Washington's Mendiola Set to Try Out for USA Junior World Team

May 17, 2001

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo.--Freshman guard Giuliana Mendiola, who helped guide the Washington women's basketball team to an elite eight appearance in 2001, was named as one of 30 under-19 players in the country who will try out for the USA Junior World Championships team in June as announced by USA Basketball Thursday.

Mendiola, who started in all but two games for the Huskies, finished as the third-leading scorer on the elite eight team, averaging 11.1 points and 6.3 rebounds per game en route to receiving Pac-10 all-freshman team honors. Mendiola is the third Husky to be invited to USA Basketball Trial events as another pair of Washington players, Andrea Lalum (Bozeman, Mont.) and Loree Payne (Havre, Mont.) will compete for spots on the 12-member 2001 USA Women's World University Games team, May 18-21 in Colorado Springs.

Giuliana joins 29 other top players aged-19-and-younger including Duke University's All-American freshman standout Alana Beard (Shreveport, La.) and 2001 NCAA East Region Most Outstanding Player Diana Taurasi (Connecticut / Chino, Calif.), in accepting the invitation to the June 15-18 USA Basketball Women's Junior National Team Trials. Following the four-day trials, which will take place at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo., the USA Basketball Women's Collegiate Committee will select finalists for the 12-member 2001 USA Women's Junior World Championship Team.

The 2001 Trials begin Friday, June 15 from 4:30-7:00 p.m. (all times MDT). Sessions will follow from 8:30-10:30 a.m. and 3:00-5:30 p.m. on Saturday, June 16, from 8:30-10:30 a.m. and 4:30-7:00 p.m on Sunday, June 17, and the Trials will conclude on Monday, June 18 with a session from 8:00-10:00 a.m. Finalists for the 2001 USA Junior squad will be announced following the June 18 session.

Stanford's Nicole Powell and Arizona State's Betsy Boardman were the only other Pac-10 athlete besides Mendiola that accepted an invitation to the Junior World Trials.

Among the invitees are six who helped the United States earn its 2001 Junior World Championship berth and 10 others who participated in the 2000 USA Junior National Team Trials. Thirteen of the 17 college freshmen earned all-conference accolades, while seven of the eight high school seniors, as well as all four high school juniors, listed as All-Americans, while the lone junior college participant was selected a 2001 NJCAA All-America honorable mention.

With three players receiving college All-America honors, Beard captured National Freshman of the Year honors from the Women's Basketball Journal and earning All-America honorable mention from the Associate Press and Kodak/Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA). In addition, Beard was named 2001 NCAA Tournament All-West Region, Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) Freshman of the Year, All-ACC first team, All-ACC Tournament first team and ACC All-Defensive team. Powell was also listed among the 2001 Kodak/WBCA All-America honorable mentions, as well as being named 2001 Pacific 10 Conference Freshman of the Year, All-Pac-10 first team and Pac-10 All-Freshmen Team, while Stevenson collected NJCAA All-America honorable mention from the NJCAA and Kodak/WBCA and was named to the All-Panhandle Conference first team.

Eleven other collegians were listed among their respective all-conference teams, including Pac-10 All-Freshmen Team selection Boardman, Southeastern Conference All-Freshmen Team members Christon and Hayden, Jacobs and Taurasi were both selected to the Big East Conference All-Rookie Team, Mazzante was named the Big Ten Conference Freshman of the Year, All-Big Ten first team and Big Ten All-Freshmen Team, Mendiola received All-Pac-10 honorable mention and was on the Pac-10 All-Freshmen Team, Mizusawa and Obaze collected Freshman of the Year honors in the West Coast Conference and Sun Belt Conference, respectively, Oha listed on the Atlantic 10 Conference All-Rookie Team and Stephens was named All-Big 12 Conference honorable mention.

Included among the high school players are 2001 USA Today and Gatorade Player of the Year Ely and 2001 Parade Magazine Player of the Year Pondexter. Both were named to the USA Today All-USA first team, along with Loree Moore and Polk, while Strother was named to the All-USA third team and receiving a nod as two of the top seven juniors to watch by USA Today were Wolff and Zolman. Parade Magazine listed Ely, Loree Moore, Polk, Pondexter and Zolman to its All-America first team, while Bass, Borton, Strother and Whitley were selected to the All-America second team and Thiel and Wolff collected All-America third team honors. Ely earned Indiana Player of the Year honors from Gatorade, while Bass (Wisconsin), Loree Moore (California), Pondexter (Illinois), Strother (Colorado) Thiel (Texas) and Whitley (Georgia) were also named as their respective state's Gatorade Circle of Champions Player of the Year.

In all, listed among the invitees are 17 who recently completed their first year of NCAA eligibility, one who was an NJCAA freshman this past year, eight high school seniors, and four high school juniors. There are 15 different NCAA schools and nine conferences represented, with Connecticut and the Big East boasting the most athletes with three and four, respectively. On the high school level, there is representation from nine states, with three hailing from California and two from Indiana.

2000 USA Basketball Development Coach of the Year and University of Connecticut head coach Geno Auriemma will direct the 2001 USA Basketball Women's Junior World Championship Team, and will be assisted by University of Oklahoma's Sherri Coale and Northeastern University's (Mass.) Willette White.

Held every four years since 1985, the U.S. is the defending FIBA Junior World Champions having won its first gold medal in four tries at the event in Natal, Brazil, at the 1997 Junior Worlds. Featuring 12 teams, the 2001 FIBA Women's Junior World Championship is scheduled to be contested July 14-22 in Brno, Czech Republic.

The 12 teams have been placed into two groups for preliminary round robin play. The United States will compete in Pool B and will face Lithuania, China, Brazil, Mali and Russia in preliminary round play.

Owning an 18-9 overall record (66.7 winning percentage) at the competition, after finishing no better than fifth in the first three Junior Worlds, the USA captured the Oe97 gold medal with an exciting 78-74 overtime victory over 1993 Junior World Champion Australia.

Of the 48 USA Junior World Championship alumni, five have gone on to compete in the Olympics, including Lisa Leslie, Rebecca Lobo, Vicki Orr (Wiley), Katie Smith and Dawn Staley. Members of the 1997 USA junior squad included All-Americans Tamika Catchings, Tamicha Jackson, Semeka Randall and NCAA scoring leader Jackie Stiles.

The USA Basketball Women's Collegiate Committee, in addition to Plonsky, is comprised of NAIA designee Stephanie Findley (head coach, Oklahoma Christian University), NCAA appointees Tom Collen (head coach, Colorado State University), Gail Goestenkors (head coach, Duke University, N.C.), Donna Noonan (Vice President, Women's Basketball Championship, NCAA) and White. Representing the NJCAA is Mary Ellen Leicht (Assistant Executive Director, NJCAA), Muffet McGraw (head coach, Notre Dame University, Ind.) was appointed by the WBCA and Teresa Edwards (2000, 1996, 1992, 1988 and 1984 Olympian, 1994, 1990 and 1986 World Championship teams / Smyrna, Ga.) and Vickie Orr-Wiley (1992 Olympic bronze medallist, 1990 World Championship gold medallist / Birmingham, Ala.) are the athlete representatives.

2001 USA Basketball Women's Junior National Team Trials-- Alphabetical Roster --

NAME = POS = HGT = WGT = DOB = YOG = SCHOOL / HOMETOWN

Mistie Bass = C = 6-3 = 190 = 12/02/83 = 2002 = Janesville Parker H.S. / Janesville, WI

Ashley Battle = G/F = 6-0 = 180 = 05/31/82 = 2004 = Connecticut / Pittsburgh, PA

Alana Beard = G = 5-11 = 156 = 05/14/82 = 2004 = Duke / Shreveport, LA

Tera Bjorklund = C = 6-5 = 180 = 06/29/82 = 2004 = Colorado / St. Peter, MN

Betsy Boardman = F = 6-1 = 165 = 03/04/82 = 2004 = Arizona State /Portland, OR

Teresa Borton = F = 6-3 = 171 = 12/31/82 = 2001 = West Valley H.S. (Notre Dame) / Yakima, WA

Shameka Christon = F = 6-1 = 175 = 02/15/82 = 2004 = Arkansas / Hot Springs, AR

Shyra Ely = F = 6-2 = 160 = 08/09/83 = 2001 = Ben Davis H.S. (Tennessee) / Indianapolis, IN

Vanessa Hayden = C = 6-4 = 210 = 06/05/82 = 2004 = Florida / Orlando, FL

Eafton Hill = F = 6-1 = 169 = 10/07/82 = 2004 = Wake Forest / Boone, NC

Amber Jacobs = G = 5-8 = 150 = 06/29/82 = 2004 = Boston College / Clarks Summit, PA

Veronica Johns-Richardson G = 5-9 = 148 = 04/07/83 = 2001 = Troy H.S. (Colorado) / Fullerton, CA

Kelly Mazzante = G = 6-0 = 154 = 02/02/82 = 2004 = Penn State / Montoursville, PA

Giuliana Mendiola = G = 5-10 = 170 = 01/09/82 = 2004 = Washington / Lake Forest, CA

Corrie Mizusawa = G = 5-8 = 135 = 08/07/82 = 2004 = St. Mary's College / Lafayette, CA

Jessica Moore = F = 6-3 = 180 = 07/09/82 = 2004 = Connecticut / Palmer, AK

Loree Moore = G = 5-9 = 155 = 03/21/83 = 2001 = Narbonne H.S. (Tennessee) / Harbor City, CA

Amber Obaze = G = 5-9 = 156 = 06/25/82 = 2004 = Louisiana Tech / Dallas, TX

Ugo Oha = C = 6-4 = 170 = 07/18/82 = 2004 = George Washington / Houston, TX

Shawntinice Polk = C = 6-5 = 180 = 03/27/83 = 2001 = Hanford H.S. (Arizona) / Hanford, CA

Cappie Pondexter = G = 5-8 = 152 = 01/07/83 = 2001 = John Marshall H.S. (Rutgers) / Chicago, IL

Nicole Powell = F = 6-2 = 170 = 06/22/82 = 2004 = Stanford / Phoenix, AZ

Stacy Stephens = F = 6-1 = 194 = 01/21/82 = 2004 = Texas / Winnsboro, TX

Mandisha Stevenson = F = 6-3 = 165 = 02/04/82 = 2002* = Gulf Coast C.C / Decatur, AL

Ann Strother = G = 6-1 = 150 = 12/11/83 = 2002 = Highlands Ranch H.S. / Highlands Ranch, CO

Diana Taurasi = G = 6-0 = 170 = 06/11/82 = 2004 = Connecticut / Chino, CA

T'Nae Thiel = F = 6-2 = 180 = 10/07/82 = 2001 = Weatherford H.S.(Stanford) / Weatherford, TX

Wynter Whitley = F = 6-2 = 175 = 09/30/82 = 2001 = Holy Innocents' Episcopal (Duke) / Atlanta, GA

Nicole Wolff = G = 6-0 = 150 = 03/07/84 = 2002 = Walpole H.S. / Walpole, MA

Shanna Zolman = G = 5-10 = 140 = 09/07/83 = 2002 = Wawasee H.S. / Syracuse, IN

NOTE: High school seniors have signed a national letter of intent to attend the school indicated

* Junior college graduation year

2001 USA Basketball Women's Junior World Championship Team Coaching Staff

Head Coach: Geno Auriemma, University of Connecticut

Assistant Coach: Sherri Coale, University of Oklahoma

Assistant Coach: Willette White, Northeastern University (Mass.)

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