Wiggins, Appel Named Finalists For USA Basketball Teams

May 20, 2007

STANFORD, Calif.- Junior guard Candice Wiggins (San Diego, Calif.) and freshman forward/center Jayne Appel (Pleasant Hill, Calif.) were announced as finalists for three USA Basketball Teams on Sunday, following three days of trials held over the weekend at the U.S. Olympic Training Center (USOTC) in Colorado Springs, Colo.

The selections were made by the USA Basketball Women's Collegiate Committee, which is chaired by Sue Donohoe, the NCAA's vice president of Division I women's basketball.

Wiggins is considered a finalist for both the USA U21 World Championship Team and Pan American Games Team, while Appel was announced as a finalist for the USA U19 World Championship Team and Pan American Games Team.

In addition, incoming freshman Kayla Pedersen (Fountain Hills, Ariz.) was announced as a finalist for the USA U19 World Championship Team.

Wiggins continued to cement her reputation as one of the nation's premier players during her junior season in 2006-07, earning Kodak/WBCA and Associated Press All-America honors for the third straight year.

Wiggins led the Cardinal in scoring (16.9 ppg) and three-pointers (82) in 29 games played and 28 starts. A 46-percent shooter from the field, Wiggins ranked second in assists (96) while snagging 4.1 rebounds per game. She scored in double-figures in 25 games and scored at least 20 points in eight games this year, including a season-best 30-point effort at Arizona State on Jan. 27 that resulted in her second Pac-10 Player of the Week honor.

A two-time Pac-10 Player of the Year, Wiggins enters her senior year with 1842 career points- a total that ranks fifth-best in school history and only 373 behind Kate Starbird's record of 2215. In addition, Wiggins needs to knock down only three more triples to become the school's all-time leader in that category.

Appel is coming off an impressive rookie campaign that resulted in being named the 2006-07 Pac-10 Freshman of the Year. In 33 games off the bench, she averaged 13.2 points and 7.5 rebounds per game while leading the Cardinal in field goal percentage at a 53.8 clip. Appel scored in double-figures 22 times, notched five double-doubles and established the school's single-season record with 61 blocked shots.

Pedersen, a 6-4 forward, attends Red Mountain High School. Pedersen was named to the Parade All-America First Team and honored as the Gatorade Player of the Year for Arizona. She also was recognized by USA Today as a Second Team selection. Pedersen also represented the West team at the 2007 McDonald's All-America Game.

Sixteen countries will compete in the U19 World Championship for Women that will be held July 26-Aug. 5 in Bratislava, Slovakia. FIBA announced on March 6 the draw for the 2007 FIBA U19 World Championship For Women, and the USA has been placed in Group B, along with China, Ivory Coast and Lithuania.

The USA will look to defend its world title at the 2007 FIBA U21 World Championship, held this year June 29-July 8 in Moscow, Russia. The USA U21 finalists, named following the USA Trials, will reconvene in Colorado Springs June 12 to begin training for the tournament, and the eventual 12-member team will be named prior to the squad departing for Europe on June 16. The United States was placed in Group B in the 12-nation tournament along with Australia, Brazil, Hungary, Japan and Spain. Group A includes Belgium, Canada, China, Mali, France and Russia.

The Pan American Games women's basketball tournament will be held July 20-24 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and will feature eight national teams from FIBA Americas. The USA Pan Ams finalists named following the USA Trials will reconvene on July 6 in Washington, D.C., and the eventual 12-member squad will be named prior to the team departing for Brazil on July 16.

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