USA Basketball Junior National Team Finalized
June 18, 2001
Colorado Springs, Colo. -
Including five members of the2000 USA Basketball Women's Junior National Team which qualified the U.S.for the 2001 FIBA (International Basketball Federation) Junior WorldChampionship, 12 of the nation's top 19-and-under standouts were named tothe 2001 USA Basketball Women's Junior World Championship Team today. Theselections were made by USA Basketball Women's Collegiate Committeefollowing four days of trials, held June 15-18 at the U.S. Olympic TrainingCenter in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The Committee also named sixalternates who would be called upon to join the team in case of an injuryduring the USA's June 25-July 9 training camp.
Washington freshman guard Giuliana Mendiola did not make the final roster.
Named to the team were: Alana Beard (Duke / Sherveport, La.), TeraBjorklund (Colorado / St. Peter, Minn.), Shameka Christon (Arkansas / HotSprings, Ark.), Monique Currie (The Bullis School / Washington, D.C.),Jessica Moore (Connecticut / Palmer, Ark.), Loree Moore (Narbonne H.S. /Harbor City, Calif.), Cappie Pondexter (John Marshall H.S. / Chicago,Ill.), Nicole Powell (Stanford / Phoenix, Ariz.), Stacy Stephens (Texas /Winnsboro, Texas), Ann Strother (Highlands Ranch H.S. / Highlands Ranch,Colo.), Diana Taurasi (Connecticut / Chino, Calif.) and Wynter Whitley(Holy Innocents' Episcopal / Atlanta, Ga.).
Selected as alternates were: Mistie Bass (Janesville Parker H.S. /Janesville, Wis.), Teresa Borton (West Valley H.S. / Yakima, Wash.), AmberJacobs (Boston College / Clarks Summit, Pa.), Kelly Mazzante (Penn State /Montoursville, Pa.), Nicole Wolff (Walpole H.S. / Walpole, Mass.) andShanna Zolman (Wawasee H.S. / Syracuse, Ind.).
Beard, Loree Moore, Pondexter, Powell and Taurasi helped the United Statesearn its 2001 Junior World Championship berth after winning five games infive days to capture the 2000 COPABA Junior World Championship QualifyingTournament in Mar del Plata, Argentina. Averaging a team high 15.4 ppg.,Beard paced the 2000 USA Junior National Team, Taurasi was the team'ssecond leading scorer at 12.6 ppg., while the U.S. received contributionsfrom Powell, 8.2 ppg., Pondexter, 6.6 ppg. and Loree Moore, 6.0 ppg.
One of two 2001 All-Americans, Beard captured National Freshman of the Yearhonors from the Women's Basketball Journal and earned All-America honorablemention from the Associate Press and Kodak/Women's Basketball CoachesAssociation (WBCA). In addition, Beard was named 2001 NCAA TournamentAll-West Region, Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) Freshman of the Year,All-ACC first team, All-ACC Tournament first team and ACC All-Defensiveteam. Powell was also listed among the 2001 Kodak/WBCA All-Americahonorable mentions, as well as being named 2001 Pacific 10 ConferenceFreshman of the Year, All-Pac-10 first team and Pac-10 All-Freshmen Team.
Three other collegians were listed among their respective all-conferenceteams, including Southeastern Conference All-Freshmen Team member Christon.Taurasi, the 2001 NCAA Tournament East Region Most Outstanding Player, wasselected to the Big East Conference All-Rookie Team and Stephens was namedAll-Big 12 Conference honorable mention.
Included among the five high school players is 2001 Parade Magazine andRawlings/WBCA Player of the Year Pondexter. Parade Magazine listed LoreeMoore and Pondexter on its All-America first team, while Strother andWhitley were selected to the All-America second team. Pondexter was alsonamed to the USA Today All-USA first team, along with Loree Moore, whileStrother was named to the All-USA third team. Currie earned MarylandPlayer of the Year honors from Gatorade, while Loree Moore (California),Pondexter (Illinois), Strother (Colorado) and Whitley (Georgia) were alsonamed as their respective state's Gatorade Circle of Champions Player ofthe Year.
In all, listed on the squad are seven (Beard, Bjorklund, Christon, JessicaMoore, Powell, Taurasi) who recently completed their first year of NCAAeligibility, four (Currie, Loree Moore, Pondexter, Whitley) who will becollege freshmen in the 2001-02 season and one lone high school player(Strother) who will be a senior in the fall. There are six different NCAAschools and five conferences represented, with Connecticut, the Big Eastand the Big 12 boasting the most athletes with two each. Of the fourincoming college freshmen on the USA team, two are slated to play for Duke(Currie, Whitley), one for Tennessee (Loree Moore) and one for Rutgers(Pondexter) in 2001-02.
2000 USA Basketball Development Coach of the Year and University ofConnecticut head coach Geno Auriemma will direct the 2001 USA BasketballWomen's Junior World Championship Team, and will be assisted by Universityof Oklahoma's Sherri Coale and Northeastern University's (Mass.) WilletteWhite.
The 2001 USA Junior Team will train from June 25 - July 2 at the U.S.Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs before traveling to Washington,D.C. on July 2 to host the 2001 USA Basketball International Invitationalfrom July 4-8, which features junior national teams from Brazil, China andJapan.
The U.S. will conduct one practice session at George Mason University'sPatriot Center, on July 3 at 11:00 a.m. (all times EDT), before kicking offthe round-robin tournament on July 4 at the Patriot Center. Thetournament's July 4-6 preliminary rounds are open to credentialed mediaonly, however the July 8 gold and bronze medal games are open to the publicfree of charge.
The United States will open 2001 USA Basketball Women's JuniorInternational Invitational play against Brazil on July 4 at 11:00 a.m. atthe Patriot Center. The USA-Brazil contest will be followed by a 12:30 p.m.tip-off between China and Japan. The Invitational continues at the PatriotCenter July 5 with a 1:00 p.m. game between Brazil and China, and theUnited States will face Japan at 2:30 p.m. The round-robin preliminaryround concludes on July 6 at the Patriot Center with a 1:00 p.m. gamebetween the U.S. and China, and a 2:30 p.m. match-up between Brazil andJapan. Moving the Invitational to George Washington University's SmithCenter, the gold and bronze medal games will be held on Sunday, July 8.The bronze medal game will begin at 3:00 p.m., followed by the championshipcontest scheduled for 4:30 p.m.
Following one final practice in Washington on July 9 at 12:00 p.m. at theMCI Center, the 2001 USA Women's Junior World Championship Team will travelto Prague for a July 11-12 training camp before beginning 2001 FIBA JuniorWorld Championship play on July 14 against Lithuania in Brno.
Held every four years since 1985, the U.S. is the defending FIBA JuniorWorld Champions having won its first gold medal in four tries at the eventin Natal, Brazil, at the 1997 Junior Worlds. Featuring 12 teams, the 2001FIBA Women's Junior World Championship is scheduled to be contested July14-22 in Brno, Czech Republic.
The 12 teams have been placed into two groups for preliminary round robinplay. The United States will compete in Pool B and opens preliminary playagainst Lithuania on July 14. The U.S. will then play China on July 15,Brazil on July 16, Mali on July 18 and will conclude preliminary round playagainst Russia on July 19. Preliminary Pool A consists of Australia, Cuba,Czech Republic, France, Japan and Poland. The top two teams from eachgroup will advance to the medal semifinals, with the winners of the medalsemifinal games competing for the gold medal. The remainder of the fieldwill compete for 5th - 12th place.
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, theUSA captured the `97 gold medal with an exciting 78-74 overtime victoryover 1993 Junior World Champion Australia.
2001 USA Basketball Women's Junior World Championship Team
NAME = POS = HGT = WGT = DOB = YOG = SCHOOL / HOMETOWNAlana Beard = G = 5-11 = 156 = 05/14/82 = 2004 = Duke / Shreveport, LATera Bjorklund = C = 6-5 = 180 = 06/29/82 = 2004 = Colorado / St. Peter, MNShameka Christon = F = 6-1 = 175 = 02/15/82 = 2004 = Arkansas / HotSprings, ARMonique Currie = G/F = 6-0 = 170 = 02/25/83 = 2001 = The Bullis School(Duke) / Washington, DCJessica Moore = F = 6-3 = 180 = 07/09/82 = 2004 = Connecticut / Palmer, AKLoree Moore = G = 5-9 = 155 = 03/21/83 = 2001 = Narbonne H.S. (Tennessee) /Harbor City, CACappie Pondexter = G = 5-8 = 152 = 01/07/83 = 2001 = John Marshall H.S.(Rutgers) / Chicago, ILNicole Powell = F = 6-2 = 170 = 06/22/82 = 2004 = Stanford / Phoenix, AZStacy Stephens = F = 6-1 = 194 = 01/21/82 = 2004 = Texas / Winnsboro, TXAnn Strother = G = 6-1 = 150 = 12/11/83 = 2002 = Highlands Ranch H.S. /Highlands Ranch, CODiana Taurasi = G = 6-0 = 170 = 06/11/82 = 2004 = Connecticut / Chino, CAWynter Whitley = F = 6-2 = 175 = 09/30/82 = 2001 = Holy Innocents'Episcopal (Duke) / Atlanta, GA
Alternates:Mistie Bass = C = 6-3 = 190 = 12/02/83 = 2002 = Janesville Parker H.S. /Janesville, WITeresa Borton = F = 6-3 = 171 = 12/31/82 = 2001 = West Valley H.S. (NotreDame) / Yakima, WAAmber Jacobs = G = 5-8 = 150 = 06/29/82 = 2004 = Boston College / ClarksSummit, PAKelly Mazzante = G = 6-0 = 154 = 02/02/82 = 2004 = Penn State /Montoursville, PANicole Wolff = G = 6-0 = 150 = 03/07/84 = 2002 = Walpole H.S. / Walpole, MAShanna Zolman = G = 5-10 = 140 = 09/07/83 = 2002 = Wawasee H.S. / Syracuse, IN
Head Coach: Geno Auriemma, University of ConnecticutAssistant Coach: Sherri Coale, University of OklahomaAssistant Coach: Willette White, Northeastern University (Mass.)
NOTE: High school seniors have signed a national letter of intent to attendthe school indicated