USA Women's U19 World Championship Team Selected As 2005 USA Basketball Team Of The Year

Dec. 6, 2005

Colorado Springs, Colo. - The 2005 USA Women's U19 World Championship Team, which dominated the 2005 FIBA U19 World Championship with a perfect 8-0 record and the gold medal in Tunis, Tunisia, has been selected as the 2005 USA Basketball Team of the Year by the USA Basketball Executive Committee. Stanford sophomore guard Candice Wiggins averaged 15.8 points per game to help the U.S. team capture gold.

In addition to the U19 World Championship crown, the squad earned a 1-1 record in exhibition play against the Hungary U19 National Team and finalists for the USA squad rolled through its competition at the 2005 International Sports Invitational for a 4-0 slate and the gold medal in San Diego, Calif.

With its selection as USA Basketball's Team of the Year, the squad becomes eligible for the 2005 U.S. Olympic Team of the Year award, which will be announced by the USOC at a later date.

'I'm very proud of our Women's U19 World Championship Team ,' said USA Basketball Executive Director Jim Tooley. 'Not only did they bring home the gold, but they did so in dominant fashion winning by an average of 46.3 points per game. This was a terrific team effort, and I look forward to seeing many of these young players on future USA Basketball teams.'

2005 marks the 10th time the USA Basketball Team of the Year Award has been presented. The award has been earned by the historic 1996 U.S. Women's Olympic Team / USA Women's National Team, 1997 USA Women's Junior World Championship Team, 1998 and 2002 USA Women's World Championship squads, 1999 USA Men's Tournament of the Americas Team, 2000 and 2004 U.S. Women's Olympic / USA Women's Senior National teams and the 2001 USA World Championship For Young Men Team.

The squad was in control from the start, earning a 98-65 victory over Russia to open up play on July 15. The U.S. then posted a lopsided 124-37 win over the Congo on July 16, took Serbia & Montenegro for a 94-68 whirl on July 17, steam rolled Puerto Rico 116-28 on July 19 and closed out preliminary play with a 129-74 performance over South Korea on July 20. The July 22 quarterfinals saw the United States exact revenge on Hungary, the only team to beat the U.S. last summer in exhibition play, to a tune of 85-55 and after a 99-68 semifinal victory over eventual bronze medalist China on July 23, the red, white and blue found itself in a gold medal rematch with Serbia & Montenegro. Earning a 24-12 cushion after the first quarter, the USA never looked back en route to its 97-76 gold medal victory.

Formerly known as the FIBA Women's Junior World Championship and held every four years since 1985, the USA's capturing of gold in 2005 marked just the second time the American women have claimed gold in the six U19 World Championships. The U.S. now boasts of a 32-10 overall record and has captured two gold (2005, 1997) and one bronze medal (2001).

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