players, and after going up against seasoned international veterans, Ryan and the U.S. posted a 5-2 slate and earned the silver medal. She was also the head coach for the 2001 USA World University Games Team that won the gold medal, finished in seventh place at the 1989 U19 World Championship, earned a gold medal at the 1988 FIBA Americas U18 Championship and began her USA Basketball coaching career at the helm of the gold medal winning 1987 U.S. Olympic Festival West Team.
For her efforts at the 2001 World University Games, which included a hard-fought 87-69 gold medal victory against host China, Ryan earned USA Basketball Developmental Coach of the Year honors.
In addition to her USA Basketball coaching stints, Ryan served as a member of the USA Basketball Games Committee for Women and the USA Basketball Women's Player Subcommittee during the 1988-1992 quadrennium, helping to select athletes for numerous competitions including the 1990 World Championship and 1992 Olympic teams.
A 2008 Women's Basketball Hall of Fame inductee, Ryan in 33 years (1977-78 " present) at the helm of UVa owns a 720-308 record for a 70.0 winning percentage. Notching 28 postseason berths, including 20 consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances (1984-03), Ryan's teams have reached the Sweet Sixteen 12 times, made four Elite Eight appearances, three final fours (1990, 1991, 1992), and advanced to the 1991 NCAA Tournament championship game with Staley on the court. Additionally, with the exception of her first year at UVa, Ryan's Wahoos have never posted a losing season.
Ryan's sideline successes have not gone unnoticed. A seven-time recipient of the Atlantic Coast Conference Coach of the Year award, Ryan was also tabbed the 1986 and 1987 Converse District III Coach of the Year and 2000 WBCA Coach of the Year. In 1991, when she led the Wahoos to a 31-3 overall finish, a perfect 14-0 ACC record, and a trip to the NCAA title game, Ryan was selected the 1991 Naismith National Coach of the Year by the Atlanta Tip-Off Club.
-It's going to be a tremendous honor working with Debbie," said Staley, who has been in South Carolina for two years and is in the process of building her USC program. -I have so much respect for her, for what she's done for my career and what she continues to do for young people who come through the UVa program. I was with her at UVa and I had a couple of opportunities to coach against her, going down to Virginia when I was at Temple, but coaching with her is something I never thought would ever happen. I'm glad it's going to happen on USA Basketball soil.
-It's going to be great coaching the USA Select Team. I once sat where they sat and for me, it's about giving back, letting them know what representing the United States is about. Whether it's one of these training camps or playing internationally at a tournament, it is a true privilege to put on a USA Basketball uniform. It's got to be played a certain way. I love the whole concept of playing USA Basketball because there's one common goal that everybody has to commit to, and everybody always does."
This appointment marks Staley's second as a head coach as she previously headed up the 2007 USA Pan American Games Team. Comprised of collegians, the '07 USA Pan Am squad went up against national teams preparing for the Olympic qualifying tournament that was held later that summer. She and the U.S. squad came away with a perfect 5-0 slate after stunning host Brazil in the gold medal contest. Staley, who began her USA Basketball career in 1989 as a member of the USA U19 World Championship Team, also served as an assistant coach for the 2006-08 USA Basketball Women's National Team and capped her three-year stint, that included a bronze medal in the 2006 FIBA World Championship and a gold in the 2007 FIBA Americas Championship, by aiding the U.S. to gold at the 2008 Olympic Games. In all, with Staley on the sideline, the 2006-08 USA National Team compiled a 34-3 record.
Staley, who stepped into her inaugural coaching role with USA Basketball in 2006, was certainly no stranger to the international game after being a fixture on USA teams nearly every year from 1989-2004. A two-time USA Basketball Female Athlete of the Year (1994 and 2004), Staley was voted by all U.S. team captains in 2004 to carry the United States flag and lead the USA's delegation into the Athens Olympics Opening Ceremonies. Additionally, Staley was named the MVP at the '94 Goodwill Games and served on the USA Basketball Executive Committee as an athlete representative.
One of her more impressive international highlights as a player include being a member of the historic 1995-96 USA National Team that rolled up a 60-0 record, captured the 1996 Olympic gold medal and was named the 1996 USA Basketball and U.S. Olympic Committee Team of the Year.
Never one to turn away from a challenge, Staley beginning with the 2000-01 season took over a program at Temple University that had not seen a winning record since the 1989-90 squad went 16-15 and had never won the Atlantic 10 Conference Tournament. She turned the program around in her first season and went on to compile a 172-80 record (.683 winning percentage) slate in her eight years at the helm.
During her tenure in Philadelphia Staley led the Owls to six NCAA Tournaments in eight seasons, including each of the last five NCAA Tournaments, and earned a WNIT berth following her inaugural season.
She then was hired to coach at South Carolina and over the last two seasons, Staley has coached two All-Southeastern Conference selections and two unanimous SEC All-Freshman team selections. In her second season at South Carolina, Staley saw her team lift its Southeastern Conference record from 2-12 to 7-9. In 2009-10, South Carolina posted three wins over nationally-ranked teams for the first time since the 2002-03 season, during which the Gamecocks were also ranked for most of the campaign.