Malina Howard Added To 2011 USA Women’s U19 World Championship Team
-- U.S. Squad Set To Begin Training July 11 In Colorado Springs --
Colorado Springs, Colo. • July 10, 2011
Malina Howard (Twinsburg H.S. / Twinsburg, Ohio), a gold medalist on the 2010 USA U18 National Team, has been added to the 2011 USA Basketball Women’s U19 World Championship Team, USA Basketball today announced. Howard replaces Imani Stafford (Winward H.S. / Los Angeles Calif.), who is injured and unable to compete.
The USA U19 World Championship Team will reassemble for training camp July 11-15 at the U.S. Olympic Training Center (USOTC) in Colorado Springs, Colo., before the team travels to Chile for its final preparations. Three-time defending champions at the FIBA U19 World Championship, the U.S. will look to defend its gold medal at this year’s U19 World Championship, scheduled for July 21-31 in Puerto Montt and Puerto Varas, Chile.
“After helping the U.S. win a gold medal at the U17 World Championship last summer, we are disappointed that Imani won't have the opportunity to compete with us this year in Chile,” said Jennifer Rizzotti, USA U19 World Championship Team and University of Hartford head coach. “We are fortunate that the U.S. has many players eager to represent their country and Malina Howard will be a great addition to the team. She was an integral part of the team's success in last year’s U18 qualifying tournament and I anticipate that she will join our group without missing a beat.
“I am eager to get started Monday with our very talented and committed group of players. I made it clear how difficult our task is and the amount of work we need to get done in a week’s time. Fortunately, all 12 players have prior USA Basketball experience and they understand the commitment it takes to defeat the best competition in the world at their age group. I relish the opportunity to spend the next few weeks with them as we prepare to win the USA’s next gold medal in women's basketball.”
Howard, who also participated in the 2009 USA Basketball U16 National Team Trials, is familiar with Rizzotti’s system. As a member of the 2010 USA Basketball U18 National Team, she helped the U.S. compile a perfect 5-0 record, earn the 2010 FIBA Americas Championship gold medal and qualify the USA for the 2011 FIBA U19 World Championship. Howard started all five games, averaged 6.8 ppg. and 5.8 rpg, and shot a team-best 62.5 percent from the field. Additionally, in the USA’s gold medal victory over Brazil, Howard scored a team-high 12 points.
During the Colorado Springs training camp, the U.S. is scheduled to train twice a day at the USOTC Sports Center II, June 11-14, at 10:00 a.m. (all training times are local, MDT) and 5:00 p.m. On June 15 the team is scheduled to practice once, at 10:00 a.m., before departing for Chile on June 16.
In addition to Howard, members of the 2011 USA U19 World Championship Team are: Jordan Adams (Mater Dei H.S. / Irvine, Calif.); Cierra Burdick (Butler H.S. / Matthews, N.C.); Diamond DeShields (Norcross H.S. / Norcross, Ga.); Stefanie Dolson (Connecticut / Port Jervis, N.Y.); Bria Hartley (Connecticut / North Babylon, N.Y.); Alexis Jones (Irving MacArthur H.S. / Irving, Texas); Ariel Massengale (Bolingbrook H.S. / Bolingbrook, Ill.); Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis (Mater Dei H.S. / Anaheim, Calif.); Breanna Stewart (Cicero-North Syracuse H.S. / North Syracuse, N.Y.); Morgan Tuck (Bolingbrook H.S. / Bolingbrook, Ill.); and Elizabeth Williams (Princess Anne H.S. / Virginia Beach, Va.).
The USA has been drawn into Group B for preliminary round play. Tipping-off against Japan on July 21 at 1:30 p.m. (all game times are local, CDT), the USA will face Russia on July 22 at 1:30 p.m. and close the first round against Argentina on July 23 at 4:30 p.m. The second round will be played July 25-27, quarterfinals are slated for July 29, semifinals will be held on July 30 and the finals are scheduled for July 31.
Only U.S. citizens who are 19 years old or younger (born on or after Jan. 1, 1992) are eligible for this team.
Assistant coaches for the USA U19 World Championship Team are Sue Semrau of Florida State University and Joi Williams of the University of Central Florida.
Originally known as the FIBA Junior World Championship, the tournament was held every four years from 1985 through 2005. FIBA now conducts the U19 World Championship every other year. USA women's teams are 49-11 all-time in U19/Junior World championships, most recently capturing a third consecutive gold with an 8-1 record in 2009.
Some of the top players who have represented the United States in past FIBA U19 World Championships include: Angela Aycock (1993); Alana Beard (2001); Essence Carson (2005); Tamika Catchings (1997); Monique Currie (2001); Crystal Langhorne (2005); Erlana Larkins (2005); Jantel Lavender (2007); Lisa Leslie (1989); Rebecca Lobo (1993); Maya Moore (2007); Nnemkadi Ogwumike (2009); Vickie Orr (1985); Courtney Paris (2005); Cappie Pondexter (2001); Katie Smith (1993); Dawn Staley (1989); Ann Strother (2001); Diana Taurasi (2001); Abby Waner (2005); and Candice Wiggins (2005).