USA Women's U19 Team To Take Part In Inaugural ESPN RISE Girls Showcase
-- ESPN RISE Girls Showcase To Feature America’s Top Female Athletes Competing In Multi-Sport Festival At ESPN Wide World Of Sports Complex at Disney --
April 29, 2011 • Lake Buena Vista, Fla.
The inaugural ESPN RISE Girls Showcase will take place in June at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, bringing together one of the biggest collections of elite female youth athletes in the country. Included in the ESPN RISE Girls Showcase is the USA Basketball Women’s U19 World Championship Team, which will train June 1-4 and play an exhibition game versus Brazil’s U19 team on June 5 at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex (Lake Buena Vista, Fla.). The USA- Brazil “friendly” will be televised on ESPNU and also shown online at ESPN3.com.
The three-week sports festival celebrating female sports will involve nearly 15,000 elite and recreational female athletes competing in basketball, gymnastics, softball, taekwondo and volleyball June 2-22.
“ESPN RISE is proud to expand its commitment to high school girls through the inaugural ESPN RISE Girls Showcase,” said Laura Gentile, vice president, espnW and ESPN RISE digital and publishing. “The educational and leadership opportunities are just as important to the student-athletes as the competition.”
Among the events taking place will be national championships such as the AAU Jr. National Girls Volleyball Championships, USA Gymnastics Open Championships and the USA Taekwondo Women’s Invitational Cup. Other elite-level events will include the AAU Elite Eight 9th Grade Basketball Showcase, the USA Softball National Qualifier, the USA Taekwondo Women’s National Tournament Qualifier and the USA Basketball U19 World Championship Team training camp, in addition to several recreation-level competitions.
The showcase will also include leadership and education components involving current female athletes as well as marquee former athletes and coaches such as former UCLA softball head coach Sue Enquist, whose teams have won 11 national titles.
“USA Basketball is excited to participate in the ESPN RISE Girls Showcase. This is a terrific opportunity to highlight our 2011 USA U19 World Championship Team, and we are thankful to be able to train at one of the country’s top locations against the Brazil U19 World Championship Team. We look forward to a successful event,” said USA Basketball CEO Jim Tooley. “This will be a great opportunity to expose our players to international competition early in the training process,” stated USA U19 World Championship Team head coach Jennifer Rizzotti. “We had a chance to play Brazil in last summer’s U18 FIBA Americas qualifying tournament finals and they proved why their teams have been among the world's top 10 through the years. We'll use this game to see how we measure up and what we'll still need to work on once we gather for the final training in Colorado Springs. We are grateful to ESPN for airing this game and giving us a chance to preview our U19 team in front of the nation. Our fans will be very impressed with the group of girls selected to represent the USA in the U19 World Championship in Chile.”
“To bring together this many female athletes at an event featuring the nation’s best in a variety of sports will be a unique and inspiring experience for these young girls,” said Gail Brown, senior sports event manager for Disney Sports. “Disney and ESPN RISE value and support female athletes at every level and this event will give these talented youth athletes a great opportunity to showcase their skills on a national stage.”
Portions of the ESPN RISE Girls Showcase will be shown online at ESPN3.com, including the AAU Jr. National Girls Volleyball Championship, the AAU Elite Eight 9th Grade Basketball Showcase Championship, the USA Gymnastics Open Championships, the USA Basketball U19 National Team game against Brazil and the USA Taekwondo Women’s National Qualifier. Complete coverage of the event can be found at http://espnrise.com/girl.
The creation of the ESPN RISE Girls Showcase comes on the heels of the instantly successful ESPN RISE Games at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. The annual ESPN RISE Games made its debut in 2009 and features some of the leading high school athletes and teams in the nation competing in baseball, football, basketball, lacrosse and softball in a two-week-long sports festival style event. This year’s event, July 13-27, is expected to draw more than 13,000 athletes from around the country.
The ESPN RISE Girls Showcase adds to the growing list of elite-level national youth sports events taking place at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, which is widely recognized as the leading multi-sports venue in the nation. This event further cements the sports complex as the preeminent sports destination for female youth athletes, who make up a little more than half of the nearly 300,000 athletes who compete and train annually at the sports complex.
USA Basketball will conduct trials to determine the 2011 USA Women’s U19 World Championship Team May 22-25 at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo. Following its June 1-4 training and June 5 exhibition game versus Brazil at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, the team will reassemble July 11-15 at the U.S. Olympic Training Center for its final training before traveling to Chile for 2011 FIBA U19 World Championship that takes place July 21-31 in Puerto Monnt and Puerto Varas, Chile. The USA U19 squad will be led by the University of Hartford head coach Rizzotti, and by assistant coaches Sue Semrau of Florida State University and Joi Williams of the University of Central Florida.
ESPN RISE Girls Showcase Event Details
AAU Elite Eight 9th Grade Girls Basketball Showcase
The AAU Elite Eight 9th Grade Girls Basketball Showcase is an invite-only event for the nation’s top 9th Grade AAU Basketball teams. June 2-5, 2011.
38th AAU Jr. National Girl’s Volleyball Championship
The Jr. AAU Volleyball Championships event features more than 1,100 teams and 12,000 athletes ages 10-18.
June 14-22, 2011.
USA Basketball U19 World Championship Team Training Camp. June 1-4, 2011.
USA Basketball U19 National Team vs. Brazil U19 National Team. June 5, 2011.
USA/ASA Girl’s Fast Pitch National Qualifier
The USA Softball event features more than 60 teams and 600 athletes. Competition takes place between U10, U12, U14, U16 and U18 players from across the country. June 3-5, 2011.
USA Taekwondo Women’s Invitational Cup
The USAT Women’s Invitational Cup showcases the world’s top female martial arts athletes competing in four Olympic weight categories. June 5, 2011.
USA Taekwondo Women’s National Qualifier
The USAT Women’s National Qualifier gives female martial arts athletes, ages six years old and above, an opportunity to qualify for the USAT National Championships. June 3-5, 2011.
USA Gymnastics Open Championships
More than 1,000 female competitors ages 6-14 will compete for both individual and team titles during this four-day event, which includes competition for both Women’s Artistic and Rhythmic gymnastics. The championship level competitions will be shown live on ESPN3.com. June 2-5, 2011.
Leadership Clinic hosted by Sue Enquist
Sue Enquist, a legend in the sport of softball is scheduled to run a clinic that teaches girls valuable lessons such as life skills, nutrition, leadership principals, and what it takes to excel at the next level. June 3, 2011.
About ESPN RISE
ESPN RISE represents ESPN’s commitment to engage and elevate high school student-athletes by providing them with recognition, resources, information and inspiration to improve their skills and achieve their goals. ESPN RISE assets include ESPN RISE Guy and Girl magazines, with special issues for football, basketball, track and recruiting; ESPNRISE.com; mobile and social media products (Facebook.com/ESPNRISE and Twitter @ESPNRISE); and more than 160 high school events including Elite 11, Elite 24, ESPN RISE Games, ESPN RISE National High School Invitational, Area Code Baseball, ESPN RISE Girls Showcase, and ESPN RISE Nike Football Combines/Nike Football Training Camps. ESPN RISE is uniquely positioned to provide high school student-athletes and the company’s core fans with compelling high school sports content across multiple ESPN platforms. To follow ESPN RISE Girls on Facebook, please visit www.Facebook.com/espnrisegirl.
About ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex
ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, which hosts more than 300 events a year, is the leading multi-sport venue for amateur and professional sports in the United States, accommodating 70 different sports and athletes from more than 70 countries. Designed to take youth sports to the next level, the 230-acre facility features the ESPN Innovation Lab, a real-world testing ground for the ESPN Emerging Technology Group to develop ground-breaking on-air products like Ball Track and ESPN Snap Zoom, as well as development of its new 3-D television channel. In addition, the complex features 56 high-definition cameras (42 robotic, 10 hand-held and four studio) and 40 high-definition video screens, including three jumbo screens, that can capture and display footage from any event taking place at the complex. The camera and video screens, as well as a 20-zone audio system, are controlled through the state-of-the-art HD and 3-D Broadcast Center that features eight edit bays and links to ESPN facilities in Bristol, Conn., New York and Los Angeles. For more information, visit www.wdwnews.com for press releases, photos and videos. Follow us on Twitter at @DisneySports.
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 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. For further information about USA Basketball, go to the official Web site of USA Basketball at www.usabasketball.com and connect with us on facebook.com/usabasketball, twitter.com/usabasketball and www.youtube.com/therealusabasketball.