Jayne Appel Named to the USA Basketball Women's U18 National Team

June 19, 2006

Colorado Springs, Colo. - Following three days of tryouts featuring 32 of the nation's top 18-and-unders (born on or after Jan. 1, 1988), USA Basketball announced the final 12-member team that will compete in the 2006 FIBA Americas U18 Championship For Women June 28-July 2 in Colorado Springs, Colo. Comprised of 10 All-Americans, the 2006 USA U18 Women's National Team includes incoming Stanford freshman Jayne Appel. Player selections were made by the USA Basketball Women's Collegiate Committee, chaired by Sue Donohoe, the NCAA's vice president of Division I women's basketball.

Northern Illinois University head coach Carol Owens and University of Hartford head coach Jennifer Rizzotti will serve as assistant coaches for Bruno and the USA U18 Team.

The USA U18 squad will remain in Colorado Springs and train June 19-27 at the U.S. Olympic Training Center (USOTC) in preparation for the USA Basketball-hosted tournament. The training camp will be highlighted by an exhibition game against the Canadian U18 National Team at 5:00 p.m. (all times MDT) on June 23rd at the Fort Carson Special Events Center in Fort Carson, Colo. The USA - Canada exhibition contest will be free and open to members of the U.S. military and their families.

The 2006 FIBA Americas U18 Championship For Women is being hosted at the USOTC from June 28-July 2. Teams in addition to the United States that will participate in the U18 tournament include Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Paraguay and Puerto Rico. The event, which will be held in Sports Center I, is free and open to the public. The top four finishing teams will earn qualifying berths for the 2007 FIBA U19 World Championship, slated to be held July 7-22 in Bratislava, Slovakia.

All four athletes on the squad from the class of 2006 previously competed for USA Basketball at the 2005 Youth Development Festival. Silver medalists and USA White Team members included Appel, who ranked second among all-time Festival participants for blocked shots with 13 and Gartrell, who ranked fourth among 2005 participants for 3-point field goals made per game at 0.8. Capturing bronze as members of the USA Red Team were Charles, who established five all-time Festival records and three all-time single-game Festival records and Raven, who tied the all-time Festival single-game record for steals with eight.

All four of the rising college freshmen were honored by the WBCA as 2006 All-Americans as Appel, Tina Charles and Brittainey Raven were named as first teamers and Nikitta Gartrell earned honorable mention. Additionally, Appel, Charles and Raven were named 2006 McDonald's All-Americans.

Finally, the Gatorade Circle of Champions listed Appel (California), Charles (New York), Maya Moore (Georgia), Kayla Pedersen (Arizona) and Raven (Texas) among its 2006 State Players of the Year.

FIBA Americas U18 Championship For WomenOriginally known as the FIBA Americas Junior World Championship Qualifier, the tournament has been held every four years since 1988. FIBA recently changed its calendar, and the event will now be conducted every other year. The name of the event has also recently been changed to reflect the age limit for eligible athletes. USA women's teams boast of a remarkable 24-2 overall record at this event and have won gold in 1988, 2000 and 2004, while capturing silver medals in 1992 and 1996.

Some of the top players who have represented the United States in the past U18 tournaments include Alana Beard (2000); Tamika Catchings (1996); Marissa Coleman (2004); Stacey Ford (1998); Sonja Henning (1988); Niesa Johnson (1992); Rebecca Lobo (1992); Candace Parker (2004); Courtney Paris (2004); Cappie Pondexter (2000); Nicole Powell (2000); Lynn Pride (1996); Diana Taurasi (2000); Candice Wiggins (2004), and Tiffany Woosley (1992).

Q&A with Jayne Appel:
Q. What did it feel like hearing your name called as a member of this team?
A. It was a little nerve-wracking at first, but I'm glad it's over with and I'm excited to start to really get to work and get ready to play.

Q. Did you feel good about your performance this weekend?
A. At the beginning, no. But I started to get more comfortable, I started to really play the way I like to play so yeah, I thought I did well.

Q. What do you think you did this weekend to make yourself stand out in the USA Basketball Women's Collegiate Committee's eyes?
A. Just giving it everything I had, like diving on the floor, I'm covered in bruises right now from that. Pretty much giving all the effort I can give.

Q. Do you think your experience here in Colorado Springs at the 2005 USA Youth Development Festival helped you out here this weekend?
A. Definitely, I knew what to expect coming out here.

Q. What do you think of your 11 teammates?
A. They're really good. You can't go wrong with any of them.

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