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A blog on UConn women's basketball.

Monday, May 30, 2016

UConn signee Dangerfield, recruiting target Walker make U.S. U-18 team

Other than the inaugural squad in 1988 there has been a future UConn women's basketball player on every U-18 national team. That streak will continue as incoming freshman guard Crystal Dangerfield was one of 12 players named to the squad competing in the FIBA Americas U18 Championship from July 13-17 in Chile.

UConn recruiting target Megan Walker also was named to the squad as her Sidney Cooks and Amber Ramirez, who will team with Walker and Cal incoming freshman Jaelyn Brown on the team representing the U.S. at the FIBA 3x3 U18 World Championship which begin on Wednesday in Kazakhstan.

Rebecca Lobo was the player with UConn ties to play for the U18 team, helping the U.S. to the silver medal in between her freshman and sophomore seasons at Connecticut. Four years later Stacy Hansmeyer was a member of second-place U.S. team. In 2000 Ashley Battle and Diana Taurasi helped the U.S. win the first of seven straight gold medals in the event. Charde Houston in 2004, Tina Charles and Maya Moore in 2006, Kelly Faris in 2007, Stefanie Dolson and Bria Hartley in 2010, Moriah Jefferson, Breanna Stewart and Morgan Tuck in 2012 and Napheesa Collier in 2014 as won gold medals at the FIBA Americas 18 event.

Dangerfield averaged 6.4 points in the United States' seven games during a gold-medal run during the FIBA U19 World Championship. She was second on the team with 19 assists (with just four turnovers) and tied for second on the team with 14 steals.

Dangerfield and Baylor incoming freshman Lauren Cox are the only players from the U19 team to take part in the U18 trials and not surprisingly, they both made the U18 team.

Walker, a rising senior at Monacan High School in North Chesterfield, Virginia, was only able to have one complete day at the trials because she is a part of the U.S. team playing in the FIBA 3x3 U18 World Championships but that didn't stop her from making the U18 team.

Jeannie Boehm, Chennedy Carter, Tyasha Harris, Ruthy Hebard, Valerie Higgins, Evina Westbrook and Rellah Boothe are other players on the team. Boothe is the only player to be named a finalist for the U17 team and as be selected to the U18 team.

There are seven players who will be incoming college freshman as Dangerfield and Cox are joined by Boehm (Harvard). Harris (South Carolina), Hebard (Oregon), Higgins (USC) and Ramirez (TCU) while Walker, Boothe, Carter, Cooks and Westbrook are heading into their senior year of high school and all five are uncommitted so I'd expect to see some Division I college coaches making the journey to see this team go for gold.

Here are quotes from Dangerfield courtesy of USA Basketball

How does it feel to be named to a third USA Basketball team?It feels great. And then seeing who else made the team, it’s going to be a really special summer.
Two years ago you didn’t make the 2014 USA U17 World Championship Team, so you’ve been on both sides. How were you feeling when the announcement was coming?
The wait brought me back to that point, but after they came out and said what they had to say, I was relaxed.
What does it mean for you to be able to represent your country like this?It means I came back hungry to win another gold medal.
Because you have experience, do you feel like you’re one of the leaders?I feel like it, yes. I feel like it’s just a presence-type thing. I think the others are going to ask us questions and go off our lead.
On the overall make-up of the team:Looking at it, this is a physical group. I think that’s going to help us, because international play is very physical. We’re very talented, and I’m ready to see how it goes.

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