USC's Ashley Corral Named To USA U-18 Team
June 12, 2008
Incoming USC freshman Ashley Corral will get some international playing experience before arriving at Troy to join the USC women's basketball team as a freshman this season. After participating in the USA Basketball Under-18 National Team Trials in Colorado Springs, Colo., the talented 5-foot-9 guard made the cut to the final 12-player roster for the U.S. Under-20 squad. The USA's U-18 team is set to continue training in Colorado before heading to complete at the 2008 FIBA Americas U18 Championship for Women in Argentina.
The FIBA Americas tournament will run July 23-27 in Buenos Aires, and the top four teams from that competition will qualify for the 2009 FIBA U19 World Championships. This is Corral's first selection to a U.S. national team, but the McDonald's All-American has previous experience in the USA Basketball program and also has received numerous national accolades already on her way into her USC playing career. Hailing from Prairie High School in Vancouver, Wash., Corral was selected to PARADE's Fourth Team All-American list and was named Second Team All-America by EA Sports. She also was named the 2007-08 Gatorade Washington Girls Basketball Player of the Year and also was tabbed the State Player of the Year by the Seattle Times.
Corral was selected among 11 other athletes, pared down from 35 participants at this month's trials in Colorado Springs. Among those 35 was Corral's fellow incoming Trojan freshman, Briana Gilbreath, who joins the USC roster this season alongside her older sister Stefanie Gilbreath. USC's 2008-09 freshman class features two redshirt freshmen - Stefanie Gilbreath and Jacki Gemelos - who have been sidelined by injury in previous seasons. Corral and Briana Gilbreath enter as true freshmen along with post player Michelle Jenkins.
How does it feel to be named to the USA Basketball U18 National Team?
'I was pretty shocked, to be honest. This is one of the toughest teams to make, ever. I've never not made a team in my life and all week I was thinking that I wasn't doing things right, I wasn't doing what they wanted, so it was a pretty big shock to me.'
What are your thoughts on this team?
'I think we're really talented. There's not one weak person, there's not one weak link. I think we all have our own abilities to bring to this table.'
What do you bring to the team?
'I'm a pretty good shooter, I'm an outside shooter with a 3-point shot. I also try to bring as much leadership as possible. As a point guard that's kind of our job.'
What does it mean for you to represent the United States of America?
'It's huge. It's the biggest accomplishment ever. My college coaches have talked to me and they've said that the only thing better than wearing a USC jersey is wearing a USA jersey. It's a big deal to everybody.'
There are two former USC players, Lisa Leslie and Tina Thompson, on this year's Olympic team. Have you watched their progress through USA Basketball or are there any other USA players you'd like to aspire to be like?
'If you're really big into basketball it's everybody's goal to make the USA Olympic team. That's the highest you can get. You have to work hard and work your way up to it. Hopefully this is my start.'
CLICK HERE for complete USA Basketball press release.
CLICK HERE for full U.S. Under-18 National Team roster.