Ibekwe Gets Team USA Invite

April 30, 2009

TUCSON, Ariz. - Sophomore forward Ify Ibekwe was one of 30 players recently invited to attend the 2009 USA Basketball Women’s World University Games Team Trials, which will be held May 14-17 at the United States Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo.

The World University Games, which will be contested from July 1-12 in Belgrade, Serbia, will include 15 other teams: Australia, Canada, China, Czech Republic, France, Great Britain, Hungary, Japan, Mozambique, Poland, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Taiwan and Turkey.

A competition that is held every other year includes athletes who must be currently enrolled in a college or university and have remaining NCAA athletic eligibility.

Arizona State head coach Charli Turner Thorne will be the head coach of the 2009 USA Basketball World University Games Team. Turner Thorne, who helped team USA to a gold medal at the 2007 FIBA U21 World Championship, will be assisted by Suzy Merchant of Michigan State and Julie Rousseau from Pepperdine.

Ibekwe was a 1st-team all-Pac-10 pick and honorable mention all-America selection by the Associated Press this season after leading the Pac-10 in rebounding (11.6) and finishing second in scoring (15.7). Her rebounding mark, which was 6th in the NCAA, was a school record and her 336 boards were second all-time for a single season.  She also led the Wildcats in blocked shots (1.8), steals (2.1), double-doubles (16), field goals made (173) and free throws made (109).

“I’m extremely happy for Ify,” said Arizona head coach Niya Butts. “She has earned this opportunity and we are all very proud of her. I am her biggest supporter and fan. She would be a great addition to the University Games roster.”

The finalists for the team will return to Colorado Springs on June 18 for training camp and train in Colorado until the team departs for Belgrade on June 25. The 12-member team will be named prior to the team’s departure for Serbia.

2009 USA Basketball Women's World University Games Team Trials Roster

Danielle Adams, Jefferson JC (Missouri)
Jayne Appel, Stanford
Jessica Breland, North Carolina
Doreena Campbell, UCLA
Tina Charles, Connecticut
Alysha Clark, Middle Tennessee
Cetera Degraffenreid, North Carolina
Dawn Evans, James Madison
Tyra Grant, Penn State
Alexis Gray-Lawson, California
Whitney Hand, Oklahoma
Tiffany Hayes, Connecticut
Allison Hightower, Louisiana State
Jareica Hughes, Texas-El Paso
Ashley Houts, Georgia
Ify Ibekwe, Arizona
Amy Jaeschke, Northwestern
Jantel Lavender, Ohio State
Danielle McCray, Kansas
Jacinta Monroe, Florida State
Maya Moore, Connecticut
Kayla Pedersen, Stanford
Ta’Shia Phillips, Xavier
Jeanette Pohlen, Stanford
Epiphanny Prince, Rutgers
Alex Rack, Mississippi State
Danielle Robinson, Oklahoma
Carolyn Swords, Boston College
Courtney Vandersloot, Gonzaga
Natasha Vital, California

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