USA Basketball’s 2012 Women’s U17 World Championship Team Trials Set To Kick Off With 33 Athletes
Colorado Springs • May 16, 2012
Thirty-three athletes will arrive in Colorado Springs, Colo., on Thursday, May 17 for the start of the 2012 USA Basketball Women’s U17 World Championship Team Trials, which will take place May 17-20 at the U.S. Olympic Training Center.
The trials roster includes two-time USA gold medalist Diamond DeShields (Norcross H.S./Norcross, Ga.), who suited up for the USA in the 2010 FIBA Americas U18 Championship and the 2011 FIBA U19 World Championship, as well as all 12 members of the 2011 USA U16 National Team, including Recee’ Caldwell (Claudia Taylor Johnson H.S./San Antonio, Texas); Jordin Canada (Windward School/Los Angeles, Calif.); Kaela Davis (Buford H.S./Suwanee, Ga.); Rebecca Greenwell (Owensboro Catholic H.S./Owesnboro, Ky.); Linnae Harper (Whitney Young H.S./Chicago, Ill.); Stephanie Mavunga (Brownsburg H.S./Indianapolis, Ind.); Erica McCall (Ridgeview H.S./Bakersfield, Calif.); Taya Reimer (Hamilton Southeastern H.S./Fishers, Ind.); Mercedes Russell (Springfield H.S./Springfield, Ore.); Jannah Tucker (New Town H.S./Randallstown, Md.); Sydney Umeri (The Lovett School/Acworth, Ga.); and Jatarie White (Providence Day School/Charlotte, N.C.).
While trials participants Oderah Chidom (Bishop O’Dowd H.S./Oakland, Calif.) and Kai James (William T. Dwyer H.S./West Palm Beach, Fla.) undertake their first USA Basketball experience; 18 other attendees participated in the 2011 USA U16 trials, including Lindsay Allen (St. John’s College H.S., D.C./Bowie, Md.); Lyneé Belton (The Bullis School/Clinton, Md.); Sierra Calhoun (Christ the King Regional H.S./Brooklyn, N.Y.); McKenzie Calvert (Byron M. Steele H.S./Schertz, Texas); Nia Coffey (Hopkins H.S./New Hope, Minn.); Kendall Cooper (St. Anthony H.S./Carson, Calif.); LaJahna Drummer (St. Bernard H.S./Inglewood, Calif.); Courtney Ekmark (St. Mary’s Catholic H.S./Phoenix, Ariz.); Allisha Gray (Washington County H.S./ Sandersville, Ga.); Gabby Green (St. Mary’s College/Oakland, Calif.); Kianna Holland (Seneca H.S./Seneca, S.C.); Jessica Jackson (Jacksonville H.S./Jacksonville, Ark.); Alexa Middleton (Riverdale H.S./Murfreesboro, Tenn.); Jaime Nared (Westview H.S./Portland, Ore.); Alyssa Rice (Reynoldsburg H.S./Reynoldsburg, Ohio); Karlie Samuelson (Edison H.S./Huntington Beach, Calif.); Brianna Turner (Manvel H.S./Pearland, Texas); and Jessica Washington (Jenks H.S./Tulsa, Okla.).
Ronni Williams (Atlantic H.S./Daytona Beach, Fla.) and A’ja Wilson (Heathwood Hall Episcopal/Hopkins, S.C.), who previously were announced as attending trials, are unable to participate.
The USA will look to defend its 2010 inaugural U17 title in 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.
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.
High school head coaches Ruby Allen (Greensville County H.S., Va.), Terri Bamford (La Jolla Country Day School, Calif.), Dori Oldaker (Mt. Lebanon H.S., Pa.) and Vanessa Watson (Malcolm X. Shabazz H.S., N.J.) will serve as court coaches for the USA U17 and U18 National Team Trials, which take place May 18-21.
Invitations to attend the 2012 USA U17 World Championship Team Trials were issued by the USA Basketball Women’s Developmental National Team Committee. The committee includes non-voting chair Carol Callan (USA Basketball Women’s National Team Director), 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 1986-2000).
The first trials session will take place at 6 p.m. (times are local, MDT) on Thursday, May 17; followed by 9 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. sessions on May 18; and 10:30 a.m. and 6 p.m. sessions on May 19. The 12-member roster for the 2012 USA Women’s U17 World Championship Team is expected to be announced on the morning of May 20, and all athletes depart for home that day.
Twenty trials participants are from the Class of 2013, and 13 are set to graduate in 2014.
Born on Jan. 12, 1995, Gray is the oldest player, and Caldwell, born, Sept. 9, 1996, is the youngest.
The players hail from 18 different states, led by seven athletes from California and four from Georgia. Maryland and Texas are represented by three trials participants; Indiana and Oregon feature two players; and Arizona, Arkansas, Illinois, Florida, Kentucky, Minnesota, North Carolina, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Tennessee are each represented by one attendee.
Gray (Georgia) and Mavunga (Indiana) were tabbed as their state’s 2012 Gatorade Player of the Year.
In the final USA Today Super 25 rankings, Ekmark helped St. Mary’s to a No. 1 national rank, while Harper and Whitney Young H.S. listed No. 2, Middleton and Riverdale H.S. ranked No. 11 and Coffey and Hopkins H.S. listed No. 20.
As the youngest member of the 2011 USA U19 Team, DeShields averaged 4.7points and 2.6 rebounds per game to help the USA to an 8-1 record and gold medal in the FIBA U19 World Championship. In 2010, she averaged 9.0 points and 3.4 rebounds per game to help earn 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 points per game. Russell averaged an 11.6-point and 11.4 rebound double-double along with 4.0 blocks per game; followed by Mavunga with 10. Points and 6.4 rebounds per game and White with 9.8 points and 6.8 rebounds per game. 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. Slated to play for the bronze medal the USA forfeited and technically finished fourth, however, FIBA awarded the team honorary bronze medals. The championship also featured 3-point and free throw competitions, and Davis finished third in the free throw competition that included boys and girls players.
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 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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