One-Hundred Twenty-One Prep Athletes Set To Kick Off USA Basketball’s 2011 Women’s U16 National Team Trials
USA Basketball today announced the roster for the 2011 USA Basketball Women’s U16 National Team Trials, and 121 athletes are set to participate May 26-30 at the U.S. Olympic Training Center (USOTC) in Colorado Springs, Colo.
Trials will be used to select the final 12-member roster that will represent the USA in the 2011 FIBA Americas U16 Championship June 13-18 in Mérida, Mexico. The top four finishing teams at the 2011 FIBA Americas U16 Championship will earn a berth into the 2012 FIBA U17 World Championship. Players eligible for this team must be U.S. citizens, born on or after Jan. 1, 1995, and the team will be selected by the USA Basketball Women’s Developmental National Team Committee.
“The committee and USA Basketball are very excited to welcome so many young athletes to the Olympic Training Center for trials,” said Carol Callan, USA Basketball Women’s National Team Director and non-voting chair of the USA Women’s Developmental National Team Committee. “It will be difficult to select just twelve players, but we are fortunate to have such an impressive turnout. It will be a wonderful couple of days, full of basketball and learning, and we hope everyone goes home as a better basketball player than when they arrived.”
The trials begin with an evening skills session on May 26 and continue with morning and afternoon skills sessions on May 27. While the committee will evaluate athletes throughout the process, the first trials session is on the evening of May 27, followed by trials sessions the morning, afternoon and evening of May 28 and 29. Due to the number of participants, players will be divided into two groups for the three skills sessions and the first four trials sessions. Roster reductions may begin following the completion of the second trials session, and the team is expected to be announced on May 30.
After returning home from trials on May 30, the 2011 USA Women’s U16 National Team members will resume training camp June 3-11 at the USOTC, prior to the team’s departure for Mexico.
Four-time USA Basketball gold medalist and Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame member, Jill Rankin Schneider of Monterey High School in Lubbock, Texas, has been selected to lead the 2011 USA U16 National Team, with assistant coaches Gail Hook, head mentor at Monarch High School in Louisville, Colo., and Letitia Hughley, head coach at both Mott Community College and Flint Northern High School in Flint, Mich.
Additionally, high school head coaches Tina Camacho (Wagner H.S., Texas), Dori Oldaker (Mt. Lebanon H.S., Pa.), Kira Orr (Bullis School, Md.) and Anthony Smith (Bolingbrook H.S., Ill.) will serve as court coaches during trials.
Two players, Kaela Davis and Diamond DeShields return with USA Basketball experience as both attended the 2010 USA Basketball Women’s U17/Youth Olympic Games Team Trials. Rather than the U17 or Youth Olympic Games Team, DeShields was selected to play for the USA Women’s U18 National Team in the 2010 FIBA Americas U18 Championship, which was held at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo. As the youngest member of the team, she averaged a team third-best 9.0 points per game to go along with 3.4 rebounds and 1.4 steals in just 14.2 minutes per game to help the USA to a gold medal and 5-0 record. The first place finish also qualified the USA for the 2011 FIBA U19 World Championship.
One player attending trials – Tummula – is set to graduate in 2012, while 54 players are members of the Class of 2013, 63 are members of the Class of 2014 and two players will graduate in 2015.
The trials roster features athletes from 33 states, including 16 participants from California; 12 from Colorado; 11 players from Georgia; nine from Ohio; eight athletes from Maryland; seven from Texas; six players from Oregon; five from Arizona; four participants from Illinois, Indiana, North Carolina and New Jersey; three from New York; two athletes from Florida , Kentucky, Minnesota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Virginia and Washington; and one player apiece from Alabama, Arkansas, Connecticut, Iowa, Maine, Missouri, Nebraska, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Utah, Washington, D.C., Wisconsin and West Virginia.
Eight schools will be sending teammates to trials. From Colorado, Diani Akigbogan, Michelle Cox and Justine Hall are teammates at Regis Jesuit High School, and Kendall Koslosky, Alexis McKenzie and Lexy Thorderson play together at Rock Canyon High School. From California, Geena Gomez and Karlie Samuelson are from Edison High School and Mikayla Cowling and Gabrielle Green are teammates at Saint Mary’s College High School. Additionally, Kaela Davis and Briana Horrocks play together at Georgia’s Buford High School; Audrey Frison and Jordan Reynolds both attend Jefferson High School in Oregon; Amanda Fioravanti and Lindsey Spann are from Our Lady of Good Council in Maryland; and Denise Osahor and Shilpa Tummula play together at St. Mary’s High School in Arizona.
First held in 2009, the FIBA Americas U16 Championship is conducted every other year as the zone qualifier for the FIBA U17 World Championship, and features national teams from North, South and Central America and the Caribbean. The 2009 USA U16 National team conquered all five of its opponents on its way to the gold medal at the inaugural FIBA Americas U16 Championship in Mexico City, Mexico, and the USA currently owns a 5-0 all-time record in the event.
In addition to Callan, the USA Basketball Women’s Developmental National Team Committee includes AAU appointees Jody Patrick and Brian Robinson, National Federation of High School representatives Jill Meerman and Sue Phillips and athlete representative Ruthie Bolton (two-time Olympic gold medalist and a member of 11 USA Basketball teams from 1986 through 2000).
Based in Colorado Springs, Colo., USA Basketball is a nonprofit organization and the national governing body (NGB) for men's and women's basketball in the United States. As the recognized NGB for basketball in the United States by the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) and the United States Olympic Committee (USOC), USA Basketball is responsible for the selection, training and fielding of USA teams that compete in FIBA sponsored international basketball competitions, as well as for some national competitions.
Since 2008, USA Basketball men’s and women’s teams have compiled a sterling 96-2 win-loss record in FIBA or FIBA Americas competitions. USA teams are the current men’s and women’s champions in the Olympics, FIBA World Championships; U19 and U17 FIBA World Championships; and U18 and U16 FIBA Americas championships. USA Basketball currently ranks No. 1 in all five of FIBA's world ranking categories, including combined, men's, women's, boys and girls.
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