Henshaw Invited to National Team Trials
TAMPA, MAY 8, 2017 – Reigning American Athletic Conference Freshman of the Year Tamara Henshaw has accepted an invitation to participate in the 2017 USA Basketball Women's U19 World Cup Team trials May 18-21 at the United States Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs. Invitations were issued by the USA Basketball Women's Junior National Team Committee.
Henshaw (Palm Coast, Fla.) will join 32 other invitees in Colorado, all vying for a spot on the 12-member team.
“Words cannot describe how excited I am for this opportunity,” said Henshaw. “It's a great honor to be invited to trials and be a part of this great group of athletes.”
Six-time defending U19 gold medalists, the United States will look to make it seven gold medals in a row at the July 22-30 event in Cividale del Friuli and Udine, Italy.
“These athletes represent the top talent our country has to offer at this age level,” said George Washington University head coach Jennifer Rizzotti, chair of the selection committee. “This is a very versatile group that will give the coaching staff a lot of options. They are all tough competitors, and it is not going to be easy for us to pare it down to the final 12-member team. The committee feels we will be able to select from this group a team that will represent the USA well on and off the court, and these athletes have what it takes to win a seventh-straight gold medal at the FIBA U19 World Cup.”
Of the 23 athletes who recently completed their freshman season in college, 18 earned conference honors, including Henshaw (American), Hittner (Missouri Valley) and Smith (Southeastern), who all were named 2017 Freshman of the Year in their respective leagues. Further, Hebard (Pacific-12), Hittner and Holmes (Big 12) earned all-conference first team honors.
FIBA U19 World Cup for Women
Originally known as the FIBA Junior World Championship, FIBA changed the names of its age-based world championships in 2005 to reflect the age of eligibility, and recently updated the names of all of its world championships to world cups. The tournament was held every four years starting in 1985. FIBA in 2005 modified its calendar and now conducts the U19 World Cup every other year. USA women's teams are 73-12 in U19/Junior World Cups, capturing a sixth-consecutive gold in 2015 with a 7-0 record.
The draw to determine the preliminary round was held Feb. 1. The USA was placed in Group A and will open against Mali on July 22, face China on July 23 and cap the preliminary round against host Italy on July 25.
Drawn into Group B were Egypt, Puerto Rico, Russia and Spain; Group C includes Canada, France, Latvia and South Korea; while Group D features Australia, Hungary, Japan and a nation from the Americas to be determined by FIBA at a later date. Brazil claimed bronze at the 2016 FIBA Americas U18 Championship to qualify for this summer's U19 tournament. However, the Brazil Basketball Federation has since been suspended by FIBA.
Following the preliminary round, teams will be seeded according to group play, and all participating teams will advance to the July 26 round of 16. Winners will advance to the July 28 medal quarterfinals, while the remaining teams will continue playing out for classification. The medal semifinals will be held July 29, and the gold and bronze medal games are slated for July 30.
Notable players to represent the USA at the FIBA U19 World Championship include: Alana Beard (2001), Essence Carson (2005), Tamika Catchings (1997), Bria Hartley (2011), Crystal Langhorne (2005), Jantel Lavender (2007), Lisa Leslie (1989), Rebecca Lobo (1993), Maya Moore (2007), Nnemkadi Ogwumike (2009), Vickie Orr (1985), Cappie Pondexter (2001), Katie Smith (1993), Dawn Staley (1989), Azurá Stevens (2015), Breanna Stewart (2011 and MVP of the 2013 U19 World Championship), Diana Taurasi (2001), Morgan Tuck (2011 and 2013) and A'ja Wilson (2013 and MVP of the 2015 U19 World Championship).
Based in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and chaired by retired Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, USA Basketball is a nonprofit organization and the national governing body for men's and women's basketball in the United States. As the recognized governing body for basketball in the U.S. 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 competitions, as well as for some national competitions, and for the development of youth basketball initiatives that address player development, coach education and safety.
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USF has notched its fifth consecutive 20-win season. The Bulls tallied its 20th win in their 24th contest of the season which tied the fastest any program has reached 20 wins. This is the eighth 20-win season in program history and head coach Jose Fernandez has been at the helm for all eight 20-win seasons. The 2014-15 team reached 20 wins in 24 games, and still currently holds the best record for most wins in a season (27).
USF has made 13 postseason tournament appearances and had five NCAA Tournament berths in Head Coach Jose Fernandez's 17 seasons. The all-time winningest coach in program history, Fernandez has guided USF to eight 20-win seasons, two WNIT final four appearances, the 2009 WNIT championship and won more than 300 games.
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