Five Pac-10 Players Invited to USA Basketball U19 Women's Team Trials

May 7, 2009

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Headlined by five current and soon-to-be Pac-10 players, USA Basketball announced today that 27 of the nation's top 19-and-under athletes have accepted invitations to attend the 2009 USA Basketball Women's U19 World Championship Team Trials. Athlete invitations were extended by the USA Basketball Women's Junior National Team Committee, chaired by NCAA representative Sue Donohoe (Vice President for Division I Women's Basketball) and includes California head coach Joanne Boyle.

Trials to select finalists for the `09 U19 squad will be held May 14-17 at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo. Training camp will begin on July 8 in Colorado Springs, and the eventual 12-member roster will be announced prior to the team departing for Thailand. Two-time defending FIBA U19 World Championship gold medalists, the USA will look to capture its third straight gold medal at the 2009 FIBA U19 World Championship, scheduled for July 23 - Aug. 2 in Bangkok, Thailand.

Among the invitees are current Stanford freshmen Sarah Boothe (Gurnee, Ill.) and Nnemkadi Ogwumike (Cypress, Texas); UCLA current freshman Atonye Nyingifa (Torrance, Calif.) and incoming freshman Markel Walker from Pittsburgh, Pa. Also participating at the trials is incoming freshman Layshia Claredon from San Bernadino, Calif., who will be playing for Boyle in Berkeley, Calif., beginning in the fall.

The five players will be vying for spots along with Kelsey Bone (Texas); Skylar Diggins (South Bend, Ind.); Kelly Faris (Plainfield, Ind.); Samantha Prahalis (Ohio State) and Nikki Speed (Rutgers); LaSondra Barrett (Louisiana State); Sydney Carter (Texas A&M); Nikki Greene (Diboll, Texas); Keisha Hampton (DePaul); Tayler Hill (Minneapolis, Minn.); Shenise Johnson (Miami, Fla.); Kierra Mallard (Texas Tech); Lindsey Moore (Covington, Wash.); C'eira Ricketts (Arkansas); Tierra Ruffin-Pratt (Alexandria, Va.); Chay Shegog (North Carolina); Andrea Smith (Lakeland, Fla.); Taber Spani (Lee's Summit, Mo.); Da'Shena Stevens (St. John's); Samarie Walker (Dayton, Ohio); Destiny Williams (Benton Harbor, Mich.); and Shawnice Wilson (Pittsburgh, Pa.).

The 2009 FIBA U19 World Championship features 16 national teams comprised of athletes 19-years-old or younger (born on or after Jan. 1, 1990) that qualified through their FIBA zone tournaments. Included in the field of nations are: Australia, Argentina, Brazil, Canada, China, Czech Republic, France, Japan, Lithuania, Mali, Russia, South Korea, Spain, Thailand, Tunisia and the USA.

In addition to Donohoe, the USA Basketball Junior National Team Committee, formerly known as the Women's Collegiate Committee, includes NCAA appointees Joanne Boyle (head coach, University of California), Coquese Washington (head coach, Penn State University) and Connie Yori (head coach, University of Nebraska); and athlete representative Beth Cunningham (head coach, Virginia Commonwealth University), a member of the 1999 USA Pan American Games Team.


FIBA U19 World Championship
Originally known as the FIBA Junior World Championship, the tournament was held every four years starting in 1985. FIBA changed its calendar and, as of 2005, the U19 World Championship is now conducted every other year. USA women's teams are 41-10 in the U19/Junior World Championships and have won a record three gold medals and one bronze medal. The U.S. captured gold most recently with a 9-0 record in 2007.

After coming up short in the medal count in the first three FIBA U19 World Championships, the U.S. has been on the podium in each of the last four competitions, winning gold in 1997, bronze in 2001 and gold in 2005 and 2007, compiling a 29-2 slate during that run.

Some notable athletes who have competed on past USA U19/Junior World Championship Teams are: Angela Aycock (1993); Alana Beard (2001); Essence Carson (2005); Tamika Catchings (1997); Monique Currie (2001); Crystal Langhorne (2005); Erlana Larkins (2005); Lisa Leslie (1989); Rebecca Lobo (1993); Maya Moore (2007); Vickie Orr (1985); Courtney Paris (2005); Cappie Pondexter (2001); Katie Smith (1993); Dawn Staley (1989); Ann Strother (2001); Diana Taurasi (2001); Abby Waner (2005) and Candice Wiggins (2005).

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