Roster Set For USA Basketball’s 2012 Women’s U17 World Championship Team
Colorado Springs • May 20, 2012
After three days of trials at the U.S. Olympic Training Center (USOTC) in Colorado Springs, Colo., the USA Basketball Women’s Developmental National Team Committee today announced the 12-member roster for the 2012 USA Basketball Women’s U17 World Championship Team.
Including two-time USA Basketball gold medalist Diamond DeShields (Norcross H.S./Norcross, Ga.), the team features six 2011 USA U16 gold medalists – Kaela Davis (Buford H.S./Suwanee, Ga.); Rebecca Greenwell (Owensboro Catholic H.S./Owesnboro, Ky.); Linnae Harper (Whitney Young H.S./Chicago, Ill.); Erica McCall (Ridgeview H.S./Bakersfield, Calif.); Taya Reimer (Hamilton Southeastern H.S./Fishers, Ind.); and Mercedes Russell (Springfield H.S./Springfield, Ore.) – as well as first-time USA team members Lindsay Allen (St. John’s College H.S., D.C./Bowie, Md.); Oderah Chidom (Bishop O’Dowd H.S./Oakland, Calif.); Kai James (William T. Dwyer H.S./West Palm Beach, Fla.); Brianna Turner (Manvel H.S./Pearland, Texas); and Jessica Washington (Jenks H.S./Tulsa, Okla.).
The USA will look to defend its 2010 inaugural U17 title at the 2012 FIBA U17 World Championship on Aug. 17-26 in Amsterdam, Netherlands. Players eligible for this competition must be U.S. citizens born on or after Jan. 1, 1995.
“We want to pick the best team that can win a gold medal, and we think we’ve done that,” said Carol Callan, USA Basketball Women’s National Team Director and non-voting chair of the Developmental National Team Committee. “From moment one to the last moment of last night’s session, all of the participants were in great shape and they played hard and well together. That makes the committee very pleased, but it also makes the decision more difficult. This is a team that has versatility, as we always are fortunate to have in our country. It has size and it has experience, but it also has two athletes that have emerged in the past year.”
Jill Rankin Schneider (Monterey H.S., Texas) will lead the USA with assistant coaches Gail Hook (Monarch H.S., Colo.) and Letitia Hughley (Mott C.C., Mich.). The trio helped qualify the USA for the U17 Worlds by virtue of their gold-medal finish at the 2011 FIBA Americas U16 Championship.
“I’m really excited about our team,” said Schneider, who is a finalist for the 2012 U.S. Olympic Committee’s 2011 Developmental Coach of the Year after being named as a co-recipient of the 2011 USA Basketball Developmental Coach of the Year award. “I think we’ve got an excellent team with a lot of depth. I’m really excited about our guard play, the inside play and the athleticism of our perimeter players. I think we’ve got great size on the perimeter, in addition to inside. So, just with the athleticism and the talent involved, I think the committee did a great job.”
Additionally, Kendall Cooper (St. Anthony H.S./Carson, Calif.); LaJahna Drummer (St. Bernard H.S./Inglewood, Calif.); Allisha Gray (Washington County H.S./ Sandersville, Ga.); Stephanie Mavunga (Brownsburg H.S./Indianapolis, Ind.); Jannah Tucker (New Town H.S./Randallstown, Md.); and Jatarie White (Providence Day School/Charlotte, N.C.) have been selected by the USA Basketball Women’s Junior National Team Committee to stay and compete in the 2012 USA Women’s U18 National Team Trials, which are currently taking place and run through May 21 at the USOTC.
The USA Women’s U17 World Championship Team will reconvene for training camp May 28 - June 2 at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World Resorts in Orlando, Fla., and then again at the USOTC on Aug. 1-7 before leaving for Europe.
The USA will compete in an exhibition round-robin tournament in Italy against U17 national teams before arriving in Amsterdam. Traveling to Caorle, Italy, on Aug. 8, the team will practice on Aug. 9 before taking on Brazil at 6:30 p.m. (Caorle is +6 hours from EDT) on Aug. 10. The USA will play Australia at
6:30 p.m. on Aug. 11 and then face host Italy at 8:30 p.m. on Aug. 12. The team will practice in Italy on
Aug. 13 before departing for Amsterdam on Aug. 14 for two days of training in Amsterdam before the start of the FIBA U17 World Championship.
The USA has been placed in preliminary round Group A and will open against South Korea at 9:15 p.m. (Amsterdam is +6 hours from EDT) on Aug. 17, followed by Canada at 9:15 p.m. on Aug. 18 and Italy at 4:45 p.m. on Aug. 19. After a rest day for all teams on Aug. 20, the USA will take on Belgium at 2:30 p.m. on Aug. 21 and wrap up preliminary round play against Mali at 10 a.m. on Aug. 22.
The top four finishing teams from each preliminary round group will advance to the medal quarterfinals on Aug. 24. Winners of the quarterfinals will compete in the medal semifinals on Aug. 25, and the gold medal game will be played on Aug. 26.
Eleven players named to the USA U17 squad are from the Class of 2013, while Turner is set to graduate in 2014.
Born Jan. 31, 1995, Harper is the oldest player, and Turner, born on July 5, 1996, is the youngest.
The players hail from 10 different states, led by two from California and two from Georgia. Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Oklahoma, Oregon and Texas each have one player on the roster.
As the youngest member of the 2011 USA U19 Team, DeShields averaged 4.7 ppg. and 2.6 rpg. to help the USA to an 8-1 record and gold medal in the FIBA U19 World Championship. In 2010, she averaged 9.0 ppg. and 3.4 rpg. to help the U.S. to a gold medal and 5-0 record in the 2010 FIBA Americas U18 Championship.
Greenwell, who was named co-MVP of the 2011 FIBA Americas U16 Championship, led the USA U16 team with 15.6 ppg., Russell averaged an 11.6 ppg. and 11.4 rpg. double-double along with 4.0 blocks per game, and Harper averaged team-highs of 3.4 assists and 3.4 steals per game.
Additionally, Davis, Greenwell, Harper and Reimer suited up for the USA in the inaugural FIBA 3x3 Youth World Championship Sept. 9-11 in Rimini, Italy. In the semifinal game against Italy, the U.S. squad was reduced to two players after Greenwell suffered a knee injury. Reimer had been sidelined due to injury in the team’s third game. Davis and Harper finished out the contest playing two-on-three and battled Italy into overtime before succumbing by just two points, 21-19. Per FIBA 3x3 rules, a team may finish with fewer than three players, however, it must have three eligible players in order to start a game. Thus, the U.S. was forced to forfeit the bronze medal match. After capturing the respect of nearly everyone at the tournament with their determination, FIBA awarded the team honorary bronze medals.
The USA Basketball Women’s Developmental National Team Committee also 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).
About USA Basketball
Based in Colorado Springs, Colo., USA Basketball is a nonprofit organization and the national governing body for men's and women's basketball in the United States. As the recognized governing body 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 134-6 win-loss record in FIBA or FIBA Americas competitions. USA teams are the current men’s and women’s champions of the Olympics and FIBA World Championship; FIBA women’s U19 world champions; the men’s and women’s title holders for the FIBA U17 World Championship; and the men’s and women’s U18 and U16 FIBA Americas champions. USA Basketball currently ranks No. 1 in all five of FIBA's world ranking categories, including combined, men's, women's, boys and girls.