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Close Leads Team USA Ahead of FIBA U19 World Cup

Jul 20, 2021
Cori Close -- Photo courtesy of USA Basketball

Colorado Springs, Colo. – The Michael Price Family UCLA Women's Head Basketball Coach Cori Close is headed to Washington D.C. to lead Team USA's squad into the upcoming FIBA U19 World Cup. Close and her staff announced the selection of nine players to the World Cup roster on May 16 and solidified the remaining roster spots earlier this week.
"It's one thing in Trials to try and start to get a sense of the team, but I'm excited for training camp because this is the group," said Close. "This is the group that's going to compete for a gold medal and I'm just excited to start that process."
Training camp will be held from July 21-27 before the team travels to Europe for the World Cup, scheduled to take place in Debrecen, Hungary from Aug. 7-19.
"My expectations for training camp are very simple -- that we come together as a group of really talented group of individuals and we become a team, and we develop gold medal habits," said Close. "If we focus on the process of doing things together as a unified group with gold medal habits, I think we're going to put ourselves in a great position to be successful."
Close takes the helm of the U19 program after serving as an assistant coach for Team USA in the 2019 U19 World Cup, helping the Americans to a 7-0 record and a gold medal. Notably, Close coached against future UCLA signees Emily Bessoir and Izzy Anstey, who were representing their native Germany and Australia, respectively.
"I am so excited for the FIBA World Cup," said Close. "It creates an incredible challenge. We have a lot of players that haven't even played in college yet and they're going to be competing against people playing against pros on a consistent basis. It's incredibly physical, it's competitive, and it's on a world stage. I'm excited to see our young team step up to that challenge and be ready for the physical play that we'll see in Hungary." 
Through 10 seasons with the Bruins, Close has compiled a 215-110 record and led the Bruins to six NCAA Tournament appearances, including an Elite 8 showing in 2018. Close is one of only three coaches (Billie Moore, Kathy Olivier) in program history to eclipse the 200-win milestone, and holds the highest winning percentage of the three (.662). The Bruins are coming off a 17-6 campaign in 2020-21 that saw them travel to their fifth-straight NCAA Tournament under Close's guidance.