Stanford's Appel Named to USA Basketball World Championship Team
OSTRAVA, Czech Republic - WNBA All-Star and former Stanford All-American Jayne Appel was named to the USA Basketball Women's World Championship Team Tuesday afternoon, the USA Basketball Women's National Team Player Selection Committee announced. Appel will make her World Championship debut with the Senior National Team as part of its 12-member roster at the 2010 FIBA World Championship that will be held from Sept. 23 to Oct. 3 in Ostrava and Karlovy Vary, Czech Republic.
The announcement makes Appel the third Stanford alumna to represent the United States at the FIBA World Championship, joining Jennifer Azzi (1990, '94, '98) and Sonja Henning (1990).
Appel, a two-time gold medal winner with the 2006 FIBA Americas U18 Championship and 2007 USA Pan-American Games Teams, averaged 3.0 points and 4.0 rebounds over 9.3 minutes a game over Team USA's four exhibition games since Sept. 10. Team USA went 3-1 over that span, only dropping an 83-77 decision to Australia on Sept. 17.
She joins the Team USA roster that will also include: Sue Bird (Seattle Storm), Tamika Catchings (Indiana Fever), Diana Taurasi (Phoenix Mercury), Sylvia Fowles (Chicago Sky), Swin Cash (Seattle Storm), Tina Charles (Connecticut Sun), Candice Dupree (Phoenix Mercury), Asjha Jones (Connecticut Sun), Angel McCoughtry (Atlanta Dream), Maya Moore (University of Connecticut) and Lindsay Whalen (Minnesota Lynx).
"The process has been unbelievably difficult. It's taken a lot out of us, the committee, coaches, staff," said USA and University of Connecticut head coach Geno Auriemma. "It was probably the most difficult time that I've had as a coach in 35 years. When you have to say goodbye to players as committed to USA Basketball as Kara (Lawson) and Seimone (Augustus) have been, it's very, very, very difficult. But there's so much uncertainty in our post players position that we had to make some very difficult decisions. I think the team that was picked is a terrific team. It's a terrific group of kids and the next nine games will give us an opportunity to prove that."
"This was an extremely difficult decision for the committee to make," said USA Basketball Women's National Team Director and USA Selection Committee member Carol Callan. "After four exhibition games and the scrimmage against the Czech Republic, we believe we have selected the 12 players who will make the best team to be competitive at the World Championship. These players fill various needs that this team has in terms of the international styles of play that we will face in the Czech Republic."
Appel was a two-time State Farm Coaches' All-American and the 2009 Pac-10 Player of the Year while at Stanford from 2006-10. Over her four years on The Farm Appel led the Cardinal to three straight Final Four appearances (2008-10) and to a pair of national championship game appearances.
By the end of her career, Appel left The Farm as the program's all-time leading rebounder (1,263) and shot-blocker (273). Her 2,125 career points and career 56.5 field-goal percentage each currently rank third in the Cardinal record book.
In April, Appel was selected fifth overall in the 2010 WNBA Draft by the San Antonio Silver Stars. Despite foot and ankle injuries which delayed her professional debut, Appel still managed to be named to the WNBA All-Star Team and help the Silver Stars to the WNBA Playoffs.
Appel and Team USA, placed in B alongside France, Greece and Senegal, open up FIBA World Championship action against Greece on Thursday, Sept. 23 at 9 a.m. PT. The Americans will continue group play against Senegal at 9 a.m. PT on Friday, Sept. 25 and France at 6:15 a.m. PT on Saturday Sept. 26. All three group play games will be shown live on NBA TV.