2008 USA Basketball Women's U18 National Team Begins Training
July 11, 2008
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - The 2008 USA Basketball Women's U18 National Team opened two weeks of training camp on Thursday evening at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo., in preparation for the 2008 FIBA Americas U18 Championship. The USA U18 Women will practice at the training center July 10-15, and then at the Verizon Center practice facility in Washington, D.C., July 17-20.
The 2008 FIBA Americas U18 Championship will be contested July 23-27 in Buenos Aires, Argentina, with the USA seeking a fourth consecutive gold medal in the event.
Following the opening session Thursday evening, the team will practice at the USOTC at 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. (MDT) on July 11, 12, 14 and 15, and just once on July 13 at 10 a.m. Traveling to Washington, D.C., on July 16, the USA will resume training at the Verizon Center practice facility, with 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. (EDT) sessions on July 17 and 19, and 10 a.m. sessions on July 18 and 20. All practice sessions are closed to the public.
Headed by Northern Illinois' Carol Owens, and assisted by Marquette head coach Terri Mitchell and Bill Fennelly of Iowa State, the 2008 USA Women's U18 National Team roster includes: Kelsey Bone (Dulles H.S. / Stafford, Texas); Sarah Boothe (Warren Township H.S. / Gurnee, Ill.); Alyssia Brewer (Sapulpa H.S. / Sapulpa, Okla.); Ashley Corral (Prairie H.S. / Vancouver, Wash.); Skylar Diggins (Washington H.S. / South Bend, Ind.); Kelly Faris (Heritage Christian / Plainfield, Ind.); Lynetta Kizer (Potomac H.S. / Woodbridge, Va.); Nneka Ogwumike (Cy-Fair H.S. / Cypress, Texas); Samantha Prahalis (Commack H.S. / Dix Hills, N.Y.); Nikki Speed (Marlborough H.S. / Pasadena, Calif.); SheKinna Stricklen (Morrilton H.S. / Morrilton, Ark.); and Joslyn Tinkle (Big Sky H.S. / Missoula, Mont.).
Fans can get the inside scoop of the USA U18 Women's National Team and the 2008 FIBA Americas U18 Championship through Mitchell's blog that will be updated throughout the championship.
2008 FIBA Americas U18 Championship for Women
The FIBA Americas U18 Championship for Women will feature eight national teams from North, South and Central America and the Caribbean from July 23-27 in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The top four finishing teams qualify for the 2009 FIBA U19 Women's World Championship, which will be held July 23-Aug. 2 in Bangkok, Thailand.
In the preliminary round, the eight participating teams will be divided into two groups of four teams each. After playing the three other teams in the preliminary round, the top two finishing teams from each group will advance to the medal round semifinals, while the third and fourth place finishing teams will meet in the consolation round semifinals. The gold medal, bronze medal, 5th/6th place and 7th/8th place games will be played on July 27.
Originally known as the FIBA Americas Junior World Championship Qualifying Tournament, the event had been held every four years since 1988. FIBA changed its calendar, however, and the tournament is now conducted every other year, followed in the next summer by the FIBA U19 World Championship.
USA women's teams boast of a remarkable 28-2 overall record in U18/Junior Qualifiers and have won gold in 1988, 2000, 2004 and 2006, while capturing silver in 1992 and 1996.