Ebony Hoffman Selected As Finalist For 2002 USA World Championship Team

May 23, 2002

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Following three days of trials involving 36 athletes, 16 of the nation's elite 20-and-unders (born on or after Jan. 1, 1982), including USC's Ebony Hoffman, were named as finalists for the 2002 USA Basketball World Championship For Young Women Qualifying Team, USA Basketball announced today. The selections were made by the USA Basketball Women's Collegiate Committee, chaired by University of Texas Senior Associate Athletics Director for Men's and Women's Athletics Chris Plonsky.

In addition to Hoffman (Harbor City, Calif.), the 16 USA finalists include: Jacqueline Batteast (Notre Dame / South Bend, Ind.); Steffanie Blackmon (Baylor / Dallas, Texas); Kara BrownBraxton (Georgia / Jackson, Mich.); Shameka Christon (Arkansas / Hot Springs, Ark.); Vanessa Hayden (Florida / Orlando, Fla.); Amber Jacobs (Boston College / Clarks Summit, Pa.); Laurie Koehn (Kansas State / Hesston, Kan.); Kelly Mazzante (Penn State / Montoursville, Pa.); Amber Obaze (Louisiana Tech / Dallas, Texas ); Nicole Ohlde (Kansas State / Clay Center, Kan.); Jia Perkins (Texas Tech / Granbury, Texas ); Cappie Pondexter (Rutgers / Chicago, Ill.); Heather Schreiber (Texas / Windthorst, Texas ); Stacy Stephens (Texas / Winnsboro, Texas ) and Lindsay Whalen (Minnesota / Hutchinson, Minn.).

'I think we have a great group to choose from,' said USA and Texas Tech University head coach Marsha Sharp. 'I'm interested to see what 12 finally get on that plane with us. All 16 deserve to come and get another look in July. I don't think there's any question that we've got a lot of strength at every position. We've got some good guard play, some post players who really bring a lot to the table. I think we can put some good combinations on the floor together and I'm excited to coach them.'

The finalists will return to Colorado Springs, Colo., on July 7 for the USA team training camp, which will run through July 11 (times TBD). Following the July 711 training camp, during which will time the final 12member 2002 USA 20andunder squad will be selected, the U.S. is scheduled to continue its training July 1216 in Ribeirao Preto, Brazil prior to the start of the 2002 Confederation of Pan American Basketball Associations (COPABA) World Championship For Young Women Qualifying Tournament.

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