Thirty-Five Top, Prep Athletes Set To Attend 2011 USA Basketball Women’s U16 National Team Trials

Colorado Springs, Colo. • April 19, 2011
Featuring 2010 USA Basketball Women’s U18 National Team gold medalist Diamond DeShields (Norcross H.S./Norcross, Ga.) and 2010 USA U17/Youth Olympic Games Team Trials participant Kaela Davis (Buford H.S./Suwanee, Ga.), USA Basketball today announced the names of 35 athletes who have accepted invitations to attend the 2011 USA Basketball Women’s U16 National Team Trials. The U16 trials will take place May 26-30 at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo.
Players eligible for this team must be U.S. citizens, born on or after January 1, 1995. The invitations were issued by the USA Basketball Women’s Developmental National Team Committee, which is chaired in a non-voting position by Carol Callan, USA Basketball Women’s National Team Director.
 "We are very excited to welcome so many new athletes into the USA Basketball family and to have Diamond and Kaela back," said Callan. "At this age, a big part of the experience is learning about USA Basketball and what we expect of our players. We expect trials to be very competitive, and I look forward to seeing the talent, athleticism and determination on display in Colorado Springs."
While invitations were extended to 35 athletes, the USA Basketball Women’s Developmental National Team Committee also is accepting applications to attend trials for a total of no more than 200 participants. The deadline for applications has been extended through May 10. The Developmental National Team Committee will be responsible for all facets of trials and team selection. More information on a trials application can be found at
Accepting invitations to trials from the Class of 2013 are 17 athletes, including: Alaina Coates (Dutch Fork H.S./Irmo, S.C.); Kendall Cooper (St. Anthony H.S./Carson, Calif.); Davis; DeShields; Makayla Epps (Marion County H.S./Lebanon, Ky.); Allisha Gray (Washington County H.S./Sandersville, Ga.); Rebecca Greenwell (Owensboro Catholic H.S./Owensboro, Ky.); Linnae Harper (Whitney M. Young H.S./Chicago, Ill.); Jessica Jackson (Jacksonville H.S./Jacksonville, Ark.); Stephanie Mavunga (Brownsburg H.S./Indianapolis, Ind.); Erica McCall (Ridgeview H.S./Bakersfield, Calif.); Taya Reimer (Hamilton Southeastern H.S./Fishers, Ind.); Mercedes Russell (Springfield H.S./Springfield, Ore.); Karlie Samuelson (Edison H.S./Huntington Beach, Calif.); Jannah Tucker (New Town H.S./Randallstown, Md.); Sydney Umeri (The Lovett School/Acworth, Ga.); and Kendall Waters (Bishop O’Dowd H.S./San Ramon, Calif.).
Representing the Class of 2014 among invited trials participants will be 18 players, including: Recee’ Caldwell (Claudia Taylor Johnson H.S./San Antonio, Texas); Sierra Calhoun (Christ the King Regional H.S./Brooklyn,  N.Y.); McKenzie Calvert (Byron P. Steele II H.S./Schertz, Texas); Jordin Canada (Windward School/Los Angeles, Calif.); LaJahna Drummer (St. Bernard H.S./Los Angeles, Calif.); Courtney Ekmark (Saint Mary’s Catholic H.S./Phoenix, Ariz.); Mackenzie Engram (Hillgrove H.S./Powder Springs, Ga.); Gabrielle Green (Saint Mary’s College H.S./Oakland, Calif.); Taryn Griffey (Dr. Phillips H.S./Windermere, Fla.); Erin Mathias (Fox Chapel Area H.S./Pittsburgh, Pa.); Kelsey Mitchell (Princeton H.S./Cincinnati, Ohio); Jaime Nared (Westview H.S./Portland, Ore.); Alyssa Rice (Reynoldsburg H.S./Reynoldsburg, Ohio); Chastity Taylor (St. Anthony’s H.S./Islandia, N.Y.); Brianna Turner (Westbury Christian School/Pearland, Texas); Mikayla Venson (Yorktown H.S./Arlington, Va.); Makayla Waterman (Kettering Fairmont H.S./Dayton, Ohio); and Jatarie White (Providence Day School/Charlotte, N.C.).
The 2011 USA Basketball Women’s U16 National Team will be selected on May, 30, and all athletes will return home. The 12 team members will resume training camp June 3-11 at the U.S. Olympic Training Center, prior to the their departure for the 2011 FIBA Americas U16 Championship, which will take place June 13-18 in Mérida, Mexico. Not only will a gold medal be at stake, but the top four finishers in 2011 will qualify for the 2012 FIBA U17 World Championship (site and date still to be determined).
The 2011 USA Basketball Women’s U16 National Team will be led by Jill Rankin Schneider (Monterey H.S., Lubbock, Texas), with assistant coaches Gail Hook (Monarch H.S., Louisville, Colo.) and Letitia Hughley (Flint Northern H.S. and Mott Community College, Flint, Mich.).
While 33 athletes will be new to USA Basketball, both Davis and DeShields attended the 2010 USA Basketball Women’s U17/Youth Olympic Games Team Trials. Rather than the U17 or Youth Olympic Games Team, DeShields was selected to play for the USA Women’s U18 National Team in the 2010 FIBA Americas U18 Championship, which was held at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo. As the youngest member of the team, she averaged a team third-best 9.0 points per game to go along with 3.4 rebounds and 1.4 steals in just 14.2 minutes per game to help the USA to a gold medal and 5-0 record. The first place finish also qualified the USA for the 2011 FIBA U19 World Championship.
Seventeen states are sending representatives to the trials, led by seven players from California; five from Georgia; three from both Ohio and Texas; two athletes apiece from Indiana, Kentucky, New York and Oregon; and one player from the states of Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Illinois, Maryland, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina and Virginia.
Born Sept. 9, 1996, Caldwell is the youngest athlete on the list, while Gray, born Jan. 12, 1995 is the oldest. Listed at 6-5, Russell is the tallest, while two athletes stand at 5-6 – Canada and Griffey.
USA Basketball
Based in Colorado Springs, Colo., USA Basketball is a nonprofit organization and the national governing body (NGB) for men's and women's basketball in the United States. As the recognized NGB for basketball in the United States by the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) and the United States Olympic Committee (USOC), USA Basketball is responsible for the selection, training and fielding of USA teams that compete in FIBA sponsored international basketball competitions, as well as for some national competitions.
Since 2008, USA Basketball men’s and women’s teams have compiled a sterling 96-2 win-loss record in FIBA or FIBA Americas competitions. USA teams are the current men’s and women’s champions in the Olympics, FIBA World Championships; U19 and U17 FIBA World Championships; and U18 and U16 FIBA Americas championships. USA Basketball currently ranks No. 1 in all five of FIBA's world ranking categories, including combined, men's, women's, boys and girls.
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