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A blog on UConn women's basketball.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Five current or future UConn players selected to U.S. teams

UConn All-Americans Moriah Jefferson and Breanna Stewart were among the 12 players selected to represent the U.S. at the Pan Am Games.

It is the third national team Jefferson will be a member of as she played on the U-18 squad in 2012 and team which won the FIBA U19 World Championship in 2013. This is the seventh summer in a row that Stewart will represent the U.S. in an international competition and the second time she will play in the Pan Am Games.

The last time Stewart was a member of the U.S. team playing in the Pan Am Games she made history by becoming the second high school player to play for the United States. Playing alongside a team featuring four players who would be drafted by WNBA teams Stewart led the team in scoring and rebounding while leading all players in the tournament in blocked shots and free-throw percentage.

UConn incoming freshmen Napheesa Collier and Katie Lou Samuelson as well as Class of 2016 commit Crystal Dangerfield were among the players selected to the U.S. team playing in the FIBA U19 World Championships from July 18-26 in Chekhov, Russia.

UConn Class of 2016 recruiting target Lauren Cox was also selected to the team after three days of trials at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs.

Rising college sophomores Azura Stevens of Duke, Gabrielle Ortiz of Oklahoma, Shakayla Thomas of Florida State, Chatrice White of Illinois, Mariya Moore of Louisville and A'ja Wilson of South Carolina are joined by Samuelson, Collier, Cox, Dangerfield, Louisville incoming freshman Asia Durr and California commit Kristine Anigwe. Notre Dame freshmen to be Ali Patberg was selected as the alternate as Cox and Dangerfield, the two youngest players in the trials, are the only players with remaining high school eligibility to make any of the three U.S. teams that were named today.

UConn rising sophomore Gabby Williams and incoming freshman De'Janae Boykin are among the 21 players who did not make the cut.

Joining Jefferson and Stewart on the Pan Am Games team are Arizona State's Sophie Brunner, South Carolina's Alaina Coates, Villanova's Caroline Coyer, Kentucky's Linnae Harper, North Carolina's Stephanie Mavunga, South Carolina's Tiffany Mitchell, Washington's Kelsey Plum,  Notre Dame's Taya Reimer, Maryland's Shatori Walker-Kimbrough and Texas A&M's Courtney Williams. The Pan Am Games will be held from July 16-20 in Toronto. UConn's Kia Nurse is expected to be a key member for host Canada while her brother Darnell, one of the top prospects for the NHL's Edmonton Oilers, will be one of the torchbearers.

The U.S. is in Group A while Canada is in Group B.

On day one of basketball at the Pan Am Games on July 16 Canada plays Venezuela while the U.S. meets Brazil. Canada also plays Argentina and Cuba in pool play while the U.S. meets the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico in the preliminary portion. The top two teams in each group advance to the semifinals on July 19 with the bronze and gold medal games set for July 20.

UCLA"s Jordin Canada, Baylor's Nina Davis, Tennessee's Diamond DeShields and Mercedes Russell, Duke's Rebecca Greenwell, DePaul's Chanise Jenkins, Maryland's Brionna Jones, Stanford's Erica McCall, Michigan State's Ariel Powers, California's Courtney Range, Oregon State's Sydney Wiese and South Florida's Courtney Williams were selected to play in the World University Games which will be played from July 3-12 in South Korea.

Former Hillhouse star Bria Holmes did not make either the Pan Am Games or World University Games teams. She would have been the first Connecticut native to represent the U.S. in the World University Games since Nykesha Sales in 1997 and first state native to play for the U.S. in the Pan Am Games since Mary Ann O'Connor in 1975.

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Blogger Jerry Angel said...

I was shocked to learn Gabby Williams was left off this team after the superb season she had this past year. It's hard to believe that all of these younger players who made the team over Gabby are more talented then she is.

Hopefully, Jim can shed some light on this in the future. This has to be a blow to Gabby's confidence.

8:54 PM 
Blogger Jerry Angel said...

I was shocked to read that Gabby Williams was left off this team. It's difficult to believe that a lot of these younger players who were selected over Gabby could be as talented as she is. Gabby proved how good she was in the regular season.

Perhaps, Jim can find out why she was left off the team. Is she injured?

8:56 PM 
Blogger Jim Fuller said...

I wasn't at the trials to make any opinions on why others were picked over Gabby Williams but they did load up on size with six players 6-3 or taller so I'm not sure where an undersized post like Williams would fit. Gabby doesn't have much of a history with USA Basketball because of her injuries and is still developing her ball handling, play making and perimeter shooting. This won't impact her confidence at all. It doesn't mean she isn't a talented player just not as good of a fit as some other players. Moriah Jefferson is among the players who have been cut from USA Basketball teams and she's turned out to be pretty good.

10:25 PM 

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