Four Gold Medalists Highlight 2012 USA Basketball Women’s U18 National Team Trials Roster
Colorado Springs, Colo. • May 3, 2012
Including 2011 USA Basketball Female Athlete of the Year Breanna Stewart (Cicero-North H.S. / North Syracuse, N.Y.), four gold medalists headline the 26 athletes who have accepted an invitation to attend the 2012 USA Basketball Women’s U18 National Team Trials. Invitations to attend the trials were issued by the USA Basketball Junior National Team Committee chaired by Sue Donohoe, executive director of the Kay Yow Cancer Fund.
The 26 athletes who have accepted invitations to attend the team trials include: Candice Agee (Silverado H.S. / Victorville, Calif.); Lexie Brown (North Gwinnett H.S. / Suwanee, Ga.); Brianna Butler (Nazareth Regional H.S., N.Y. / King of Prussia, Pa.); Kaelyn Causwell (Wesleyan School / Johns Creek, Ga.); Saniya Chong (Ossining H.S. / Ossining, N.Y.); Kahleah Copper (Prep Charter School / Philadelphia, Pa.); Rebekah Dahlman (Braham Area H.S. / Braham, Minn.); Briana Day (Millbrook H.S. / Raleigh, N.C.); Bashaara Graves (Clarksville H.S. / Clarksville, Tenn.); Moriah Jefferson (Texas Home Educators Sports Assocciation / Glenn Heights, Texas); Kailee Johnson (Central Catholic H.S. / Portland, Ore.); Michaela Mabrey (Manasquan H.S. / Belmar, N.J.); Breyana Mason (Forest Park H.S. / Woodbridge, Va.); Tess Picknell (South Medford H.S. / Medford, Ore.); Kelsey Plum (La Jolla Country Day School / Poway, Calif.); Alexis Prince (Edgewater / Orlando, Fla.); Faith Randolph (Good Counsel H.S. / Derwood, Md.); Tyler Scaife (Hall H.S. / Little Rock, Ark.); Ieshia Small (Dr. Krop H.S. / Tallahassee, Fla.); Imani Stafford (Winward School / Los Angeles, Calif.); Stewart; Brittney Sykes (University H.S. / Newark, N.J.); Morgan Tuck (Bolingbrook H.S./ Bolingbrook, Ill.); Shilpa Tummala (St. Mary's Catholic H.S. / Phoenix, Ariz.); Halle Washington (Parkway H.S. / Bossier City, La.); and Courtney Williams (North Shore H.S. / Houston, Texas).
“The committee is excited about this group of players as they are all highly skilled and accomplished,” said Donohoe. “With all the talent that will be at trials, we are going to have a difficult time selecting the team. The committee is responsible for not only selecting young women who are talented on the playing floor but also for selecting young women who will contribute in a positive manner as part of the team representing the United States. We are really looking forward to these trials, as we know that the players invited to the trials are the types of players who will positively represent USA Basketball in its quest for gold this summer at the FIBA Americas U18 Championship.”
Trials to select the 12-member USA squad will be held May 19-21 at the U.S. Olympic Training Center (USOTC) in Colorado Springs, Colo. After arriving in Colorado on May 18, the participants will get on the court on May 19 at 8:30 a.m. (all times listed are MDT) and will hold their second session starting at 3:45 p.m. Following two sessions on May 20, at 10:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m., the trials participants will compete in one final session on May 21 at 8:30 a.m. It is anticipated that the team will be announced at 11:00 a.m. on May 21.
The team will regroup at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Fla., for its first training camp from May 28-June 2. The USA squad will then return to the USOTC for its final training camp Aug. 3-12, prior to traveling to Puerto Rico for the competition.
The USA U18 National Team will compete in the 2012 FIBA Americas U18 Championship, held in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Aug. 15-19, in hopes of securing a berth in the 2013 FIBA U19 World Championship for Women (dates and site TBD). The FIBA Americas U18 Championship will feature eight national teams from North, South and Central America and the Caribbean, with the top three finishing teams qualifying for the 2013 FIBA U19 Worlds. Players eligible for this competition must have been born on or after Jan. 1, 1994.
University of Miami head coach Katie Meier will serve as head coach of the U18 squad, while collegiate head coaches Nikki Caldwell of Louisiana State University and Kelly Graves of Gonzaga University will act as assistant coaches.
The only high school athlete on the 2011 USA Women’s Pan American Games Team, Stewart is the most internationally experienced player attending trials. The unanimous 2012 National High School Girls Basketball Player of the Year teamed up last summer with Tuck to help lead the 2011 USA U19 World Championship Team to a gold medal in Chile. Stafford was also named to the USA U19 squad following its exhibition game against Brazil, however, she withdrew from the team due to injury. In 2010 Bashaara Graves, Stafford, Stewart, and Tuck were members of the USA U17 World Championship Team that captured the gold medal with a perfect 8-0 mark at the inaugural FIBA U17 World Championship; while in 2009 Bashaara Graves and Stewart were on the USA U16 National Team that won the gold medal and earned the USA’s berth to the 2010 U17 Worlds. Tuck was named to the 2009 USA U16 National Team, but was injured and withdrew.
Additionally, Jefferson was a finalist for the 2011 USA U19 team and also attended trials for the 2009 U16 and 2010 U17 teams. Also owning USA Basketball trials experience are Bashaara Graves (2011 U19), Prince (2009 U16, 2010 U17), Tuck (2009 U16) and Williams (2009 U16).
Included among the invitees are nine 2012 WBCA High School All-Americans and five who earned 2012 WBCA All-America honorable mention. Leading the pack of WBCA All-Americans is Stewart, the 2012 WBCA National High School Player of the Year, along with Copper, Bashaara Graves, Jefferson, Mabrey, Prince, Stafford, Tuck and Williams; while Agee, Butler, Randolph, Sykes and Tummala were honorable mention.
Headlined by Stewart, who earned the 2012 Gatorade National Girls Basketball Player of the Year Award and is a two-time Gatorade New York Girls Basketball Player of the Year, eight athletes were named by Gatorade as their state’s Player of the Year, including Dahlman (Minnesota), Bashaara Graves (Tennessee), Mabrey (New Jersey), Prince (Florida), Scaife (Arkansas), Tuck (Illinois) and Tummala (Arizona).
McDonald’s selected Stewart as its 2012 National Girls High School Basketball Player of the Year and she was joined on the 2012 McDonald’s All-American Team by Agee, Butler, Copper, Bashaara Graves, Jefferson, Mabrey, Prince, Stafford, Sykes, Tuck and Williams.
Listed among the 2012 USA Today All-USA first team was Stewart, the All-USA Player of the Year, along with Bashaara Graves, Jefferson and Tuck; Sykes was named to the All-USA second team and Prince was a All-USA third team selection.
Stewart, in addition to collecting the 2012 Gatorade, WBCA and McDonald’s National High School Player of the Year honors, earned the 2012 Naismith Trophy and Morgan Wootten Player of the Year award.
In addition to Donohoe, the USA Basketball Women’s Junior National Team Committee includes NCAA appointees Joanne Boyle (University of Virginia), Coquese Washington (Penn State University) and Connie Yori (University of Nebraska). The athlete representative is current University of Notre Dame associate coach Beth Cunningham (1999 USA Pan American Games Team member).
FIBA Americas U18 Championship for Women
Originally known as the FIBA Americas Junior World Championship Qualifying Tournament, the event was held every four years beginning in 1988. FIBA changed its calendar and the tournament is now conducted every other year, followed in the next summer by the FIBA U19 World Championship.
USA women’s teams boast of a remarkable 38-2 overall record in U18/Junior Qualifiers and have won gold in 1988, 2000, 2004, 2006, 2008 and 2010, while capturing silver medals in 1992 and 1996. In fact, the USA has not lost a game at the FIBA Americas U18 Championship since 1996 and is riding a 24-0 winning streak into this year’s competition.
Some of the athletes who have represented the U.S. in this event in the past include: Jayne Appel (2006); Alana Beard (2000); Kelsey Bone (2008); Tamika Catchings (1996); Marissa Coleman (2004); Skylar Diggins (2008); Sonja Henning (1988); Niesa Johnson (1992); Rebecca Lobo (1992); Maya Moore (2006); Chiney Ogwumike (2010); Nneka Ogwumike (2008); Candace Parker (2004); Courtney Paris (2004); Cappie Pondexter (2000); Nicole Powell (2000); Lynn Pride (1996); Diana Taurasi (2000); and Candice Wiggins (2004).
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 U.S. 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 the 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 lists No. 1 in all five of FIBA's world ranking categories, including combined, men’s, women’s, boys and girls.