USA Basketball Names 2009 Women's World University Games Team
Featuring three two-time USA Basketball gold medalists in Jantel Lavender (Ohio State / Cleveland, Ohio), Maya Moore (Connecticut / Lawrenceville, Ga.) and Kayla Pedersen (Stanford / Fountain Hills, Ariz.), USA Basketball today announced the official 12-member roster for the 2009 USA Women's World University Games Team. The USA Women will compete for a gold medal at the 2009 World University Games, July 1-11 in Belgrade, Serbia.
In addition to Lavender, Moore and Pedersen, the 2009 USA Women's World University Games roster includes: Tina Charles (Connecticut / Jamaica, N.Y.); Alexis Gray-Lawson (California / Oakland, Calif.); Tiffany Hayes (Connecticut / Lakeland, Fla.); Ashley Houts (Georgia / Trenton, Ga.); Danielle McCray (Kansas / Olathe, Kan.); Jacinta Monroe (Florida State / Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.); Ta'Shia Phillips (Xavier / Indianapolis, Ind.); Jeanette Pohlen (Stanford / Brea, Calif.); and Danielle Robinson (Oklahoma / San Jose, Calif.).
'I think that the committee has done a tremendous job of selecting this team,' said USA and Arizona State University head coach Charli Turner Thorne. 'We have everything that we need to bring home a gold medal. Our perimeter and our post game are exceptional. I don't think we have any kinks in our armor. Now it's just a matter of becoming a team - really working with each other and learning our offenses and our defenses in a very short amount of time. I could not be more excited about the individuals I'm going to coach and the opportunity in front of us.'
Turner Thorne returns to the USA sideline after assisting the USA women to a gold medal at the 2007 FIBA U21 World Championship. She will be assisted by Suzy Merchant of Michigan State University and Julie Rousseau of Pepperdine University.
The U.S. squad will continue training camp at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo., through June 25, when the team departs for Belgrade, Serbia.
The team members were selected by the USA Basketball Women's Junior National Team Committee, chaired by Sue Donohoe, the NCAA Vice President for Division I Women's Basketball, following four days of training for 15 finalists June 18-21.
The World University Games is organized by the International University Sports Federation and held every other year. The women's basketball competition will take place July 1-11. Eligible athletes for the USA team must be currently enrolled in a college or university and have remaining NCAA athletic eligibility.
The roster features one athlete, Hayes, who completed her freshman year of college this past season, six who finished their sophomore campaigns and five athletes who were juniors in terms of NCAA eligibility in 2008-09.
Just two schools feature multiple representatives on the roster, and both programs reached the NCAA Tournament Final Four. NCAA champion University of Connecticut is represented by Charles, Hayes and Moore, while Pedersen and Pohlen play for Stanford University. In addition, Robinson reached the Final Four with Oklahoma, Gray-Lawson and Lavender played in the Sweet Sixteen; Monroe advanced to the second round; and Houts and Phillips made an NCAA Tournament appearance.
Six USA Basketball gold medalists return, including three with multiple gold medal finishes, and three athletes, Hand, McCray and Phillips, are new to USA Basketball.
In the summer of 2007, Houts was the lone rising sophomore on the USA U21 National Team that wrapped up an 8-0 record at the 2007 FIBA U21 World Championship, averaging 4.1 ppg. to help the USA to a gold medal.
Lavender, Moore and Pedersen led the USA to a 9-0 record and gold medal at the 2007 FIBA U19 World Championship in Bratislava, Slovakia, and a 3-0 exhibition tally in the Canary Islands prior to the world championship. Moore averaged a team-leading 16.3 ppg. along with 6.4 rpg. and 2.3 apg.; Lavender grabbed a
team-high 8.1 rpg. to go with her 16.0 ppg.; and Pedersen averaged 2.8 ppg. and 3.2 rpg.
Also in 2007, Hayes averaged a team-high 11.2 ppg., 3.8 rpg., and 3.0 spg. to help the USA White Team to a 5-0 record and gold medal at the 2007 USA Basketball Youth Development Festival.
In 2006, Charles, Lavender, Moore and Pedersen played together on the gold medal winning USA U18 squad that wrapped up a 4-0 record at the 2006 FIBA Americas U18 Championship. Charles averaged a team-leading 12.0 ppg. along with 9.5 rpg; Moore tallied 9.5 ppg., 5.5 rpg., 2.3 apg. and 3.8 spg.; Pedersen contributed 6.3 ppg. and 7.0 rpg.; and Lavender averaged 5.8 ppg. and 6.3 rpg.
At the 2005 Youth Development Festival, Charles (21.0 ppg. and 13.4 rpg.) helped the USA Red Team to a 3-2 record and bronze medal.
Also, the 2006 U18 National Team Trials roster included Robinson, while Gray-Lawson attended the 2006 U20 National Team Trials and Monroe and Pohlen participated in the 2007 U19 team trials.
In addition to Donohoe, the 2009-2012 Women's Junior National Team Committee includes NCAA appointees Joanne Boyle (head coach, University of California), Coquese Washington (head coach, Penn State University) and Connie Yori (head coach, University of Nebraska); and athlete representative Beth Cunningham (head coach, Virginia Commonwealth University), a member of the 1999 USA Pan American Games Team.